Top Termite Killers (2024)

Top Termite Killers 2024
January 23, 2024
Top Termite Killers (2024)

A shopping guide to the best termite killers handpicked by our experts at Do-It-Yourself Pest Control.

Best Termite Control Products Shopping Guide

When you suspect your home is being invaded by termites, you’ll want to act immediately to prevent termites from causing irreparable damage. With so many termite killers available, it can be tricky to decide which is best for your home’s situation. From liquid termiticides to termite baits to spray chemical treatments, there are many options to choose from. 

We understand the list of treatments can be overwhelming, so our pest control experts have put together our top 6 termite killers based on our research and experience. 

To help you select an option that works best for you, we’ve picked our favorites and arranged them by application method, active ingredient, pros and cons, and a few more categories.

It’s important to note that if you suspect you have a severe termite infestation, we advise you to get in touch with a local pest control service to come to your home and take care of the problem immediately before the termite damage becomes a costly danger to your home’s structure. 

Top 6 Best Termite Killers

  1. Most Popular: Taurus SC

  2. Best Bait: Trelona ATBS Bait System

  3. Best Fast-acting Termite Killer: Bifen XTS

  4. Best for DIY Termite Control: Spectre 2 SC

  5. Best For Untreated Wood: Bora-Care 

  6. Best Termite Foam for Direct Spray: Termidor Foam

An image of a 20 oz Taurus SC termiticide bottle.

Taurus SC

Most Popular: Taurus SC

Benefits

  • Works not only on termites but a wide variety of other pests

  • Frequently used by professional pest control experts

  • Kills termites thoroughly at the source

  • Safe for pets - uses the same active ingredient in many dog and cat flea medications.

Drawbacks

  • Pricier than some of the other termite treatments

  • Effort-intensive - need to dig to apply it properly

  • It can only be used outside

  • Results are not immediate

Quick Facts

Termite control in: 90 days or less

Lasts up to: 10 years

Active ingredient: Fipronil

Taurus SC at a Glance:

Taurus SC is one of the most effective termite products on the market today. Before you begin using Taurus SC, you will need to dig out a six-inch trench around the perimeter of your home. Once you’ve done this, pour the Taurus SC mixture in every 10 feet.

Taurus SC does not repel termites. Most termites are able to detect repellents and can avoid them. With Taurus SC, termites can’t smell it, so they cross over it and bring the poison back with them into their nest. Although Taurus SC isn’t as fast as some other termite insecticides, it is much more thorough in the destruction of the entire termite nest.

Within a few short weeks, termites will rapidly begin to die, and towards the end of the 90 days, the whole colony will be exterminated.

If you’re dealing with other pests, too, Taurus SC kills roaches, ants, wasps, centipedes, and many other insects. Taurus SC is great for homes with pets because its active ingredient is the same as the ingredient commonly used in pet flea treatments.

An image of the Trelona ATBS Bait System

The Trelona ATBS Bait System

Best Bait: Trelona ATBS Bait System

Benefits

  • Attractive food source for termites

  • Sustained effect from continued consumption

  • Uses less bait than other termite bait systems

  • Allows maximum wood-to-soil contact

Drawbacks

  • Set up time required

  • Takes longer than some other termiticides

Quick Facts

Termites controlled in: 120 days or less

Lasts up to: 5 years

Active ingredient: Novaluron

Trelona ATBS Bait System at a Glance:

Trelona Bait system is a new termite bait station from the same company that produced the well-known Advance Termite Bait Systems. 

As the Advance system’s replacement, Trelona uses 0.5% Novaluron as its active ingredient. Its compressed termite bait is extremely attractive as a food source for termites, and they will quickly begin to consume it. 

Great For Subterranean Termites

The bait cartridges are made with a purified cellulose-based matrix compressed into individual tablets. What sets this bait apart is how it works to eliminate subterranean termites. 

The Novaluron is what’s known as a chitin inhibitor, meaning it disrupts the termites’ molting and egg production processes. Each of these stations allows for long-term, sustained consumption, as well as monitoring capabilities. 

Monitor every 120 days to check for the presence of live termites.

An image of a 32 oz bottle of Bifen XTS termite killer.

Bifen XTS

Fastest Acting: Bifen XTS

Benefits

  • Fastest of all termiticides

  • Eliminates a wide variety of wood-destroying pests

  • Offers residual effects, which helps prevent future termite problems

Drawbacks

  • Potent odor

  • Can be harmful to plants

Quick Facts

Termite control in: within 24 hours

Lasts up to: 90 days 

Active ingredient: Bifenthrin

Bifen XTS at a Glance:

Bifen XTS is an oil-based termiticide that is extremely fast-acting. It works in less than 24 hours to attack termites’ nervous systems, making it a very effective termite treatment. When used around the outside or base of your home, it is highly effective. While effective around the perimeter of your home, Bifen XTS cannot be used indoors. 

Extra caution should be taken around your garden, as the oil-based insecticide may damage some plant varieties. 

