How Does Spot Treatment for Termites Works? Review of a Method

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There are many types of termites in our world. So many, in fact, that it is nearly impossible to count all of their types.

But what we know for definite is that they all tend to live in a nest, very close to each other and work together for the nests future.

They are divided into some groups, including subterranean termites and wooden termites. And, many parasites from both of the groups like to ruin humans’ daily lives with another problem to deal with.

Thankfully, we’ve advanced far in pesticide technologies and methods – from repellents to baits, we know throughout how to deal with those parasites.


We know their weaknesses. And what is one of their most important weaknesses? Yes. Their tendency to live in community nests. It is also their advantage though. So, specialists have came up with a way of pin-pointing those nets and destroying them as a whole.

This is also called “termite spot treatment”. And it is one method of termite-treatment we are going to talk about here. So, how to spot treat termites and can you spot treat termites by yourself?

Warning: even though this article is quite a detailed description on termite treatment, you should nonetheless ask pest-control for detailed analysis of your household and/or help on defeating the termites. It is always best to trust the specialists to do their job.

Learn more about drywood termites: signs of their activity; best methods of treatment: spot treatment and DIY methods; how to get rid of them in furniture?

Pros and cons

Photo 2Spot treatment for termites is a hard way to approach the situation. Most possibly, you will not want to try and do everything by yourself.

Hence, this isn’t a do-it-yourself method. As a trade off, you get one of the most effective methods of pest-control.

For quite a high price, of course. Spot treatment is the most popular pest-control method, in fact pretty much every pest-control service provides it to you.

But if you had ever consulted professionals you will know how much all their services cost. Why is that? Well, when doing spot treatment, as you can guess from the name, you have to precisely identify where and how many termites there are.

If done so, you are free to use a variety of spot-treating manners. Which can be very hard to manage and very demanding for resources. And also the price is defined by the sheer cost of equipment used.

So, let’s round all the pros and cons of the method.


  1. Efficiency.
  2. Speed.
  3. Gets rid of the problem once and for all (unless you live in a really infested area).


  1. Can’t be done yourself, unless you have the material resources and/or knowledge on how to do this. Training wouldn’t hurt.
  2. Expensive.
  3. Sometimes toxic and requires you to vacate the household for a while.

Here you can learn more information about effective termite control remedies: Bora-Care, Boric acid, Borate, Fipronil, Chlorpyrifos, Chlordane, Borax, Timbor, Termidor, Terminator, Phantom, Lorsban, Biflex, Terro. You can choose different forms, such as – foam, liquid, powder.


Photo 3So what do you (or professionals) use to carry out a spot treatment? The answer depends on the type of spot treatment.

There are many ways, though below you will see two of the most popular ones:

Chemical spot treatment.

To perform the method, you (or the pest-control) should get insecticides in a form of dust or repellent and/or liquid nitrogen, drill a hole in the wall with a suspected hive inside of it (though sometimes some methods work for subterraneans) and fill it in with the chosen insecticide/liquid nitrogen.

And when this is done, the termites will probably be dead (unless you’ve done something wrong). The toxicity of the method depends on insecticides used and the amount of nests targeted.

Hence, more then one giant nest inside a wall requires multiple holes with a strong-acting substance. This will probably also require you to vacate your home.

Microwave treatment. As the name says, your termite nests are treated with a use of a microwave emitting device. It focuses the waves right at where the presumable nest is, heating up liquids inside of termites bodies and killing them in such way.

It isn’t toxic whatsoever, as it uses the same amount and type of waves, as your kitchen microwave uses, the only difference being that waves in the emitter are focused at a certain point. Can sometimes be done yourself, if you understand the principles of the machine.

Careful: both of the methods require your patience and observation. Without identifying where most of the termites are, those methods are useless.

Here you can learn more information about termite bait systems: Advance, Green, CSIRO, Nemesis, Exterra, Firstline, Terminate. Also find out how to make baits by yourself and how to refill them?

How does this work?

Let’s say you (or the pest-control) have chosen the chemical spot-treatment method. How should it be applied? First of all, and most importantly, identify the exact nest location.

You should drill as close as possible, if not right into the nest, so that you could see the termites crawling inside! If you’ve done everything correctly, then go over the following “checklist”:

  1. The nest was identified.
  2. Nest’s size is known.
  3. The amount of termites was measured.
  4. The insecticide was chosen depending on the variables above.

Photo 4What’s next? It’s time to drill the hole(s). Drill carefully and right at the pin-pointed location.

When done, the final and the fun step is here. Get your insecticide and liquid nitrogen if you have it and pour it into the hole.

If you succeed, the nest should be totally wiped out. Otherwise, you will notice another nest appearing at a random location, as the first one was disturbed and abandoned.

This would happen if you didn’t identify the location correctly.

As for microwave treatment, everything is simpler. Not only it’s not toxic, but it’s fast and easy. Though the equipment is much more expensive. So, you identify, place the microwave emitter focused relatively at the nest and wait. The termites should “explode” at some point.

Though, we recommend you not to use microwave treatment unless really required. There are better and cheaper methods for some circumstances.

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?


How effective are all the methods above? When it comes to chemical spot treatment, it is very effective… If done correctly. As always. It works even better then if you’ve just used termite repellents on a random location.

Though don’t get too happy with this: if you are not a trained professional, or not an experienced homeowner you probably won’t master methods stated above. It is very hard to identify something that you can’t see in plain sight and can’t hear, and barely can analyse, even for professionals. It takes quite some skill.

So we advice you to not do anything on your own. If you still want to, please, research into the subject as much as possible, and/or pass a specialized training to get a license.

What about the microwave treatment? It’s effectiveness is fully dependent on how powerful the equipment is, and how well you use it. Though lately not many people prefer this method, as, again, there are many better ones.

Be sure to understand, that both methods are supposed to work for wood termites, and not for subterranean. Of course there are some possibilities of using the chemical spot treatment underground, but it might not be as effective. Also, for both methods the acting time is very fast, as you are actively applying them, which can’t be said for other ways.

A bright example are baits, which are placed all around and then you just wait. In our case, we drill a hole, pour (or emit microwaves) and everything is done immediately. No need to wait and check the baiting systems every couple of weeks.

Useful articles

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


Photo 5To summarize, we must note that when using anti-termite methods on such a large scale, be sure to study and find out everything about all the possible variants before doing anything.

Maybe you will find something that fits you more, than something else.

For example, the spot treatment fits people who can easily identify the nest’s location and know that there’s a limited number of them, as well as the fact that all the termites are concentrated in one place.

And it also fits people who are infested with wood termites.

While methods like baiting fit for people who don’t know and can’t know where the termites are underground, and want to just make a barrier, obstructing the termites from infesting the underside of your home. In this case, it fits people with subterranean termite problems.

As such always break your problem down into small pieces and search for something that fits them. And thank you for reading!

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