That is why their destructive activity can remain invisible for a long time. The house can be completely destroyed and uninhabitable after 3-5 years after infestation of termites. People spend more than 5 billion dollars a year fighting with them.
The most suffering continents are Africa and Asia where there are huge species of termites.
The struggle between people and termites lasted for many centuries, and only in the beginning of this century people have begun to develop ways to control the population of termites.
Nowadays there are various ways of detection and elimination of termites and protection from re-infestation. In this article we will take a closer look at the modern methods of termite population control.
What is termite population control?
But if their colonies are found in areas where people live, their way of life is damaging. It is because of cellulose – their main diet – which is found in all wooden buildings, and they destroy people’s houses without realizing it.
They also destroy crops and plantations. Therefore, people have no choice but to destroy colonies of termites. Because of these reasons different methods and measures are produced for termite control and new tools and poisons are developed for elimination of termites.
Types of termite population control
Pre-construction. Forward-thinking homeowners who care about the house when it is only being build use the method of pre-construction. The method includes processing wood materials and processing the territory where a house is being built.
Before purchasing wood materials are treated with special tools which reduce the content of substances that attract termites and thereby reduce the risk of infection. The only disadvantage of this method is that it costs big money.
The most popular methods are:
- heat treatment;
Preventive methods. If the house is already built, and you have decided that you need protection from the invasion of termites, you are recommended preventive methods to control the population of termites. These methods are used to prevent the invasion of termites and detection of infestation in early stages.
Treatment. If you detect that the termites have been already living in the walls of your house, then you should immediately find methods for elimination of these insects.
You can use the natural remedies, if the amount of termites is not large and you are confident in your skills and knowledge. But if a termite colony is huge, then you need to use chemicals that effectively kill termites.
The tools used in termite population control
During pre-construction of wood products the following methods are used:
Antiseptization. It is the easiest, the cheapest and the weakest method of protection. Usually the compound is simply inflicted to the surface of the wood in the place of storage or before use.
Every antiseptic has a validity period, usually 1-5 years. After 5 years any antiseptic is neutralized and design and it requires re-treatment.
Heat treatment. This method involves heating in a heat chamber. Materials are heated to 140°C, but the lack of oxygen prevents the wood to ignite. The wood is neutralized and nutrients for insects disintegrate, and they are not interested in this tree anymore.
This method gives a number of advantages, and the evaporation of excess moisture condenses material and it becomes harder and the surface is slightly charred — to 1 MK (0.1 mm). The cost of the method is 40 to 50% of the price of wood.
Autoclave. It is the most effective way of disinfection and antiseptization. It is used in the processing of the most valuable materials — laminated veneer lumber and laminated beams.
Preventive methods include the following methods:
- when the house is already built, you can make a protective area around it that will serve as a reliable barrier to prevent invasion of insects inside the home. You should dig a ditch depth and a width of which will be more than a meter.
A ditch should be filled with sand treated with the insecticide. The fact is that termites dig tunnels in a moist soil, but they never pave a path through the sand. Also, a house needs to have a high foundation which should have a contact with the ground;
- wood surface which is in contact with soil should be treated with insecticidal coating;
- termites do not like some types of wood (cedar and mahogany), so constructions made from such types will be ignored;
- around the house you can dig small holes and put traps with insecticides into them. In case of termites’ occupation in your house, they will soon die as the termites will bring the poison and spread them throughout the colony;
- at least once a year you need to check the wooden walls and buildings for voids, using a hammer and wooden block, also you need to check wooden furniture for the presence of sawdust under it.
If you detect the invasion of termites use the following remedies:
Chemicals: “Imidacloprid”, “Chlorfenapyr”, “Termisolve BPRO” and other products: Bora-Care, Boric acid, Borate, Fipronil, Chlorpyrifos, Chlordane, Borax, Timbor, Termidor, Terminator, Phantom, Lorsban and Biflex.
Which of these termite population control methods are the most effective?
The effectiveness of termite population control methods primarily depends on several factors. They include:
- the degree of home infestation by termites;
- the size of the house;
- the area of your residence.
If we analyze pre-construction methods, they can be the most effective as these methods can protect your house from the invasion of termites for 10 years. During this time, all the insecticides used in the pre-construction of wooden materials are fading and the vulnerability of the house is increasing and becomes weaker to the invasion of termites.
Preventive methods are also effective in some cases, as using them you can prevent your house from the infestation of termites for many years and perhaps you will not face with them in your house. If you use preventive methods correctly and monitor traps for the presence of termites and wood products around and inside the house from time to time, you will not be disturbed.
If your house is infected or has been infected with termites, then it is difficult to speak about efficiency of remedies. It depends on the size of the colony, treatment, the size of your house etc. Different tools show different efficiency.
For example, natural remedies like the cardboard trap, orange oil or tapping cannot eliminate the whole colony, these remedies should be combined with other chemicals. Fumigation can exterminate a termite colony in a few hours, but cannot kill the eggs of termites.
Insecticides and other poisons are the most effective as they can kill a termite colony in a few minutes. But their efficiency is short-lived and requires re-treatment after 3-5 years.
Generally speaking, choosing one or another method of termite population control, you should pay attention to many factors.
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.
We have reviewed several methods of termite population control and identified some tools which can help in the struggle against these insects. But it is better to think about the safety of your house before its construction, as termites can appear at any moment, and you probably will not notice their destructive activities.
It is important to monitor and check your house and wooden buildings for signs of infestation and immediate their activity in case of detection. And then you can avoid from unwanted financial expenses on a new house construction and you do not have to worry about your house which is probably your huge investment.