A Complete Guide About Termite Baiting Stations
Before we get into the pros and cons of termite bait stations, you should know some important things about termite bait stations that you currently have around your home. We are constantly asked by homeowners, “what are the round plastic things around my house”. They are often called termite traps but they are actually referred as termite bait stations. If the company that installed them did not monitor the bait stations in the last six months, they are not doing anything to protect your home from termites, and your house will suffer from termite health risks.
Termite bait stations usually do not have termite bait unless active termites get found in wood or cellulose monitoring materials. They should get inspected and serviced every 3 to 4 months by a licensed pest control company. Once the termite activity gets found, the growth hormone should be placed, and thus the termite bait stations control the termite. So if some termite bait stations around your house have not get monitored for more than a year, you can throw them away.
This article will briefly explain the dangers of termites & the effects of termites on humans, plus “How we can protect our homes from termites?
What Are The Dangers Of Termites?
Termites are one of the most dangerous types of insect infections found in homes. They will not sting, bite, contaminate your food supply, or spread disease like other insects. But they will damage your home’s structure, which is one of the biggest dangers of termites. They work quietly and eat the wood of your house behind the scenes.
Often, the damage they do is direct to the house’s structural elements. All these elements make termites a dangerous insect that you should try your best to avoid. Once termites got found in your home, they can be challenging to eradicate.
01- Termites Work Silently
It sounds like good news, but it is one of the biggest dangers of termites. If termites attack your house, you will not see them on your kitchen floor as if roaches or rats attacked you. These bugs can quietly eat the wood of your home, and you will not even think that this is happening.
They usually spend their time under your house and inside the walls, making it challenging to find activity traces. As long as you look for evidence of termite damage inside the house, the chances are very high.
02- Termites Damage The Structural Wood Of Your Home
The structural wood of your house is one of the elements that keeps your home in good condition. Damage to this type of cellulose wood can lead to many foundation problems, cracked walls, poorly closed doors and windows, and more.
Damage to the structural appearence of your home can increase the cost of repair. This possibility of costly damage makes termites a real threat to your home.
03- Termites Are Difficult To Eradicate
Termites are dangerous to your home because they are totally difficult to eradicate. Getting rid of termite infections is not as easy as dealing with many other pests. Find a termite professional who offers a warranty on their work so you can trust and get the highest level of help.
This process requires a level of skill and equipment that you will only find through a professional.
What Are The Health Risks Caused By Termites?
Termites can bite humans, but it is rare. Unlike many spiders, they are not poisonous, and unlike mosquitoes, flies and cockroaches, they do not transmit diseases. But termites bite, and they can cause other health problems. In general, termites are not very dangerous to humans, and there are no such termite health risks.
Termite Health Risks
Termites prefer solitude and do not bite a human unless they get handled, or you accidentally get too close to the colony. Soldiers protect the termite colony from ants, insects and other invaders, including humans. They avoid any threat, whether it invades termites’ territories or other creatures like ants. Only soldier termites have jaws to bite humans, and biting is not poisonous. However, these bites indicate termites health risks, and they can be harmful if they cause an allergic reaction.
Although termite bites are not common, there is one type of termite that you should avoid, and that is the Formosan termite. Formosan soldiers have powerful mandibles to defend the colony, and cutting them could be painful. Our advice? If you encounter a termite colony, do not disturb the termite nest. Just call a termite killer, and avoid danger.
What Are The Effects Of Termites On Humans?
Unlike most other pests you can encounter around your home, termites indirectly approach and harm humans. The effects of termites on humans are specific because termites shed wood and produce dust and drops; they can cause allergic reactions in some people. If you notice that your skin is itchy, your eyes are watery, you have an asthma attack, or you are constant sneezing, termites may be responsible. Although allergic reactions are rare, this may be the first sign that you have a termite attack.
In the spring and other times of the year, the termite infestation season can fill the air with termite allergies, which can increase asthma and allergy symptoms. Termite waste, or parasites, also contains allergens, and it is thought that termite sludge tubes may also contain pathogens that are harmful to humans. Although not directly attributed to termites, mouldy eggs hatched in damp and melting wood in house structures are also termite-related health concerns.
