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Traditional or Conventional Chemical Termite Treatments for Termite Control


Termite Overview

Subterranean Termite

Non-subterranean termites and other Wood Destroying insects

Traditional termite treatments-chemical

Termite baiting systems

Home Inspections-Pictures

How to Choose a Professional Termite Company

Can I do my own termite work?

How to do your own termite baiting.

On line products


Entomology Links about Termites



Termite Chemicals - termiticides - an overview

Controlling Termites - liquid barrier termite treatments

Construction Considerations

The technology of non repellents such as Dominion 2L (the generic form of Premise-Imidacloprid 21.4%-more economical) is an advancement over other termite insecticides that are only repellent barriers such as Talstar P, Cyper TC or Permethrin 36 %.

With "repellant" termiticides, any of the smallest gap in the treated soil can be detected and exploited by the termites to gain entry in the building. They will find ways around it. This is a major short-coming of the more traditional chemicals used for termite control.

The exception of this would be the use of non repellents such as Premise or Dominion 2L(a generic form of Premise, and Phantom. Because Premise and Dominion 2L are made up of a non repellents , they are undetectable by termites. The termites can't see, smell, taste or avoid Dominion 2L or Premise .


An overview of Termite Chemicals

For many years, the traditional method of controlling subterranean termites was to apply a liquid pesticide, known as a termiticide, to the soil. It has worked by applying a chemical barrier around and beneath the structure in order to block all possible routes of termite entry. Any termites attempting to penetrate through the treated soil were either killed or repelled.

However, there are many obstacles to forming such a barrier. Many possible termite entry points are hidden behind walls, floor coverings, and other obstructions.

Even where access for termite treatment is possible, it is difficult to uniformly wet soil and achieve thorough coverage. A typical "barrier" treatment may involve hundreds of gallons of solution injected into the ground alongside the foundation, beneath concrete slabs, and within foundation walls. Considering that termites can tunnel through small untreated gaps as narrow as pencil lead in the soil, it is understandable why the traditional/ barrier liquid termite treatments have failed to correct termite problems at times.

Drenching / Drilling Methods for Termite Control

Pictures from: Univ. of NC Extension Service

Most termiticides are not as stable in most soils as termiticides which were manufactured prior to 1989. Chloronated hydrocarbon insecticides (termiticides) like chlordane, aldrin, lindane, etc. were known to have tremendous stability in soils and lasted a lot longer than the present termiticides.

The same qualities which made them good termiticides also made them environmentally unsafe. Chlordane got the bad reputation from wide misuse and was taken off the market in the USA.

There are several different insecticides used by pest control operators for soil treatment for termites currently. All are safe and effective when used according to label directions. The insecticides remain effective in the soil for approximately 5 to 10 years. Each product has slight advantages and disadvantages.

Effective termite treatments require a great volume of termiticide. For example, a single-story house that is 1200 sq. ft. (40' x 30') can require 112 gallons of diluted termiticide just to treat the soil along the foundation walls (inside and out). The total gallons needed may exceed 150 gallons depending upon the construction of the house.

    Termites "Bite" into Pocketbook by Barb Ogg, PhD, Extension Educator, Lancaster County Extension Office and Dennis Ferraro, Extension Educator, Douglas County Extension Office, talks about the amount of termiticide needed to do the job correctly.

The physical and chemical nature of your soil surrounding your home can impact the effectiveness of the chemicals stability with respect to time. Soil clay content, pH, Organic matter content, particularly organic carbon content will greatly influence the rate of break down of the termiticide in soil.

You can consult your local land grant-extension entomologist to evaluate your soil. Soil samples can be inexpensive, some may be free, allowing you a more informed choice.

Baiting for termites, although generally more expensive, may be a better alternative.

For an excellent article: Fate of Insecticides Used for Termite Control in Soil, by Shripat T. Kamble Extension Specialist, Univ. of Nebraska,covers the different soil conditions affecting current termiticides.

Controlling Termites with liquid termiticides

1.  Pre Treatment: Pre Construction Termite Treatment of Structures

Homes and other buildings can be pretreated at the time of construction to protect them against termite attack.

All exposed wood can be treated easily with Timbor, it will last the life of the wood.

