People have always had a rather strong hatred for insects – sometimes without a ration cause, other times, for some very good reasons. Of all the different species in the insect kingdom, however, few can cause more damage and grief to people today than subterranean termites. These pesky little insects can quickly and efficiently dismantle an entire house with their colonies if left unchecked for long enough. What’s worse, it’s very easy to fail to detect subterranean termites since they don’t show themselves or traces of their presence until it’s too late and they’ve spread everywhere.
It’s safe to say that there are millions of families around the world right now whose homes suffer from a severe subterranean termite infestation and the people themselves don’t know it yet. A termite infestation that’s gone unchecked for too long can easily render an entire house unlivable and fit for destruction even if it seemed fine just several months ago.
If you have reason to believe that you might have a termite infestation going on beneath you, if your home is old, or if you simply live in an area where subterranean termites are common, then termite bait station stakes can easily save you anywhere between a 5-digit and a 7 –digit sum of money on home renovation or worse. The initial prices on these nifty little tools may feel off-putting at times, but they generally last for ~12 months and easily pay themselves back with the money they’ll save you.
To help you learn more about termite bait stations, as well as pick the right product for your home, we did quite a bit of research. We went through hundreds of termite baiting system reviews, we read dozens of professional industry articles, and we’ve compiled all that in a quick and simple article. First, we went through the Top 3 termite bait stations on the market right now and then we’ve covered all the essential information you might need when purchasing and using termite bait stakes and stations.
1. Spectracide Terminate Termite Detection & Killing Stakes
The Spectracide detection and killer stakes are an effective do-it-yourself method to both detect, attract and exterminate termites. The products come in 3 packs, with each pack containing 5 stakes. This is usually enough for most average-sized homes. The Spectracide termite stakes are made with a special dow technology which allows them to pop up when they detect termite activity under the soil. They also include easy to locate detection shields which further ease regular inspections. The kit also includes a digging tool and an instruction booklet to further help you out in securing your home.
The Spectracide termite detection and killing stakes contain no active ingredients and are safe for your soil and plants. They are extremely effective against all types of termites and are especially recommended against Formosan subterranean termites. The termite stakes in these termite bait stations are thinner than most other stakes which make them easier to place into the ground. They are also not made out of wood so they don’t rot into the ground, especially when there is moisture.
One thing that does happen in the presence of moisture, however, is that the termite detection can give a “false positive” signal. Whether after rain or due to underground moisture, these termite bait traps can often signal termite activity through their shield even when there is none. However, even when they do that, the termite traps still work and will still attract and kill all termites in their vicinity.
- Convenient dow technology allows this termite baiting system to easily and clearly alert you of any termite presence.
Contains no active ingredients.
- Effectively exterminates all termite colonies in the vicinity of your home.
- The termite sticks are thin, easy to use and don’t rot in the ground.
- Ground moisture can often cause a “false positive” with these stakes. Whether after rain or due to underground moisture, the pop-up shields tend to often signal termite activity when there is none.
2. Advance Termite Bait System
If you are not looking for a way to directly exterminate potential future termites by putting poison in your soil, but you just want a reliable detection system, we recommend the Advance Termite Bait System. The whole pack contains 10 termite bait stations that need to be placed at 10 feet each for maximum effectiveness. For larger homes, you might need to buy several packs for effective protection. The termite spikes themselves contain zero active ingredients and chemicals. Instead, they consist solely of wood and food attractants. The unique design of these termite traps is made with an ultra-low disturbance in mind. This means that the termite stakes will retain the termites they’ve attracted for a good amount of time and you’ll be able to detect them without an issue. Additionally, the stakes are designed for easy termite access. Since termites explore soil blindly and don’t use sight or smell, poorly designed and placed termite stakes can often be missed and bypassed by the termites. The Advance Termite Bait System, however, is a surefire way to attract and detect termites.
The installation of these termite detection devices is also quite easy and simple. You’ll only need a four-inch auger, a post hole digger or a regular shovel. These are pretty pricey termite monitoring stations, but they offer unparalleled termite detection. Whether in a moist soil or after rain, this advance termite bait system will continue to do its job.
- Contains no active ingredients and chemicals.
- Easy access and anti termite abandonment design.
- Simple to install.
- This is just a detection system and contains just bait and monitoring blocks. Treatment tools in case of an infestation need to be purchased separately.
- This is a rather pricey system.
3. Hex Pro Termite Baiting System
The Hex Pro Termite Baiting System is a perfect fit to any best termite bait stations list. It uses the Hex-Pro Termite System called Shatter (TM) termite bait. Its active ingredient is hexaflumuron, which is an insect growth regulator. This ingenious regulator is a chitin synthesis inhibitor and works by stopping the termites’ vital molting process. Essentially, this makes them unable to grow and therefore – die.
