Termite Control Video

Walt Cline gives instructional tips on how to do your own termite control.

By Walt Cline

Termite Introduction

The old joke in Georgia is, “if you throw a piece of wood, termites are in the wood before it hits the ground.” If you come home from a busy day at work and you find dead termites with long wings (that’s how to discern termites from ants, the termites have long wings). You might sweep them up and think everything is fine. However, when that happens, you have a serious issue that if left unattended, can leave your home in ruin. If you find swarming termites in your home, you need to decide if you are going to find the termites or if you are going to hire a professional. People often call professionals to eliminate the termites because they are a serious problem. You can do your own termite control, but proper techniques are essential to do the job correctly.

If you home is a fairly simple position for termites, meaning that it’s on a slab, you can likely find the termites with some effort. An effective step in doing your own termite control is the termite bait system (TBS). Just about anybody can work with a TBS. You normally don’t have to be a professional. If you choose to use a TBS, it is crucial to inspect the stations periodically after they have been set. Once every three months is usually adequate. If you don’t check the stations it’s not going to be an effective solution. We recommend and carry the Advance TBS. Included in the system is a kit that contains both wood and an inspection cartridge inside. There is also a tool included, called the spider, to open the kit. This is a very handy and good piece of equipment.

Termite Bait Systems

Now when you put the bait system in the ground, you can use a post hole digger, but better yet, use a bulb shovel which is a bit more slender and you don’t have to backfill. You will need to leave a space in the ground for drainage. If you’re in an area without gutters, make sure not to put it directly under the roof drip line.

Bury the kit to the hilt about two to three feet away from the house, and space them fifteen feet apart. Then after two to three months you should start inspecting them quarterly. In the Southern states, I tell people to inspect the bait stations more often than that. In the cold winter months, you probably won’t need to inspect them at all. But when you do inspect them, use a tool like a screwdriver to pull out the termite inspection cartridge. The inspection cartridge will make the termites fat and sassy, but it won’t kill them. Inside the kit you have the same thing-wood. So when you open it up and termites are present you will know it because you will see dirt and termites in the wood.

That’s when you take the inspection cartridge out and replace it with a cartridge that contains an active ingredient that kills them. That way, as they start feeding on the active cartrige you haven’t disturbed them too much. It might take two to four weeks for the termites to complete the active ingredient cartridge depending on the colony size. If you inspect it after two to four weeks and it’s close to being eaten, you put another active ingredient cartridge in the bait station.

Chances are, when you come home and you find termites in the bait station, termites could also be in your house. At that point you need to inspect your house also. If termites are found you’ll need to spot treat your home.

Spot treatment includes a product called Taurus SC, which contains the active ingredient Fipronil. This is an extremely effective product, and it has totally changed how termite work is done. You may need to trench in some cases, and sometimes you may have to drill. That’s why if you do your own termite work, you need to call and talk with us. I usually suggest that you purchase Dr. William Robinson’s service technician's field manual which we sell at cost. Every household should have a manual like this one, as it has a great chapter on termites and a great chapter on rodent control.

When you have termites, do it yourself or call a professional. I don’t always suggest you do your own termite work. If you call professionals, call two or three companies for bids.