  • Foundational walls and piers:

    After the footings are poured and the foundational walls and /or piers have been constructed, apply the termiticide such as  Permethrin 36.8%   , Cyper TC   or  Dominion 2L  to a trench in the soil about 6-12 inches wide and 6 inches deep adjacent to the foundation.

    Soil on both sides of the exposed foundational walls and soil surrounding should be soaked down to the foundation footing at the labeled rate.

    Apply at the diluted rate. Poured in with a watering can or bucket(5 gallon) is easier than using a sprayer, pouring 4 gallons per 10 linear feet. Pour the finished solution in the trench covering 10 linear feet. Once the trench is filled with 4 gallons of the finished mix, cover the trench back with the dirt that was removed. Repeat for the next 10 linear feet..

    No need to dig the trench any deeper than the top of the footing.

    Soil at the bottom of the trench can be loosened with a spade or iron bar to allow further penetration.

    For outside basement walls (where the footing is deep) most pest control operators apply the chemical by injecting it along the foundation through a hollow rod attached at the end of the hose in place of a soil nozzle. This is called "rodding". The result is a continuous chemical barrier from footing to surface.

    This should be applied to both the inside and outside of the foundation and also around piers, chimney bases,pipes,conduits,and other structures in contact to the soil.

    Use at the rate of 4 gallons per 10 linear feet. The diluted termiticide should be mixed in with the soil, as it replaced.


    Types of slabs:

    Click on image to enlarge

    For effective pretreatment termite proofing, much of the chemical barrier needs to put under the concrete slabs. Obviously it is easier to put out the barrier termite treatment BEFORE a slab has been poured. After it has been poured, it will need to be drilled and a chemical injected under the slab to seal off termite entry points. This is not a "do it yourself project".

    Apply a diluted termiticide such as  Permethrin 36.8% ,  Cyper TC   or  Dominion 2L   at the rate of 1 gallon per 10 sq. feet, covering the square footage.

    Along both sides of the foundational walls and interior foundational walls and plumbing, apply this diluted rate at the rate of 4 gallons per 10 linear feet.

    If using A Hose End Sprayers  hooked up to your sprayer, spraying a gallon per 10 square feet.(Pre treats)

    2.  Post Construction Termite Treatment:

  • A thorough inspection is the first and most important step. Calling in a professional pest control service may be necessary, as their experience can locate the specific areas in your structure where termite attack is likely to occur.

  • Basement construction may require treatment which injects termiticides into the soil through holes drilled in the basement floor at regular intervals.

  • Crawl space treatment also involves trenching or rodding soil along the foundation walls and around piers and pipes, then applying termiticides to the soil.

    Dig narrow trenches along both the inside and outside of foundation walls and around piers and chimney bases,applied at the rate of 4 gal. per 10 linear feet.

    Also be sure to trench and treat around sewer pipes, conduits and all other structural members in contact with the soil.

    The trench should be as deep as the top of the footing.

    Mix the termiticide with the soil as it is replaced.

    The State regulations differ state to state on treatment and drilling activity required.

    Other Termite Problems


    In certain areas of the country you may encounter different types of termites, such as Formosan, dampwood, drywood, etc. If your home is infested with one of these termites, it may require different or more extensive treatment procedures including wood treatment and fumigation.

    Construction Considerations in Termite Control

    Changing the soil along the foundation such as digging or removal of treated soil can encourage termites to your home.

    Disturbing the termite treatment may void any termite warranty that you may have on your home.

    An excellent article about renovations and home construction by Michael Waldvogel, North Carolina Entomology Extension Specialist, can be found at : Termite tips-constructions

  • Wood Termite Treatments

  • Treating the wood is an alternative to soil treatments.

    However, it must be emphasized that these "spot" treatments on the wood is not a complete termite treatment in that it will not stop the termites from attacking the wood in other areas.

    One treatment option uses the chemical disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (DOT). Common ones are Boracare and Timbor

    Both products are borax based and must be applied to untreated wood . Important areas for treatments could be in the crawlspace and parts of the framing in a house under construction.

    Data provided by product manufacturers indicate that termites do not extend their tubes over treated wood nor do they cause any structural damage.

  • For more information regarding general pests, go to Pest Information

    ©2010 Do-It-Yourself Pest Control, Inc. This work is the property of Do-It-Yourself Pest Control, Inc., including all copyrights and compilation rights. Use, reproduction, modification, or distribution without permission is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.