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Pros and cons of termite bait stations


You may have heard about termite baiting systems and think they are an excellent option to get rid of termites. Bait stations are an essential tool for termite prevention. However, there are pros and cons to using a termite bait station, and you should be aware of them before calling a pest control company to install termite bait stations.

This article will discuss the pros and cons of termite bait stations to get rid of termite colonies and ways to protect your property from termites.

Reasons for using termite baiting systems

The most commonly used termite treatment applied around the home is a soil-applied liquid termiticide. There are a number of cases, however, where a baiting system may be preferable or the only possible alternative to liquid treatments.

A liquid treatment might be too difficult because:

There is a foundation drain around the exterior of the house or under a slab, and the termiticide that kills termites could leak into a creek, pond, or other water.

Air conditioning ducts or heating are located under a slab floor that could require drill holes for the soil underneath to be treated with chemical barriers.

A proper termite treatment could require extensive drilling of a slab that is covered by wooden, tiled, or carpeted flooring or drilling through masonry like a finished basement wall.

A soil treatment may be illegal under federal, state, or municipal regulations, for example, when there is a well or cistern that is too close to or under the house.

You prefer an alternative to a termite soil treatment for whatever reason.

You might be worried about how toxic liquid treatments are compared to termite bait stations because you have children, pets, or a medical condition.

What are bait stations?

Before we discuss all the pros and cons of a termite baiting system (or termite traps), it is essential to understand what a termite bait system is.

Termite bait stations work to attract termites to eat food that contains an insecticide. The food from the bait station is taken back by termite workers to the other colony members and will kill termites in the colony. The bait stations prevent termites from producing future generations of termites.

What food is used inside termite baits?

Inside the termite bait stations will be a material that attracts termites, such as wood shavings, cardboard, or other cellulose-containing material the worker termites will chew. Having eaten the termite bait, the termites’ stomach acid reacts with the poison releasing chemicals that kill termites, and eventually, the entire colony of termites is eliminated.

These termite bait systems have been used successfully worldwide for controlling termites; however, there are also some cons of termite bait stations over other termite treatments.

The benefits of using termite bait stations

To learn more about the pros and cons of termite bait stations, we should discuss some of the benefits of this type of termite control.

Environmentally friendly

One of the significant pros of termite bait stations is that the termite bait kills termites and termite infestations without using harmful chemicals, as other methods do. Instead, you eliminate termites with poison within the bait system, which is targeted at the active infestation and their natural termite activity and behavior.

When you install termite baiting systems, there are fewer side effects than other methods because the termiticide will not need as much time or surface area to work on for it to be effective.

Many homeowners prefer termite traps because they are concerned about the impact traditional termite treatments like fumigation have on the environment.

A termite baiting system is less dangerous

Termite bait stations do not require toxic chemicals to be sprayed around the home. When chemicals are sprayed, there is a chance of dangerous chemicals getting inside your home.

Termite bait stations are about the size of a soda can and do not release chemicals into the air we breathe. You can, therefore, rest assured that your home is being treated for a termite infestation without risking an impact on people’s health.

A termite baiting system is highly effective

Termite bait stations, when used correctly, offer a long-term approach to termite control. Termite bait stations have been designed to attract termites through a scent released from the baiting solution that termites find irresistible.

The worker termites go inside the termite bait stations and eat the bait containing chemicals. The termites take the poisoned bait back to the colony to be eaten by other termite members of the termite colony. Making termite baiting stations very effective in the home.

The cons of termite bait systems

As with any other recognized mechanical methods like soil-applied liquids, for instance, termite baits have some cons.

Our list below explains the cons of termite-baiting systems:

Termite baiting systems can be an expensive termite treatment

A con that many people find is the cost of a termite bait station system. Bait station systems must be maintained and monitored. A bait station needs to be replaced to keep termites away from your home, making it an expensive termite control method over time. But these baiting systems give termite protection and prevent a termite infestation.

A termite bait station system must be monitored

Another con is those termites might not be eliminated with termite baiting systems because they have not been monitored regularly.

Termite bait stations need to be checked to ensure they are intact and that an animal has not tampered with the bait stations. If a bait station is not monitored, the termite baiting system will not eliminate termites.

Bait station systems work slowly

The final con of this pest control method is that it can take a long time to eliminate termites. Baiting systems do not work as quickly compared to other methods of pest control, like liquid treatment.

You will need to wait longer for results because the termites need to find the bait station first and feed the bait to the termite colony.

What are the best bait stations?

In our opinion, Trelona, Sentricon, and Exterra termite bait stations are the best bait stations available on the market.

