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Termite Damage
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How Termite Treatments Are Done
Why Termite Treatments Fail
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Termite Damage Attorney

NEW PHONE & FAX: Phone: 512 221 0121 Fax: 512 233 2559

 

 

 

How a Termite Treatment is Done

Termite treatments are only as good as the quality of the work done by the pest control operator.  Termite treatments were done from 1948 through 1988 with Chlordane - a chemical so effective against termites that if you had a treatment done in 1988, it will still be good until 2038 and probably longer.  However, even termite treatments done with Chlordane were known to fail.  How could this be?  Was the chemical inconsistent?  Did the termites develop immunity to this otherwise lethal pesticide?  No, the reason a chlordane termite treatment or any other treatment fails is almost always because of operational error.  In other words, the termite treatment you receive is only as good as the execution provided by the pest control operator or business. 

It's All About the Barrier, Stupid!

A conventional termite treatment uses liquid pesticides to provide a chemical barrier that the termites have to cross to enter the home.  (Bait systems are termite treatments also, but they involve the termites ingesting the termiticide and killing off the colony.)  One of the most popular termite treatments for the last ten years has been Termidor, a trade name, or its more common generic name, Fipronil.  Fipronil or Termidor is undetectable by termites.  They are not repelled by it and when they come into contact with it, it gets on their "skin" (they have exoskeleton bodies...) and then, because termites rub up against each other constantly in their colonies and shelter tubes, it is communicated to the rest of the colony and then eventually to the Queen.  Once she dies, the colony dies.  

So, whether it is by liquid treatment or even with a bait system, the termite treatment can still fail if there are areas where the termites access the structure without making contact with the Termidor or Fipronil.  Additionally, if the chemical is not mixed correctly and then applied, it is subject to fail then as well. 

In the end, all termite treatments are only as effective as the complete barrier they create.  If the barrier has gaps or holes in it, then the barrier might as well not be there. 

 

Liquid Termite Treatments

Repeat treatments also mean the pest control treater is not solving the problem of how the termites are getting into your house. If your house is a slab or concrete foundation, then the usual treatment is performed by digging a small trench about 6” -12” deep around the perimeter of your foundation. A termiticide is then sprayed into the trench. The trench is covered back over and that is it for the perimeter. Where there are concrete porches, sidewalks, etc. abutting the house foundation, the pest control treater will drill through the porch concrete and inject termiticide into the ground. The same thing is done for pipe penetrations in the house like sewer lines (toilets), bath tubs and sometimes, water lines. The pest control operator drills a hole through the foundation next to the toilet or other area until he reaches the soil below the slab. Then he injects the soil with termiticide. The idea is to put termiticide in the soil where subterranean termites can enter the house – along the sides of the slab and around pipe penetrations and cold joints between two slabs.

Bait Systems for Termite Treatment

A bait system is where the pest control operator inserts baiting tubes into the ground around the home in theoretically strategic locations.  These are called "bait stations" and are put in the ground with wood or other cellulose materials inside the tubes.  This is the bait.  The pest control operator then, theoretically, monitors these stations on a monthly, quarterly or biannually basis to see if subterranean termites are feeding on the wood or cellulose in the bait stations.  If live subterranean termites are found in the bait stations, then the pest control operator replaces the "bait" (the wood or cellulose material) with a termiticide.   Ideally, the replacement does not disturb the subterrean termites feeding on the "bait" and they then ingest the termiticide. 

In Sentricon® systems, the termiticide is Recruit II® and this agent is brought into the colony where the queen, as well as most of the remainder colony ingests it and dies.  Once the queen dies, the colony is considered eliminated, although termites, like most insects, have other colony members capable of replacing the queen if necessary. 

Keys to a bait system working are the consistent and careful monitoring of the system.  Bait systems are no less fallable than conventional liquid treatments and are generally far more costly. 

 

NEW PHONE & FAX: Phone: 512 221 0121 Fax: 512 233 2559

Evin G. Dugas - Attorney at Law 512.261.0044 Evin@housedefects.com
2303 RR 620 South,   Suite 135 PMB 361,   Austin, Texas 78734
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