Having problems with infestation around your home? Don’t want to spend too much cash on professional treatment, that can indeed be expensive.
Well, as there are multiple ways when it comes to defending your home from termites, some of them are DIY (do-it-yourself).
Though some are less feasible for doing yourself, and some can be a really good alternative to professional treatment.
Most likely, if you are going to get rid of termite colonies yourself, you will use baits. And baits – are awesome… Mostly.
Why use baits?
Well, you see, their effectiveness depends fully on how you use them, what circumstances you and your property is at and how many insects are you dealing with.
Here, in this article, we are going to cover stake-type termite bait stations.
They are the easiest DIY method out there, and that’s why they are popular.
It just seems like nobody wants other people doing your work for you, doesn’t it?
Mostly, as it is one of the most popular methods, we are going to talk about “Terminate” system. And you can read review of the best termite bait systems.
If you are not looking for full pest-control over you house, which is expensive, you may just consult them to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. Also, you’ve got to understand everything about the baits before you install them. Some may actually be very complicated and some, on the other hand, are very easy to install.
Here you can learn more information about another effective termite control remedies: Bora-Care, Boric acid, Borate, Fipronil, Chlorpyrifos, Chlordane, Borax, Timbor, Termidor, Terminator, Phantom, Lorsban and Biflex.
Pros and cons
Let’s assume you are going to use the simplest possible baits there are, excluding home-made baits, of course. So why are you doing this, and why you might consider not using those baits? Let’s see…
- Stake-type baits are cheap, relative to other home defense systems. While you can purchase the first ones at around 100$ more/less, more professional methods can cost you from 250$, depending on the size of your territory, and amount of termites.
And we are not even talking about even more professional solutions, that may totally exterminate all the parasites from your lawn/house and take around 1000$ from your wallet.
- It’s fast and easy yo use. In fact, it is so popular just because of this. Stakes are just essentially plastic piles of a really small size (a couple of inches in height) put into the ground.
There’s no real need to dig up large pits to put large stations inside. You rarely have to inspect them (bimonthly, as opposed to larger baits that need to be observed every 2 to 3 weeks!).
- Mostly not as effective as other methods. Mostly, with such ease of use the effectiveness “evaporates” a lot. As an alternative to long-term stations, the stakes are very small, as it was already pointed out.
And their small size is equal to less bait, less termites scavenging for food there and less termites coming to eat in the end of things.
- Can’t stop on-going infestations/kill large amounts of termites. It is not specified, but one stake (measuring by it’s size) may probably lead only about 2000-5000 termites to getting killed.
This is not a lot, considering the fact, that other, much larger stations may kill at least 80.000 termites, not counting all the possible spread of toxic material through other colony members.
Various stakes baits
There’s not a huge variety of stake baits types. In fact, there are only two visible subtypes. Them being the do-it-yourself and professional stakes. You shouldn’t confuse the two, as they are particularly different and are used in different circumstances.
DIY stakes, the ones we are mostly speaking of in this article, are used by home owners themselves for their own homes. No professional overwatch is required either. It’s just like a some kind of garden hardware – you install it all by yourself.
By letting the professionals observe your situation, you are going to get suggestions on what is best for you to do. They will help with the process and make it easier for you.
Professional stakes. As the name states, they are used by professionals when they require preliminary notification of the infestation taking place. They are installed in the lawns and checked very regularly.
If the bait is being eaten, pest-control immediately uses their more advanced equipment to deal with the rising population of termites. You need to have a very advanced knowledge level to use those, as there are many factors to keep in mind at the same time when installing.
And they need responsibility from the user. Thus, they are not very popular (if popular at all) along the DIY home-owners.
Principle of work
So how do they work, you might ask. Well, as with pretty much every other bait, stakes consist of an outer shell (made from plastic, in our case) and a small piece of timber, saturated with insecticide, which is almost always sulfluramid.
What it does is essentially getting spread along the whole colony of termites as it is a very slow-acting pesticide.
It takes from 3 days to whole weeks to kill an insect. As always, everything depends on the type and subtype of termite.