Termites’ Health Risks On Humans:
Mould is often a by-product of termite infections because termites prefer wet wood, and it is their preferred food. Mould produces eggs that can get into the air inside your home, causing respiratory problems. Once the mould starts to grow, termites can easily spread it from one area to another as they make tunnels and eat up your home.
In addition, when breathing the mould goes into the lungs, it can trigger other types of reactions, such as:
- Runny Eyes
- Itchy Eyes
- Runny Nose
- Sore Throat
How Do I Get Rid Of Termites From My House?
The traditional method of controlling termites underground was to apply a liquid pesticide under and around the building, called a termite killer. The purpose was to provide a lasting chemical barrier to the soil to prevent termites from entering and affecting the structure. Those who tried to penetrate the treated soil were either killed or repulsed, while those already present eventually died.
In the modern world, instead of applying chemicals to the soil that will only last a few years and potentially pollute the environment, TERMITE BAITS are placed directly in the ground around the outside of a structure. Termite baits allow termite control when the soil structure is incurable with termite pesticides.
How Do Termite Bait Stations Work?
The only way to eliminate a whole termites colony is to kill the worker’s termites. When worker termites get destroyed, the colony loses food and goes into a suppression phase or “STARVATION”. Reproductive women and queens die of starvation because they cannot feed themselves. When queens and reproductive animals cannot eat because there is no worker to feed them, they die, and the termite colony dies of starvation and practically disappears.
To effectively term a termite, a pre-betting strategy must get implemented:
Step 1 – Pre-betting
Termites eat wood and cellulose and nothing else. To establish a feeding relationship with the termite colony, the scout termite must find a source of food and the worker termite must feed on it. In the early stages of the pre-biting process, termite scouts will find and feed the bet stations and “tag” them with “pheromones”, which is a fragrance pathway for worker termites. After that, the workers will follow the pheromone trail set by termite scout termites and start feeding. This process establishes a feeding cycle with the termite colony.
Termite baiting stations are specifically designed to encourage termite feeding and establish a relationship with termite colonies. The termite baiting stations are the “windows” of the termite colony. A solid feeding connection must get established in an area where termites can continuously feed without disturbing them. That is why pest control authorities made termites baits. Termite bait stations have only wood, known as detection wood or “interception” wood. It only works to set up a feeding cycle with scouts and worker termites so that the poison can get used later.
Step 2 – Use Of Toxic (growth Hormone)
Worker termites have started feeding, and once a solid connection gets established with the colony through worker termites, a growth hormone is placed inside the feeding station.
Termites constantly feed on this hormone until they stop eating. The time of feeding cycle and the amount of hormone used depends on the termite population and colony size.
Step 3 – Termites Colony Control
When termites baits kill enough workers, then two things happen. First, the external supply of food to the colony is eliminated and second, the colony eliminates its internal food source. As a result, the queen, the king, the soldiers, and the colony’s progeny are slowly starving. The worker termite feeds the soldiers and the queen directly.
Without worker termites, the colony cannot feed itself and will soon lose its food supply. When all sources of food get depleted, the colony begins to decline. It is the purpose of termite baits.
Are Termite Bait Stations Effective?
When properly executed, a termite baiting station around a house is more effective and safer than other termite extermination methods. A baiting program should get done to maintain a termite-free condition on the customer’s property through ongoing inspection, monitoring, and re-baiting as needed.
Unlike most traditional pesticides, the effects of termite baits are not immediate. By design, the pesticides used in the baiting system are slow-moving insect growth regulators (IGRs). This fodder allows termites to spread to other members of the colony who do not go out and do not collect their food. There is no way to predict how quickly termites will find and feed on a bait station. An essential part of effective termite control is the complete installation of termite stations around the structure
The time of year when the bait gets planted will also affect how quickly the termite activity will eliminate. Baiting is usually less effective in late autumn and winter. Most underground termites will go to underground stations at sub-freezing temperatures, but their food activity and bait effects get reduced.
