The appearance of these insects is deceptive. They are very small, white or brown insects that sort of resemble ants – pretty inconspicuous! Like ants, they live in organized colonies with a strict hierarchy. This means that there are numerous wingless workers (sterile), swarmers (reproductive individuals), nymphs, and the soldier termites that protect the colony.
There are three main categories of termite: subterranean termites, dry-wood termites, and damp-wood termites. Subterranean termites mostly live in the soil and dead wood (e.g., stumps, fallen trees), though they can also be found in wooden structures. These subterranean termites are the main threat because their colonies are larger and grow faster than the other types of termites.
Signs of Termites
If you start to notice the following around your home, then your house is most likely infested with termites. You should take immediate action to control them:
- Little round holes and/or tunnels: This is a telltale sign that there are termites around. These insects gnaw tiny holes and tunnels in wood since this is how they feed and also their main means of travel. Apart from obvious holes and tunnels, if you also notice what seem to be cracks or any other kind of damage in the wooden parts of your house, look a bit closer and see if it’s ordinary wear and tear or actually marks left by termites. Termites tend to eat along the grain of the wood, so look for tunnels and cracks following the wood grain.
- Rot: Damage that looks like rot near the holes or tunnels mentioned above is another clear sign of termites. Rotten looking passages or runways bored into the wood and covered with an earth-like material are another telltale sign.
- Waste: Termites are great at hiding themselves, but the same doesn’t apply to their waste! Use the termite feces to help you track these pests.
- Mud tubes: Termites hide out inside narrow mud tubes built from soil and fragments of wood. If you start noticing these formations on your property, that is a good sign that termites might be present.
As for the termites themselves, you’ll rarely see them. But, when you do catch one, it’ll most likely be near a window or door since termites are attracted to light.
The reason that termites are so harmful to humans is because of their diet! They feed on cellulose, which is the main component of wood. In the wild, they feed on dead wood, making it difficult to consider them pests. However, when in proximity to humans, they become decidedly dangerous. The processed wood in our buildings and houses serves as an irresistibly mouth-watering treat to tempt these insects.
Again, it’s the cellulose, not the wood per se, that interests termites. This is shown by the rot that they leave behind at the scene of the crime. This rot doesn’t typically appear until the very late stages of a termite infestation. Their unremarkable appearance and secretive nature mean that these pests can feed on your house for years without being detected. To the trained observer, however, termites will always leave signs of their presence. This is fortunate for those that want to stop them in their tracks before it’s too late! You just have to know what exactly to look for.
Why Choose a Termite Killer Concentrate?
You’ll need special tools such as drills, pumps, and so on. Special knowledge of the locations where termites are likely to enter the house, for example, is also needed.
Termite Control Methods
Typical treatments involve gallons of liquid pesticide. This is often called termite killer concentrate or “termiticide”. The liquid is injected into the soil along the foundation of your house, underneath the concrete and inside the foundation walls.
Insect baits are another popular form of termite control. These treatments place bait (typically underground) around the outside of the building. The insects take the bait back to the nest and infect the rest of the colony.
One major limitation of insect baits is that they are slow-acting. They don’t kill outright and don’t protect against future invasions. You may need many bait stations to achieve the desired outcome, which can make this an expensive treatment option. More things can go wrong with insect baits. For example, if termites do manage to find the bait, there is no guarantee that they will properly distribute it to their fellows.
Termite killer/pesticide solutions avoid most of these pitfalls. Most modern products contain powerful insecticides like fipronil and pyrethroids. As a result, they are very fast-acting and kill outright, virtually on contact. If you’ve already got a severe termite infestation on your hands, you don’t want to wait several months before your treatment takes effect. Termite killer products also create a long-lasting, chemical barrier that protects you against future termite infestations.
Termite Killer Concentrate Buying Guide
As a powerful and pesticide, any termite killer concentrate will come with its risks and caution requirements. Depending on the active ingredient and the concentration, different products will be suited to different purposes. So, with that in mind, it should be clear that choosing the ideal termite killer concentrate for your situation can be a tricky task. To help you navigate through a large number of different products on the market, here are our pointers as to what you should be asking yourself.
Is it for indoor or outdoor use?
Liquid termiticides are for outdoor use. This and outdoor baits are the way to control subterranean termites. Drywood termites can be treated indoors with fumigation, heat, or freezing.
Do you have pets or small kids?
You should apply most termite killer concentrates below the surface of the soil. But if you have a pet, there is still a risk of them digging up the concentrate and coming into contact with it. The ingredients in many older formulations were more dangerous than newer ones, including fipronil, chlorantraniliprole, and imidacloprid. However, they are still poisons and can cause health problems. Children are more sensitive than adults. Determine the active ingredients and ensure that they are applied correctly. According to the EPA, when applied properly, termiticides pose little health risk to humans or pets. If you are concerned, it may be best to opt for bait stations underground.
Do you need a product that is safe for use on the flora in your garden or yard?
A soil termite killer concentrate is usually used in the presence of vegetation. If used improperly, it can be dangerous to plants.
Do you want long-lasting effects?
Do you need your termite killer concentrate to have a long-lasting effect?
Some termite killer concentrates treat isolated wooden components that house an existing infestation. Others offer barrier protection around a property.
How much of the product are you going to need?
It’s important to think about how much termite killer concentrate you are going to need, especially for barrier treatments. Plan ahead and consider if you’re going to need more of the product in the near future as this can allow you to buy a greater quantity at a discounted price.
How much are you willing to pay?
When it comes to termites, it’s usually not wise to compromise the effectiveness of the product just to save a few bucks. However, if you are choosing between two products with different prices that are otherwise identical, you can save quite a bit of money. This is especially true if you need to buy large quantities.
What brand is it?
The brand of a product is not always a surefire criterion. But, when in doubt, seeing a trustworthy name in the lineup can help you make the right choice. Some of the brands we recommend include Bayer, Pest Control Pros, Ortho, Termidor, Talstar, Hi-Yield, Tengard, Taurus SC, Nissue, and Bifen.
How to Use Termite Killer Concentrates
Termite killer concentrate use has several different possible complications. First of all, you need to make sure that the application will yield results. Second, you need to protect yourself while using the concentrate as they can be toxic. Last but not least, you need to make sure to apply the product in a way that ensures that there will be no long-term risks to your health, your family or pet’s health, as well as the health of any vegetation on your property.
If your goal is to exterminate an existing termite colony, you need to know its precise location. That’s because you’ll have to drill holes for the application so that every single termite, including the queen, eggs, and nymphs, will be killed immediately. If you’re using a killer concentrate as a barrier treatment, you’ll need to make sure that the barrier is dense, deep, and thick enough to offer sufficient protection.
Applying termite killer concentrates effectively is all about the location you’re applying them in.
For your safety, the most obvious advice is to always follow the instructions for each individual product. Apart from that, we advise using rubber gloves, a face mask, protective goggles, and body protection every time you use concentrated pesticides.
To make sure that the termite killer concentrate will have no lasting negative effects on your home, family, pets, or vegetation, you’ll have to start by making sure that it’s safe enough. Second, you’ll have to apply it in a way that ensures it remains out of reach of everyone involved. The only creatures you want coming in contact with the concentrate are the termites and other pests.
Termites are highly destructive creatures. Finding a termite infestation in your home may seem like a formidable challenge to deal with. Left unchecked, though, it can lead to thousands of dollars of damage to your property. Fortunately, with a good termite killer concentrate, you can not only destroy the termite invaders but also keep them away. Choose one of the products reviewed here and your property will be a termite-free zone for good.