Nonetheless, the lethal action of this toxic substance is simple: when it’s consumed, it disrupts termite’s ability to recreate outer layers, including chitin layer.
Thus, when trying to replace one, they fail and die. And as there’s lot’s (considering termite’s measures) of timber inside each stake, the process repeats for a long time, until A: the said timber requires replacement, or B: the colony is completely razed. Thankfully for us, those group-insects always leave odors to let others track the food resource.
This will only lead to them finding new place to reside. Moreover, it definitely won’t decrease the population that noticeably.
When you talk about baits as a whole, you can surely say that they are effective, depending on many circumstances (amount of individual termites, time of year, temperature etc.). But you will mostly be talking about more professional decisions.
That is, large amount of semi-large baiting stations placed all around the perimeter. But you won’t probably be talking about stakes. Why? Simple. The stakes, as one of their trade-offs for being so easy to install, small and cheap, are not too effective. Especially if you use them and only them alone for your defense.
That doesn’t necessarily mean they are bad! They are quite a viable option if you are going on a budget, or perhaps don’t need much defense.
Maybe there’s little to none termites around your area, but you want to be completely bulletproof. But you have to understand, that such systems will probably get rid of the termites in at the very least half a year.
In the manual, it is even stated to inspect the stations every 3 months for next 9! In terms of termites that the stakes can be used against everything is simple.
As with most baits, you are most likely going to meet subterranean termites, and impossibly unlikely, wooden termites.
Though it’s gotta be said, that termites’ way of navigation is yet to be fully discovered. It is unknown if it is random or not. But you can say for sure – the likelihood of parasites finding such a small stake in the upper layers of the ground is very low.
Hence, if you have even a slightest feeling that you need something bigger, bring out systems like “Exterra”, “Firstline” and many more. Those help in most circumstances for a bigger price and more responsibility required.
If you interested in more information of termites we recommend you to read the following articles:
- All types of termites. Are they harmful to humans? Can they bite you? And what is the difference between drywood and subterranean ones?
- What does swarmers of different species look like: drywood, subterranean, formosan?
- Signs of infestation outside and in the house: in walls or furniture.
- What does termite holes look like? What is droppings and is it toxic to humans? Do termites make noises?
- Posible termite damage, how does it look like? Examples of damage in walls and wood floors.
- All about flying termites: how do they look like, swarming season and what to do if there are swarmers in your house?
- How do they do nests and mounds? How to find it in your garden or inside the house?
- Termite life cycle – from egg to larvae. And social hierarchy: workers, soldiers, queen.
- Did you know that termites can infest living trees, for example a palm or a pine tree. They also like to live in stumps.
- You can prevent the infestation by using barriers, such as: HomeGuard, Physical systems, Safeguard, Stainless steel mesh, Kordon.
This is an informational video for any consumer interested in the procedure for inspecting individual termite bait stations:
So, concluding everything above we can definitely say that stakes are not as good of an option, as more professional baits. There are many reasons to it. Though they might be just the needed zest in your home defense. Let’s say you are using repellents and want to distract a part of parasites to all the baits.
Or you are using toxic treatment of the ground, otherwise known as an underground wall, and need to not only repell the termites, but to also kill them afterwards. But as such, even if the stakes are easy to use, they can’t be used alone. Mostly.
So are they a good way of dealing with termites? No, they aren’t. Would you rather spend 100$ and wait for 9 months, checking a load of stakes every 3, putting them out of the ground each time.
Or perhaps spend 250$ for long-term monitoring/baiting stations and inspect those every 2 weeks, just opening them while they are in ground.
Or maybe you want something more professional, and have the money to spend on getting rid of all the closest termites in the matter of days just for 800 to 1000 United States Dollars?
One good DIY termite baits system out there is “Firstline”. There’s also “Exterra”, which is a much more industrial decision. They both are not toxic (especially the second one, as the only thing that is emitted during the use is CO2, a known attractant for termites). Nonetheless, wish you good luck and thank You for reading!