Termite traps, also known as termite baiting systems, use a wood-based material to attract these pests. When worker termites feed from a trap made of paper, wood or cardboard, they ingest substances that are toxic to these insects. The workers than take these substances back to the colony and share them with other insects, eventually poisoning the entire colony. When combined with other termite treatments, termite traps can be an effective way of ensuring long term eradication.
Traps do not kill termite populations immediately. Instead, these baiting systems work gradually to kill the pests over time. The worker members of the colony, who are responsible for finding food, must discover the traps on their foraging expeditions in order for this system to be successful. The toxic substances inside the termite traps must be strong enough to destroy the insects that ingest it, yet act slowly enough for the workers to have time to make their way back to the colony. Termite control services have the knowledge to maximize the use of traps.
Do It Yourself Traps
Termite control can be expensive, and many homeowners are eager to find ways to eliminate termites without spending a lot of money. Do it yourself termite traps are available online, at hardware stores or home improvement retail outlets. These traps take a similar approach to termite control as the professional systems, using wood or other wood-based materials to tempt the pests into consuming a toxic substance, which is then transmitted to other members of the colony.
Termite traps are often sold as baiting kits with multiple components. In order to be effective at controlling a widespread infestation, a baiting system must include multiple traps installed in different areas around the property. Because subterranean species generally build their colonies in the most soil around a home, termite traps should be installed in the soft dirt at the perimeter of the house as well as in the crawl space, foundation or in areas of the house where evidence of an infestation is found.
Many commercially available baits are enclosed in a plastic container that prevents children or pets from accessing the baiting cartridges. The cartridges themselves consist of a combination of paper, wood or cardboard, combined with pesticide. A baiting system may include a series of monitoring stakes, which are used to determine whether the insects have been active in the area. Monitoring is an important aspect of baiting these pests, who may or may not discover the baits on their travels.
Some products sold to homeowners as termite traps are not used to bait the insects, but to determine whether these pests are swarming in the area. In the warm, damp months of spring, reproductive members of the colony develop wings and swarm around a property in an effort to find new mates and form new colonies. These sticky products can be installed in areas where the pests are likely to swarm, like the lighted area on a front porch. The presence of these insects should be confirmed by a licensed inspector before you take further action.
Licensed pest control services often use termite traps in combination with liquid termiticides, which are injected into the soil surrounding a property and into the structural fixtures of a house. The liquid termiticides form chemical barriers that either repel or kill the workers as they’re making their way back and forth between the house and an underground colony, or between the different structural components of a home. Baits are installed throughout the property to back up the chemical barriers and provide a long term solution to destroying colonies.
While knowledgeable homeowners may be able to effectively eliminate an infestation from a localized area using a do it yourself product, professional pest control services offer the most reliable, long lasting solutions. Although the principles behind a baiting system seem simple enough, an understanding of the workers’ feeding behavior is required. Baits will not work properly if they are placed in locations where foraging colony members are not likely to find them. Baits must also be monitored carefully to confirm the presence of insect activity.
Pest control professionals will identify the species that’s invaded your property before setting a course for treatment. A subterranean trapping system may not be effective with dry wood species. Dry wood varieties can spend their entire lives buried in the wooden fixtures of a building, never entering the soil.
Homeowners who hope to save money by purchasing do it yourself termite traps may be disappointed. The most reliable systems can cost up to several hundred dollars and may not work on a long term basis if they’re not properly implemented. Given the cost of repairing a home that’s been damaged by termites, it pays to invest in professional pest control for your valuable property.