For people looking to prevent termites from returning, Bifen XTS is an excellent preventative treatment. The residual insecticide it leaves after you’ve sprayed remains for roughly two months, eliminating all termites that come in contact with it. There are at least several dozen more types of insects that Bifen XTS can effectively control, including carpenter bees and stink bugs.

An image of a 15 oz bottle of Spectre 2 SC.

Spectre 2 SC

Best For DIY: Spectre 2 SC

Benefits

  • Thorough “Secondary Kill” action, termites pass the poison along to their hive mates

  • Kills through ingestion and contact

  • Non-repellent, so it won’t scare termites away

  • Long-lasting, virtually odorless formulation

  • Can be used as wall foam, soil drench, or general-use spray

Drawbacks

  • Works slower than Bifen XTS

  • Termites do not die immediately

  • Can only be used inside the house as a crack and crevice treatment

Quick Facts

Termite control in: 14 days

Lasts up to: 30 days

Active ingredient: Chlorfenapyr

Spectre 2 SC at a Glance:

Spectre 2 SC comes with the unique quality of being able to kill termites and other pests that have not come into direct contact with the treated area. Because of this, Spectre 2 SC Termiticide has a “secondary kill” action. 

As one insect comes in contact with others in the nest through touching, grooming, and food exchange, the insecticide is passed along. This indirect kill action is the primary benefit of Spectre 2 SC Termiticide’s exceptional termite population control, even at low doses.

Additionally, Spectre 2 SC kills many other pests through contact and ingests. These include ants and cockroaches. 

With the powerful combination of its long-lasting effects in a low dose, excellent control, virtually odorless formulation, and nonrepellency, Spectre 2 SC serves as a superior all-around DIY termiticide solution.

An image of a bottle of Bora-Care.

Bora-Care

Best For Untreated Wood: Bora-Care 

Benefits

  • Can be used indoors, outdoors, or for new construction

  • Simple spray application

  • Also prevents decay fungi (not mold)

Drawbacks

  • Effective but may take up to 90 days to kill all termites

  • Termites must ingest the wood to be affected

  • Takes up to 30 days before the wood is fully soaked through

Quick Facts

Termite control in: 90 days or less

Lasts up to: Life of the wood

Active ingredient: Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate

Bora-Care at a Glance:

This insecticide is an excellent multirole spray that kills and prevents termites, as well as acts as a strong fungicide. Bora-Care also targets other pests, such as Powderpost Beetles and Carpenter Ants.

Bora-care is specifically formulated to be used on untreated wood, differing from many other soil application termite killers. When sprayed onto untreated wood, Bora-Care seeps deep into cellulose material, such as wood-based material. It’s especially great for preventing damage on new construction. 

For the Bora-Care application, spray the bottom two feet worth of studs and framework. You will need a compressed air sprayer, and the product label can help you complete your first application. 

Bora-Care is different from another leading wood treatment formulation named Timbor. With Bora-Care, the thick glycol solutions allow for much deeper wood penetration than other borate products like Timbor. One treatment of Bora-Care will last for the life of the wood.

Bora-Care is a non-repellent, using borate salts to damage the bodies of termites, ants, and similar insects. When ingested by termites and other related insects, they become unable to obtain nutritional value from the food they consume, ultimately leading them to starve to death. Because of this starving mechanism, termites cannot develop a resistance.

An image of a 20 oz spray bottle of Termidor Foam.

Termidor Foam

Best Termite Foam for Direct Spray: Termidor Foam

Benefits

  • One application lasts for a month or longer

  • Usable indoors

  • One container can be used many times

  • Easy to apply

  • Odorless

Drawbacks

  • Does not protect around the perimeter of your home

  • Can be less effective than barriers or baits

Quick Facts

Termite control in: 90 days or less

Lasts up to: 30-40 days

Active ingredient: Fipronil

Termidor Foam at a Glance:

If you have termite problems in the cracks and crevices in your home, Termidor Foam gives you a major advantage. Different from baits and liquid barriers, Termidor Foam can be used inside the home. For pesky termites hiding in cracks and crevices, this treatment is a simple solution.

Unlike a typical spray, Termidor Foam releases a massive amount of foam termite control treatment from the can - expanding to around thirty times in volume.

Because of this rapid expansion feature, you can rest assured that it will reach all those hard-to-reach cracks where termites like to hide. The expanding foam will be able to kill termites on contact that you might not even know were hiding there. Unlike BioAdvanced termite killer, Termidor Foam can be used indoors.

On top of its versatility, Termidor Foam is completely odorless, so you won’t need to worry about strong chemical smells while this termiticide does its job.

An image of a termite and damaged woodwork.

Termite damaging woodwork.

Signs Of A Termite Infestation To Look For

Termites can be more difficult to spot than simply seeing a few crawling pests around your home. Termites are infamous for being good at hiding and difficult to find in your home.

We have compiled a list of tell-tale signs that your home is dealing with a termite infestation. Be sure to investigate or contact a professional pest control company if you notice any of these signs of termite activity.

  • Discarded Wings - Every year, termites will engage in swarming activity. During these swarming events, they all shed their wings and leave behind large amounts of these discarded wings.