Hexaflumuron has been used by Hex Pro for 10 years on the field and has demonstrated amazing success in killing, controlling and exterminating termites.
The Hex Pro Termite Baiting System is one of the best termite bait systems when it comes to its versatility. It is both a termite monitoring system and an extermination station. The Shatter Termite Bait Cartridges kill subterranean termites and their entire colonies with ease. It is especially effective against subterranean termites.
The proper usage of this termite detection system involves three steps. First, it monitors for the presence and activity of termites around or in the target area. Secondly, it delivers a slow acting insect growth regulator (IGR) whenever it detects the presence and activity of subterranean termites. Lastly, it resumes monitoring and detection after the IGR has been distributed.
The Hex Pro Termite Baiting System needs to be installed at every 8 – 10 feet around your home. Depending on the circumstances it can be placed at a slightly larger distance but it should go over 20 feet between the termite killing stakes anywhere. The termite monitoring system needs to be inspected every 30 – 90 days so that you can replace the monitoring wood cartridge with the Shatter Termite Bait cartridge. If termites have been detected, remember to inspect the baiting system at least every 30 days and replace the cartridges when they have been consumed.
- The unique Shatter termite bait is a highly effective termite-specific extermination method.
- The Hex Pro Termite Baiting System is effective against all the most common subterranean termite types.
- The Hex Pro is very easy to install and manage.
- The wooden cartridges can be subject to fungal decay.
GENERAL INFO ON TERMITE BAIT STATIONS
A quick breakdown of termite bait station systems
Termite bait stations usually serve two separate functions:
- detecting the presence of subterranean termites in your soil;
- and exterminating them.
Both functions are served in a rather similar and simple manner, although not all stations do both at the same time. Essentially, the stakes are just put in the soil, usually reaching no more than 15 – 30 cm into the ground, and attract termites to the bait inside of them.
The bait typically doesn’t attract termites with its sense or visual appearance – it attracts them by simply being edible. Termites tend to dig their underground tunnels blindly and randomly until they happen to find something to eat. Once they do so, they simply inform the rest of their colony that they’ve found a source of food and the rest of the termites flock to it.
So, when placing termite bait station stakes in and around your property, it’s of the utmost importance that you place them at a small enough intervals. If you leave a large enough spot in the ground where termites can pass through without stumbling on a station stake, then they can easily get to your home’s foundations and start destroying it without ever touching any of your other stakes.
If you simply put the bait station stakes close enough, however, you can be 99% sure that if they haven’t been attacked by termites, then there are no termites to worry about. The way you check your termite station stakes is usually by simply pulling them out of the ground once every month or two and inspecting the bait – if it’s been eaten by termites, then it’s time to replace the edible bait cartridge with a termite extermination cartridge. If not, and if the edible bait cartridge hasn’t been damaged by underground moisture or any other source, you can simply return it in the ground. Otherwise – you can just replace it with a new one.
If the bait has been eaten by termites, however, then it is time to take some quick measures. Most bait station systems employ exterminating cartridges that also attract termites but are poisonous to them when consumed. Some use insecticides, other use compounds that attack the genetics of the termites and stunt their growth and development. Either way, when termites eat from these cartridges, they don’t just get affected by them, but they also live for long enough to return to their colonies and infect the rest of the termites as well.
Effectively, this means that a single termite bait station stake can exterminate an entire colony on its own. Of course, in some cases you might need to replace the extermination cartridge a couple of more times until the job is done, but either way, termite bait station stakes are a proven, effective and efficient method of dealing with subterranean termites in a way that doesn’t affect the rest of your property or the flora and fauna on it.
Alternative methods for combating termite infestations
Termite bait station stakes are an ingenious and innovative way to protect your home from termites but they aren’t the only way to do it. Because they are sometimes affected by the soil or weather conditions, as well as because they can sometimes be ineffective if placed poorly, some people prefer other methods of protection against termites.
The main alternative to termite bait station stakes is chemical barriers. For 75 years before termite baiting was invented, chemical barriers were the main way to prevent or treat termite infestations in your home. Simply put, chemical barriers include dumping huge doses of heavy chemicals into your property, mostly at the edges of your home. A lot of chemicals also needed to be dumped directly beneath your home, especially if there was already an infestation underway. This meant drilling holes in your floor, moving your furniture, and so on. The chemicals were and still are typically designed to be harmless for people and pets, but some people still feel uncomfortable with this method. So, once termite baiting became an option, it quickly took a large portion of the market from chemical barriers.
Another alternative is do-it-yourself termite baits. With a little chemical knowledge, everyone can make their one termite bait station stakes and apply them safely and effectively on their property. Doing it right can save you a lot of money and high-quality termite baits are not exactly cheap. However, there’s also the possibility of messing up and creating an ineffective system, which is why commercial termite bait stations are still highly recommended.
