An Overview Of Common Termite Chemicals

Chemicals are among the most common methods for dealing with termites, both to get rid of them and to prevent them from infesting a building. However, most of us don't know a lot about termite chemicals. Let's take a look at some of the most common chemical methods of termite treatment and their benefits and downsides.

Liquid Termiticides:

Generally applied underneath and around the entire structure, these are used to cover all areas that termites may use to enter. In new construction, this is done by treating the soil underneath the house before its foundation slab is poured. This is not possible in existing homes, which must have the area around the foundation trenched and drilled before treatment. This type of termite chemical is used to create a chemical barrier that keeps termites out of the house.

Repellant termiticides - these termite chemicals are pyrethoids - quick acting nerve poisons that can be extremely dangerous to termites, but usually do not affect mammals. Pyrethoid termite products in common use include Talstar, Prelude, Demon, Cynoff and Dragnet FT. These substances are repellent to termites and will keep them from foraging in the area. These are inexpensive termite chemicals and a complete barrier will keep termites out, but they are hard to apply completely.

Non-repellent termiticides - there are two non-repellent termite chemicals used currently, both of which are also nerve poisons. They cannot be detected by tunneling termites, and contact with the chemical kills foraging termites. One type causes death slowly, and will cause the termite to become lethargic and unable to act as normal. The other type can be transferred to other termites, and can affect more individuals in the colony. These products may have long term effectiveness in the soil, but can be quite expensive.

Other Termite Chemicals:

Boric acid is another chemical used against termites. This substance is used to treat wood in areas where termites are a concern, and is toxic to them. They will not eat boric acid treated wood. Orange oil, a naturally occuring substance, may also be used in lieu of traditional termite chemicals for some kinds of termite infestations, but its use is somewhat limited.

If you live in an area that's prone to termite problems, it's important for you to know about all the various types of termite chemicals on the market. There are lots of different options, and they work in different ways. Choosing the the correct termite chemicals could make a big difference in the condition of your home in the long run.

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By Frank Reece. Page last modified Nov. 10, 2008.

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