  • Paint peeling - As termites tunnel through wooden structures like walls, they allow moisture into the walls. This moisture may cause peeling paint and paint bubbles.

  • Mud tubes - These are very distinguishable little tunnels that termites make along walls. They are typically about as wide as a pencil and are composed of soil and wood.

  • Frass - Tiny pellets of chewed-up woodwork are what’s known as frass. This termite excrement is a sign of a colony nearby in your home.

  • Wood that sounds hollow - When you tap on wood throughout your home, and it has a hollow ring to it, there’s a good chance it IS hollow! Termites eat up the inside of your home’s wooden structures, giving it a hollow sound when tapped.

Types of Termite Killers

There are two primary categories when it comes to termite killers - bait or liquid treatment. Liquid termiticides can be applied directly to woodwork or as a barrier around the perimeter of your home.

  1. Termite Bait - Baits work by poisoning the termites and their colony. By placing poison-filled traps along the perimeter of your home, you can attract termites and let them feed on bait.
    Termites are highly attracted to the cellulose, wood, or paper contained in these bait devices. Eventually, when worker ants find and consume the poison, foraging termites will carry it back to their colony, ultimately spreading and killing the entire nest.

  2. Liquid Termiticides - Direct treatments and liquid barriers

    • Direct liquid treatments - Sometimes also known as “spot treatments,” direct liquid treatments involve drilling holes into your home’s wooden structures and injecting a foam treatment directly inside.
      Alternatively, foam or spray treatments be applied to cracks and crevices in and around the home, depending on the insecticide involved.

    •  Liquid barriers - These are applied by first digging a trench around the outside of your home. Once you’ve dug the trench, apply the liquid termite treatment to it.
      The great thing about this method is that the insecticide is non-repellent, meaning it won’t scare away termites. Foraging termites won’t notice as they walk across the poison and bring it back to their colony.

Choosing a Termite Killer: Top Points to Think About

Any termite infestation, even small, is a serious issue. However, how you go about dealing with the problem may vary depending on your home’s individual termite situation. We encourage you to examine these different points before deciding on a termite killer that best suits your home’s needs.

  • Type - liquid, foam, bait, etc

  • Severity of infestation

  • How easy the product is to use

  • Budget

  • Length of treatment required

  • Kills multiple pests or termites only

  • Time the solution remains effective

  • Effects on surrounding plants or vegetable garden

  • Harshness of the chemicals involved

  • Outdoor or indoor use

Active Ingredients In Common Termiticides

While all termite killers have active ingredients lethal to termites, the chemicals and effects vary between products. We’ll explain a little about each below.

  • Bifenthrin - Derived naturally from chrysanthemum flowers, this pyrethroid-based termite treatment stops termites' nerves from functioning properly, eventually causing them to die.

  • Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate - A borate compound that kills wood-destroying insects by disrupting the digestive and enzyme production systems of termites.

  • Chlorfenapyr - This broad-spectrum insecticide works by interfering with the energy production in the cells of insects, causing them to die within 72 hours.

  • Novaluron - This termiticide is what’s known as a chitin inhibitor. It controls the molting and egg development processes, eventually eliminating the entire termite colony. 

  • Fipronil - This insecticide powder disrupts insects’ central nervous system and causes them to lose control of their main body functions. 

DIY Termite Killers vs. Pest Control Services

With pests as serious as termites, it’s hard to know when to try and tackle the issue on your own or to call local pest control professionals. 

Because termites are such a danger to the structure of homes as well as the cause of expensive repairs, many people often recommend hiring a professional exterminator. 

There are some cases where you may not need to spend the extra money to hire such a company. 

Upon your initial inspection, if you uncover thorough damage or spot many termites, it’s best to call a trusted, local termite professional immediately. 

However, if you’ve thoroughly inspected your home and have found minimal signs of termites, you can likely tackle termite infestations on your own with some of the effective treatments we’ve described here in this article. 

With a combination of perimeter treatment, baits, and direct sprays or foams, you can control termites on your own and prevent them from coming back. 

Termite Killer FAQ

What is the best termite killer?

It’s difficult to say which termite killer is the best, as they all have different situations you’ll use them in. 

The best termite killer will depend on whether you are looking for something to use inside or outside, something that starts working quickly, or something that better fits your budget. 

We’ve listed our top six above, so we are confident there is a solution that perfectly fits your home’s termite situation.

What do termite exterminators use to kill termites?

By observing termites in and around your home, you can begin to select a termite killer that works best for you. 

In severe cases, the most effective option may be to hire a professional to eliminate termites in your home. Professional pest control companies often use a combination of termiticide baits, direct sprays, and liquid barriers.

Can I spray termites on my own?

Yes, you can spray termites on your own! After digging a trench to spray liquid barrier insecticide, you can follow up by treating cracks and crevices in woodwork with foam or spray.

What type of treatment is the most effective?

Ultimately, the most effective treatment is a termite killer that suits your infestation. 

Do you see termites around the perimeter of your home? A trench spray may work best. Do you have termites eating untreated wood? A product like Bora-Care may work best. 

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