The Best Ways of Formosan Termites Treatment

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There are many natural disasters which seem to threaten homes in US: tornadoes, floods, summer fires. But really these are not what you should be afraid of.

The biggest danger for houses comes from the small cause – the formosan subterranean termite.

Brought to North America in 20th century this termite beats the native species in every sense. The biggest difference between them and the other termites is the size of the colony.

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It can account for several millions of individuals in fully developed nest in comparison to several thousands in the Native colony. And the more mouths there are – the more food they need.

Once infested, the construction can be seriously damaged in 3-month time by these ever hungry insects.

So, if you are living in potentially dangerous area (for example in south-east states) you better have a plan for prevention of the infestation or start fighting for your house today if it already happened.

Your house is infested

Even if you have a contract with local pest control professionals and annually have you house checked, there is no guarantee that you will never have the formosan termites’ problem.

What are your options, once you discovered that your house is already infested and confirmed that the pest is a formosan subterranean termite? There are two types of methods of formosan termite treatment:

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  • natural;
  • chemical.

Natural methods are:

  • beneficial nematodes;
  • cardboard trap;
  • boric acid.

Chemical methods are:

  • fumigation;
  • soil treatment;
  • baiting.

The parasitic nematodes are essentially small worms which feed on living organisms from microscopic ones to well the termites. You can buy the larvae at the online stores and spread them around your house with the help of water, which will flush them to the tubes of termite nest.

Once inside – the nematodes start killing every termite in the colony and, hopefully, the queen itself. So this is a clever DIY way to get rid of the persistent infestation.

Cardboard trap is basically a board made of cellulose which is the main dish in any termite diet. They are attractive to the termites because of the strong smell of wood, which gets even stronger if you spray a bit of water on it.

When placed in a good spot, the cardboard gets full of termites wanting to take a bite of it and then can be burned outside together with the invaders.

This is one of the most natural and non-toxic ways to get rid of the termites. But the use of it will be only killing the parasites which are out there, foraging and will not destroy the colony.

Boric acid for pest treatment comes in form of the Borax powder. Actually, it’s one of the compounds in most of the insecticides you can find in shops.

The advantage of this method, as any other of the natural ones, is that the boric acid is non-toxic to humans or pets. You can apply it to the wood surfaces in the new constructions by spraying the borate solution or painting it onto the infested area.

Photo 3The drawback of this treatment is that it’s not that efficient if you already have termite problem, but it’s quite prominent as a prevention method.

Fumigation is a method which involves covering the whole construction in a tent like cover and then releasing gas inside.

It’s a good method to eliminate the drywood termites, but in case of Formosan termites it will kill only above the ground pests.

So it might work in case of the aerial colony, but otherwise once the fumigation stops, the subterranean termites might re-enter.

Here you can learn more information about effective treatment method called tenting (fumigation): dangers for termites, preparing for fumigation and cleaning after, how long does this procedure last?

Soil treatment often goes together with the walls foam treatment. Liquid chemicals are distributed to the soil around and under the structure and are introduced to termites, which shares the material with other members of the colony, killing the insects one by one.

The foam is injected into the walls voids and has the similar effect. Both methods used together are very efficient.

Baiting uses the same principal as the cardboard trap, but the cellulose containing material is soaked with slow-acting lethal chemical substance.

This baits are placed underground in cylindrical plastic stations or indoors next to the termite mud tubes. The worker termites consume the chemicals and then share it with the other colony members, eventually eradication the colony itself.

Attention! We recommend to conduct chemical termite treatment only with help of qualified pest control operators!

It’s hard to tell what’s is the best way to control formosan termites’ infestation, but the best chances are if you’re using Baiting and Soil treatment methods together and relay on the reputable pest control company services.

Prevention methods

Nothing will help you to get rid of the formosan termites threat like the prevention of the infestation altogether.

There are plenty of methods to insure you’ve done everything you can to protect your house!

The subterranean termites need good amount of moisture to thrive and entry points (the wood directly in contact with the soil), so you need to make your household an unwelcoming place:

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  1. take care of any water leaks which your house may have;
  2. get rid of any wet wood in the area surrounding your home and clear it from any shrubs in the one-meter zone around the house so the ground is exposed to the sun, drying the soil;
  3. replace the wood chips, if you use any on your path or lawn, with lava rocks or gravel;
  4. use the boric acid or other special fluids to treat any unpainted wood in the outside of the house;
  5. crawl spaces should be having proper ventilation to avoid accumulation of moisture;
  6. remove or raise off the ground any wood that contacts with soil: fences, weatherboard, woodpiles, stumps;
  7. call your pest control specialist to place chemical barriers around your property and be careful not to disturb them;
  8. make sure the annual check is included in your contract with pest control operator.

You have even better opportunities to apply the termite infestation preventing methods when you just starting the construction works or renovating the existing structure:

  1. make sure your construction can be properly treated when necessary, by insuring that the slab house has at least 10cm of exposed slab and raised house is at least half meter high;
  2. pretreat the soil before starting the construction work, placing the barrier before the slabs or piers;
  3. put special termite inspection access panels in the walls and floors in strategical points in the house. Best where the moisture may come in contact with wood, such as next to the shower or sink;
  4. make sure the plumbing is made properly and there’s no water flow in close proximity to your building;
  5. make sure the extra wood left after construction is hauled away and not buried on your land.

Photo 5As much as you might like the DIY methods, we strongly recommend that the pest control for your property is executed by professional extermination company.

The licensed operators know everything about the infestations.

They can adequately estimate the scale of infestation and use the methods necessary.

Unlike you, they will hardly miss any important spots for treatment or termite entry points to eliminate.

When choosing your company, make sure you checked with Structural Pest Control Board for the credentials of the service you are interested in. And don’t forget to make a proper contract for certain period of time, so you have your house inspected regularly without extra payment.

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What does a formosan termites look like, see pictures below:

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Learn more about subterranean termites: signs of their activity; best methods of treatment and DIY methods. Eastern subterranean termites and their tunnels and tubes with photo.

Useful articles

If you interested in more information of termites we recommend you to read the following articles:

Helpful video

See how Formosan Subterranean Termites damage a home VERY quickly:

Conclusion

The formosan termites are the most economically destructive species of termites in US, so if not prevented or treated in time the infestation may turn out to be very costly.

In case you are not interested in dealing with property value loss or damage, handle it as soon as the problem is recognized and enjoy your pest-free house for long years to come.

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