TERMITE BAIT STATION BUYING GUIDE
When purchasing a termite bait station stake pack, there are several things you need to consider. First is the question of whether you want just a detection system that doesn’t immediately put active solutions into the ground or you want a bait system that acts both as a detection system and as an exterminator.
Secondly, you need to also consider whether the problem you might be having is fit for a termite bait station system or you need a professional’s intervention. Like it or not, if you’ve caught a termite infestation too late, there’s a serious chance that even the best station stakes won’t be enough to help you deal with it.
If a termite bait station is what you need and you’ve settled on whether you need just detection from it or extermination as well, then comes the questions of size and quantity. Depending on the square footage of your home you might need just 10 – 15 stakes or you might need several dozens of them.
The exact size and design of the stakes are also important as some are better suited for softer and moister soil, while others are intended for drier and harder soil.
Additionally, there’s the question of what ingredients the station stake cartridges are filled with. Some utilize highly toxic active solutions that are harmless to your land and property but nevertheless make some homeowners uneasy. Others include no active ingredients but are still effective against most types of subterranean termites, and some are even designed to attack termites on a genetic level.
Whichever you choose, as long as it’s of a high enough quality and from a qualitative brand, it should be a safe bet. Some termite bait stakes can be quite pricey, but don’t get immediately put off by their price, as it’s usually such because of the number of stakes in the pack, their longevity, their effective range, and other similar reasons.
Some of the termite bait stations brands we’d recommend include: Spectracide, Hex Pro, Advance, and Sentricon.
OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION ON TERMITE BAIT STATION STAKES & SYSTEMS
Installing termite bait station stakes can seem daunting for novices at first, but it’s a really simple process. All you need to do is follow the instructions of the particular bait system that you’ve purchased to the letter. But to further give you an idea of how simple it is, here’s what the installation usually includes:
- Carefully diagram your home and property on a large sheet of paper. Termite bait station stakes need to be carefully placed at precise intervals around your property so it shouldn’t be done quickly thoughtlessly. Typically, bait station stakes need to be placed 3 – 4 feet from the walls of your home and 10 – 12 feet from each other. Draw on the sheet of paper the exact locations of your bait stations stakes and figure out how many of them you’re going to need.
- Drill holes for the termite bait station stakes. These holes can be drilled in a variety of different ways, depending on their precise design. Some stakes are really thin while others are thicker than a man’s arm. Whether with a shovel or with a specialized tool, make sure that the holes are nicely dug to fit the stakes perfectly.
- Simply insert the stakes into the holes and settle them well. Add some soil back into the holes in necessary and make sure that the stakes are securely placed. You don’t want a dog to dig them up to play with them or anything similar.
And that’s all – your termite bait station stakes are securely installed into the ground.
LIVING & USING THESE PRODUCTS
Living with and maintaining termite bait station stakes is a very simple ordeal. All you need to do is check on them once every several weeks (if they don’t have a built-in alert method) and either replace the bait cartridge with an extermination cartridge if the bait cartridge has attracted termites or simply put the bait back in if it’s untouched. Bait cartridges should be replaced with new ones approximately once per year even if they haven’t been attacked by termites. Also, keep an eye out for moisture damage on the bait cartridges as it can make them ineffective at attracting termites. Aside from that, there isn’t much else to do. As long as you frequently check on the baits and regularly replace them with new ones, as well as if you react properly at the sign of termite presence, your home should be safe and sound.
Termite bait stations are an important tool in any home owner’s arsenal. Especially in older homes or in termite-infested areas, finding the best termite bait system can save you hundreds of hours of effort and anywhere between thousands and millions of pounds of property damage. If you’ve ever wondered as to how to detect termites, we hope that our guide has shed some light on the matter, as well as that our Top 3 suggestions can suit your home and needs.
For a quick, last summary, here are the best termite bait stations on the market right now:
- The Spectracide Terminate Termite Detection & Killing Stakes contain no active ingredients that can harm your garden, flora or pets, but they are extremely effecting at their job. They serve as both a monitoring system and a termite extermination system. Their smart design and dow technology make sure that they never miss detecting a termite invasion, however, rain or soil moisture can sometimes result in a false positive alert.
- The Advance Termite Bait System uses an ingenious design that allows it to easily attract termites, to compensate for termite abandonment, and to adequately alert you when there is termite presence to be noted. This makes the detection of termites much easier and gives you more time to respond. However, this is solely a bait and detection system and termite extermination cartridges need to be bought separately.
- Hex Pro Termite Baiting System us an innovative mechanism for dealing with subterranean termites. After they’ve allowed you to easily detect the presence of termites on the wooden cartridge, the extermination cartridge releases an active ingredient into the soil that’s called hexaflumuron. This is an insect growth regulator that affects only termites and other insect pests by stopping their growth process and killing them. It’s a highly effective and efficient method that’s harmless to the rest of your yard or garden.