The baiting program should continue throughout the year until the signs of infection and termite damage disappear. A successful termite baiting program is properly monitoring and maintaining stations for effective termite control.
Pros And Cons Of Termites Baiting Stations:
Below we have provided some pros and cons of termite baiting stations which may help you to decide whether this baiting method is for you or not:
- The growth inhibitors hormones in the bait are usually minimal, so they have approximately no effect on the environment. These baits are also not harmful to other insects.
- The baiting stations are usually kept underground and away from the house. Therefore, there is little opportunity for children or animals to play with them.
- A termite bait station is probably the most environmentally friendly way to control today’s termites. The active ingredients are usually used only when there is an activity in a station, and then it is given as directly to the target insects (termites) as possible. Other methods, such as liquid treatment, often require hundreds of gallons of termite repellent around the structure.
- Termite batting is an effective way to treat structures that cannot get treated with liquid termite repellent, such as underwater well structures.
- When properly cared for, termite bait systems are a long-term way to protect termites. Proper care and supervision will allow the home to get protected for many years without a retreat.
- The stations should get searched before the termite’s baits control the termites. Despite the term “termite bait stations”, termites are not “pulled” towards the station by any attraction. The stations have been strategically placed around the structure to feed the termite colonies.
- The most significant disadvantage of termite bites is that they are allowed to get used for pre-term treatment. A termite pre-treatment is a treatment performed on a home immediately after it is built to protect it from termites. Many people decide not to keep up their termite contracts after the first year of living in their new home. So, if the house was pre-treated with Termite Bait stations, it will have no protection whatsoever after that first year. If the same home were pre-treated with a termiticide, the protection would continue for 5 to 10 years if the treatment got performed correctly.
- Another problem the homeowner may have with the termite bet stations is the cost of the contract. Bait stations need to get monitored 3 to 4 times a year, so termite contracts for Bait station houses are usually 3 to 4 times more expensive than traditional termite contracts.
How Fast Do Termite Bait Stations Work?
The termite baiting stations are designed to work slowly – this ensures that termites do not combine any ill effects with eating the bait and ensure complete eradication of termites throughout the nest. However, since not all termites die simultaneously, it may take at least 8-12 weeks for the whole termites colony to disappear. The time it takes depends on the size of the territory and the time of year (colony controls faster during warmer months).
Homeowners sometimes worry that termites continue to damage the building while waiting for all baits to work. However, since termites are more likely to be present for a short time, any additional damage in the time it takes to eradicate termites is unlikely to be significant. Although it may take a few months for the colony to get wholly eradicated, the bait starts to impact the termite feeding within a couple of weeks to slow and stop the termite damage on your property.
How Often Should Termite Bait Stations Be Changed?
With basic bait stations you use, the manufacturer recommends that you monitor them every 3 months, but allows you to check them every 6 months, depending on how these bait stations are set up?
You should thoroughly clean the termite bait stations and replace the wooden base at least once every ten months or once a year. If the wooden bases become very wet and loose, you should replace them. Depending on where you live and the amount of climate and rainfall, you may need to replace the wooden base more frequently.
How Far From The House Should Termite Bait Stations Be Placed?
For best results, termite bait stations should be placed 10 feet around the house. The guidelines state that they can get placed at a distance of 20 feet, but most people keep them at a distance of 10 feet, which is the recommended distance in the pest control industry.
Whereas, Advanced termite beat stations should get placed at a distance of 2-4 feet from the foundation and 10-15 feet apart from each other.
In our opinion, Termite Bait Stations are an excellent alternative treatment for homeowners who do not want to use liquid treatments to protect their homes from termites and lessen the chances of dangers of termites. Like all other pest control products there are also some pros and cons of termite bait stations. But when properly monitored and cared for, they effectively control termites and minimize termite health risks and dangers. However, if not properly monitored, they are entirely useless and can give homeowners a false sense of security. If you have a termite contract that uses bait stations, you still need to inspect the house yearly. The company supervising the stations should be aware of this, but if you suspect that they have not looked at your crawl site for more than a year, you should remind them of this need.