Termite Baiting: Installation, How it Works, Monitoring

The termite–baiting program is designed to intercept termites outside the home. The program’s objective is to eliminate termites before they get to the home and attack it.

There are several different termite–baiting systems available. Some systems are available at home or garden stores. Other systems are available from pest control professionals. They use different active ingredients and different types of stations. However, the principles are similar in many respects.

The process starts with the installation of the stations in the ground. Termites forage at random in the soil, so the stations are spaced around the outside of the home so that the termites will be likely to find them. It is normal for extra stations to be installed in areas where termites would be likely to go. Stations are often placed near woodpiles, in shady areas, and near downspouts.

During the installation, the technician makes holes in the soil with an auger. The stations are pushed down so the tops are level with the top of the soil. Most stations have a clear lid or a removable lid. This allows the stations to be inspected without removing them from the soil.

In most systems, the stations contain untreated wood. The wood serves as a monitoring device. When termites find a station, they will begin to eat the wood.

The stations are checked on a regular schedule. The frequency depends n the location and the time of the year. Along the Gulf Coast, stations might be checked weekly or twice each month during the spring and summer In the Northern states, stations might not be checked at all during the winter.

When termites are found in a station, a bait device is placed in the station. The device usually contains cardboard or paper. The cellulose material is treated with an active ingredient. The termites eat the treated cellulose and ingest the active ingredient.

As termites travel back to the nest, they share the active ingredient with their nest mates. In this way, the bait program can eliminate many of the termites. In some tests, the bait eliminated the entire termite colony.

As long as termites are feeding in the station, the bait must be kept full and fresh. When the termite activity is finished, the bait device is removed. Wood monitors are replaced in the station and the monitoring schedule resumes.

At the time of the installation, some systems can be combined with a liquid termiticide treatment. This helps eliminate active termite infestations. In these cases, the monitors are installed to start keeping out any future infestations.