Termite Exterra - Is It Effective?

Many more pest control firms are starting to use termite baits, such as termite Exterra, as an alternative to conventional barrier treatments. A lot of people have questions about whether or not this course of action is really effective against termites. After all, if it really works, bait treatment could be a lot less invasive and environmentally damaging than the usual course of treatment.

The old fashioned method of controlling termites required application of liquid pesticide to the soil, to block all routes of entry into a building. Termites trying to dig through this soil were killed or repelled. However, this method is very expensive, can be seriously invasive to the home, and can have a big effect on the environment. After all, up to several hundred gallons of termiticide may be injected into the soil around and under the home.

Termite baiting, such as that used in termite Exterra, works on a different concept. It dispenses tiny amounts of insecticide to the termites, which is brought back to the colony. Then, the bait containing the insecticide is shared among many termites, and eventually kills them. These baits may be able to wipe out whole colonies, and they certainly reduce the numbers of these creatures. They do, however, require frequent monitoring and inspections, and take some time to work.

Termite Exterra is the newest bait on the market, introduced relatively recently. It's being used by a small number of pest control companies, but that number is growing. Unlike some other baits, it's not used along with conventional methods much. Mostly, Exterra is used on its own, to control whole termite colonies. This product kills by preventing termites from molting successfully. If these insects are not able to correctly grow and shed their exoskeletons, they quickly die.

Exterra uses in ground plastic bait stations that are brown and rectangular. Untreated wood monitors are used at the beginning of the treatment, and are attached to the sides of the stations. Once it's been shown that termites are feeding at the station, the bait will be placed into the center. The wood monitors are not removed, so that disturbance of the bait station is kept to a minimum and termites will keep feeding at it. The most common bait is simply shredded, loosely wadded paper towels that have been treated with the appropriate chemicals.

Baiting programs like termite Exterra can be more expensive than conventional programs, since they require ongoing monitoring by the pest control company. However, they are appropriate for people who are unwilling to deal with the broad scale application of pesticide and lifestyle disruption that's part of ordinary termite control measures. Baiting seems to be relatively effective and worthwhile in the long run, though results may take a while to appear. If you're thinking about looking for a company to use Exterra against termites in your home, be sure to research it well and be willing to wait for the results.

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

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