About termite sprays
Most termite sprays are intended for direct usage.
They are meant to be sprayed right on top of individual insects or directly into their nests and colonies, provided that you’ve found a suitable opening inside of them.
Other – typically more natural-based – sprays are meant to be applied over and around the insects’ nest. For example, if you’ve localized a carpenter ants’ nest inside of a porch, such products aren’t meant to be sprayed inside the nest, but on top of it. They are meant to be applied on several thick layers over the entire porch, particularly well covering its edges, corners, and cracks. Such sprays are usually long-term solutions that can have an effect for months or even years after their application.
As you can see, ant and termite sprays are really situational tools. They are great for localized situations when you’ve found a particular nest you want to deal with. However, if you have swarms of termites coming to your home from unidentified underground locations other products can be more effective – termite bait stations in particular. Also, if push comes to shove, you can also come an exterminator, but in those situations, you’ll certainly be well beyond the use of a single termite hand sprayer.
Termite spray buying guide
Termite bug sprays are usually similar in their effects but they still have differences in the active ingredients they utilize which makes every individual product more or less effective against different insects.
The next question to ask yourself is whether you want a more natural-based product or you’d rather use a heavy-duty chemical sprayer. The latter types are usually more effective and offer greater exterminating potential, while the former can still be effective if they are good enough, while also being more protective for the health of your family, kids, and pets.
The quantity of the spray is also something to consider – do you need a giant tube of poison to spray all around your warehouse and yard or will a simple, small hand sprayer suffice? Buying more than you need can be a waste, but having to buy additional sprays a week later can be annoying as well.
Next, ask yourself whether you need a spray that’s intended for an on-contact use with a slight residual effect, or would you rather have a spray that’s intended for a wider and more long-term application? These two main types of termite sprays require different ways to be used and can have drastic differences in their effectiveness, depending on how you apply them.
Of course, the price is always a consideration here as you don’t really want to spend extra money unnecessarily. However, keep in mind that buying a subpar product is essentially the easiest way to waste your money as it will likely be unable to do anything for your bug problem.
Discerning between high and low-quality products can be challenging, especially if you are new to this niche. Reading a ton of user and industry reviews can be needed and it’s quite tiring, considering the astounding amounts of misinformation online. Still, a different consideration you can apply is the brand of the products. Not all top brands are really worth looking at and there are more unknown brands that do have high-quality products, but generally speaking, most brands that are known for their quality are known deservedly so. The brands we’d advise you to consider first are the following: Cedar Bug-Free, Terro, Time Out, Spectracide, and others.
Other useful information on termite sprays
What’s the difference between these two insects, however? Does it matter that they are different? Well, it does. For starters, some sprays are more effective against termites than they are for carpet ants, and others are the other way around. So, knowing what you’re dealing with can help you make a better purchase. Additionally, termites and carpenter ants have different nesting habits so differentiating between the two can help you easier locate their colonies.
So, what are the main differences between termites and carpenter ants? The way they feed and nest is the prime thing to note here – termites feed on the wood itself as it is an important source of nutrition for them. Carpenter ants, on the other hand, don’t eat the wood but just dig passage tunnels through it and nest inside of it. As a result of that, carpenter ants can be more frequently seen on the surface, while termites remain hidden for longer.
Additionally, while the two types of insects can look quite similar at a first glance, they do have several key differences in their appearance that can help you identify them:
- Termites have straight antennae while carpenter ants have crooked and elbowed antennae.
- Termites have broad waists and their separate body segments are hard to identify. Carpenter ants, on the other hand, have highly segmented body parts and pinched waists. Simply put, carpenter ants look much more like regular ants.
- The two sets of wings on termites are of equal lengths. Contrary, the frontal wing set of carpenter ants is longer than the back set, which is quite easy to spot.
- Additionally, termites have much longer wings that are usually two times the lengths of their entire bodies. Carpenter ants, however, have shorter wings, with the front sets being about as long as the ants’ bodies and the back set being even shorter than that.
As you can see, properly identifying termites from carpenter ants isn’t that difficult once you know what you’re looking for. As we said, however, it is often quite important, especially if you want to find the pests’ nests as quickly as possible.
Termite spray usage tips
- Apply on-contact sprays from as close of a distance as possible A good sprayer will have a powerful nozzle that can spray it at a distance, but you really don’t want any excess spray particles flying in your home’s air. If you’re spraying outside this is less of an issue, but even then you will want to apply the spray as directly as possible simply to increase its effectiveness. The more of the spray you get on the insect, the higher the killing rate is going to be.
- For sprays with significant residual effects, make sure that you are applying them to the right locations.
Spraying the middle of your kitchen floor won’t have that much of an effect in the incoming weeks even if you managed to kill that one wasp that was crawling on it. Instead, spraying on top of or inside of nooks, cracks, and crevices that the insects tend to crawl in and out of is a great way to kill many of them as they pass through in the following days and weeks.
- The most effective application of an ant and termite spray is to spray it directly into the insects’ nest or colony. If you can find an opening that leads straight into the nest this can give you the ability to kill hundreds and thousands of insects with each individual press of the spray’s button. If you can’t find openings into the nest but you know roughly where it is, drilling holes into the surface at intervals of 8 – 10 inches can create a powerful gallery gassing effect that can fully exterminate the entire nest.
- For termite sprays intended for wider applications, the way to use them is usually by applying them on top of the infested piece of wood/wall. They are typically natural products and don’t need to be applied directly on the insects themselves but are meant to cover the entire circumference of their nest – every square inch of it, every edge, every crack, and every corner. Applying a spray in such a manner – especially in two or three layers – can virtually guarantee the full extermination of the entire colony inside the piece, as well as prevent any further infestations in the future.
- “Know your enemy” is a principle that applies to ant and termite sprays as it does to other products and situations. Before you buy or use anything it’s good to know what you’re dealing with – different sprays are effective against different insects.
- Take precautions. Read the label on the product carefully and if necessary – use rubber gloves and protective headgear when using the spray.
Of course, they do have their downsides – even sprays designed for wider and more long-term application are still mostly meant for localized use only. This means that if you are facing a full-blown mass infestation you are going to need a different way to deal with the problem unless you want to spray multiple bottles of killer spray around your house at once. However, aside from such situations – and also to prevent them from ever happening – bug killer sprays are a great asset for your household.
To wrap things up, here are our Top 3 suggestions for the best ant and termite killer sprays once again.
- The Terro Termite Killer Spray is a highly toxic and efficient way to deal with various types of wood-burrowing insects on contact. It kills pests extremely quickly and has a residual effect of up to 4 weeks. There has been some reported issue with the nozzle at times, but the spray itself is a great option for dealing with unwanted insect visitors.
- If you are looking for a more natural solution, the Cedar Bug-Free Termiticide is a great option. It’s 100% natural and safe for pets and people, and it’s designed for a wider application in multiple layers on top of infected furniture, walls, and other item pieces. It has a long-term effect and is essentially a one-time termite treatment spray.
- The Spectracide Termite Killer is pretty much the opposite of our previous entry. It’s a highly toxic solution, specifically designed for immediate on-contact extermination. It does have a residual effect on carpenter ants but it isn’t meant for a wider application but almost entirely as an on-contact killer. It has a battery-operated handle and comes in a tube of 1.33 gal.