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Termite Bait System

Termite baits combine termite food – like cardboard, wood or paper – with a toxicant to eliminate the insects. Bait stations are inserted into soil surrounding the home. This treatment method relies on research that shows termites will discover the bait station, lead others to it, and eventually die by ingesting the toxicant–treated cardboard, wood or paper.

Examples of professionally installed bait system includes the Advance and Firstline Termite Bait Systems

Termite Bait Station

Depending on the situation and severity of termite problem, bait systems are sometimes used with a partial or complete liquid barrier treatment.

How Termite Bait Stations are Installed

Bait products can be installed below ground in the yard or above ground level on the inside of the strucure. Some homes may have only baits as a “stand alone treatment”, others may be integrated with liquid or barrier treatments.

Below Ground Installation :

Below ground bait stations entice termites living in the soil to feed on wooden stakes, cardboard, or some other cellulose-based material.

Generally, pest control experts prefer to monitor whether a bait station is being accessed prior to installation of the the toxicant-laced bait.

Termites are not lured to the baits or bait monitors; they encounter them by “chance” during their random foraging activities. To increase the odds of discovery, the stations are installed at fixed intervals around the perimeter of the structure, and/or in suspected areas of termite activity (e.g., around woodpiles, stumps, moist areas, and adjacent to previous termite damage). With persistence and patience you will find the termites eventually foraging and feeding upon one or more of the bait installations.

Successfully getting a termite to take the bait at a below ground bait station depends on such factors as termite foraging intensity, time of year, moisture, and food availability. Baiting is generally more successful during peak foraging periods in the spring and summer.

Above Ground Installation:

Termite baits may also be installed above ground, in known areas of termite activity. Typically, the stations are installed directly in the path of active termite tunnels after the mud tubes have been broken. Effects tend to be more rapid with above-ground baiting, since the procedure does not depend upon “chance” termite encounters with the stations.

Manufacturers recommend that above ground stations be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment, such as in-ground baiting or traditional barrier treatments.

Some Advantages and Disadvantages of Baiting Systems

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Colony is often completely eliminated around your home.
  • Less active ingredient is used.
  • No disruption to landscaping.
  • Active ingredient does not get into soil or water.
  • Better for treating structures where residents are chemical-sensitive.
  • Less possibility of contact with children or pets.
  • No large holes drilled in walls or floors.
  • May take up to several months to take full effect.
  • Work only if termites find and eat the bait.
  • Can be more expensive than liquid termiticides and require regular inspections to assure adequate bait is available.

1 Source: University of Florida IFAS Extension, Virginia Cooperative Extension.

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