DIY termite bait stations

There are termite bait systems that you can purchase online. You will need to know how to install it correctly. Remember, bait stations need to be refilled and monitored after installation. Pest control companies will offer a refilling and inspection service after installation.

How to protect your home from a termite attack

Termites like a moist environment, so remove moisture from your home by ventilating rooms or using a dehumidifier.

Trim back tree branches and shrubs near the house. Remove any tree stumps, piles of logs, leaves, and mulch from near the foundations of the house.

Unblock drains and gutters to prevent moisture build-up.

Signs of termites

Subterranean termites are the most common termites in the U.S. They leave signs of their presence; knowing what to look for will help you get rid of an infestation before too much damage has been done.

Subterranean termites must stay moist, but they need to travel from the nest to the wood food source. To overcome this, they build mud tubes to travel through. These mud tubes are pencil thick and will appear on the foundation walls or in the basement of a property.

If you notice your flooring is buckling or blistering, it might be down to termites.

If you tap on wood and it sounds hollow or crumbles, it’s a sign of termites. Termites eat through the wood in search of cellulose; the damage they cause to the wood causes buckling and warping. The damage to the wood can make opening and closing doors and windows difficult. Windows and doors that will not close fully are early warning signs of a termite infestation.

Swarmers (flying termites) leave a mature nest to reproduce and start new colonies nearby. They discard their wings after mating. If you see swarmers or piles of discarded wings, there could be a mature colony nearby that has been causing damage for quite some time.

Termites will swarm inside heated buildings; if you see piles of wings inside near windows and doors, you have termites inside the home.

Drywood termites live and nest inside wood furniture or wooden structures. They tunnel and create galleries while they are infesting the wood. To keep the galleries clean, they force out their excrement, creating kick holes. Because they eat wood, the excrement is wood; when they kick it out of their nest, it lands on floors and window sills, creating mounds of pellets. The mounds look like sawdust and can indicate the presence of drywood termites.

Termites are often discovered during renovations of a home. Keep an eye out for termites when taking down walls or cabinets. It is upsetting to find termites like this in the home.

Termites can also be found in the soil around your home or in rotting, damp wood components of the house, or anywhere on the property where they can feed on organic cellulose-containing matter, like fallen trees, sheds, and wood piles.

The drywall contains paper, and the paper contains cellulose, which is the only food source for termites. As the termites eat through, they leave a trail on both the surface and inside the drywall. Look for pin-sized holes in the drywall or wallpaper where termites have chewed through. Termite pinholes in your drywall appear to be capped with a layer of dirt. Bubbling under the wallpaper or paint indicates the presence of termites in the home.

Termites prefer wood high in moisture content and environments; this usually will include moldy scents. If you can smell a moldy scent, then it is worth calling a professional for a termite inspection.

Termites like wood that is in high moisture situations, which usually includes moldy scents. If you notice a moldy smell and can’t find the source, it is worth your time to call a professional for a termite inspection.

Call a professional pest control company

You can save yourself time and money by getting the best possible professional service you can find.

As soon as you discover signs of termite infestations, call the services of a pest control expert and ensure they are trained and licensed professionals. Some pest control companies offer a guarantee for the treatment of active termites, so phone a few companies.

Many pest control companies will advise on a soil treatment barrier (if it is possible) to protect against termite activity.

Pest control companies will recommend and discuss a treatment plan for you.

How much does an initial installation of termite bait stations cost?

Installation of bait stations will cost around $1,200 – $3,000. Treatment of termites ranges from $300 to $800 for limited chemical treatments or bait stations.

Get regular professional termite inspections

The reason you need a termite inspection is that a professional inspection will detect termites early. Bait stations can be used as a prevention method.

If a termite problem is detected early enough, you can avoid termite damage to your property. If left unchecked, the termites can cost thousands in repairs.

You might hear the term active baits and non-toxic baits. Non-toxic baits act as monitoring stations. Pest control experts use these monitoring systems. Active baits are toxic baits the termites feed on.

An inspection will identify termite damage

Regular termite inspections can identify signs of structural damage. You will then know there are termites in your home or yard and can decide how best to deal with them.

And finally,

Should you decide you prefer the baiting system, ensure your contract with a pest control company includes an annual inspection of your home. You should not expect a chemical or bait system to be 100% effective every time.

If you have termites in your crawl space or basement that go untreated for many years, it could result in severe damage. Annual inspections are so necessary; please make sure your pest control company provides one.

We presented and discussed the Pros and cons of termite bait stations. We hope you have found the article helpful and informative.

Good luck!

Ronald has 25 years of pest control experience under his belt. He scrutinizes each control method, product and process to prevent infestations effectively. 

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