How to Protect Your Home from Termites
Termites live in colonies and feed on the cellulose in wood. They perform a vital function in nature, however once termites move into your house, they can cause significant damage both structurally and financially. If termites enter your house, you should eliminate them as soon as possible. Effective termite programs involve three steps: Identification, Elimination, and Prevention.
Identify the termites who are invading your house. The most common termite infestations are perpetuated by subterranean termites, however drywood termites and damp wood termites can also cause infestations.
Eliminate any existing termites. There are three routes you can take in eliminating an existing termite infestation: barrier treatments, bait stations, or hire a professional.Barrier treatments are relatively cheap. Applying a barrier product such as Termidor can be very effective, however they do not kill the termites immediately. Instead they enter the area treated with Termidor, receive a lethal dose of the active ingredient fipronil, and then they transfer the poison to other termites they come in contact with until they ultimately die. You can think of Barrier treatments like a moat, protecting your house from termite invaders.
Bait stations are all are based off of the same idea. You set out the bait stations in a perimeter around your house, with a wood based bait which any termites in the area will be attracted to. If you find termite activity, replace the wood in the stations with the poison laced bait. The termites will feed on the bait, return to the colony with the food, and you can eliminate the entire colony.
Hire a licenced professional if you feel your infestation is beyond your capacity to control. When picking a professional, make sure you choose a reputable company who will eliminate your problem completely. Choosing a company solely based on price in this circumstance could be being "penny wise but pound foolish", as the saying goes!
Prevent further infestations.Eliminate any wood to ground contact. Portions of your house where wood comes into direct contact with moist dirt is a prime area for termite entry. Look at areas such as porches, or wooden posts placed in the ground. These types of areas attract and feed termites.
Eliminate wood debris such as fallen tree branches, firewood stacks, or any dead wood in contact with ground as these will attract termites and put your home at risk.
Treat wood with a product such as Bora care. Boracare provides long lasting protection, and can be sprayed on both wood and concrete to prevent termite activity.
Use Permethrin. Permethrin is a safe pesticide, permitted for use on humans by USFDA and European Medicines Agency. Mixing Permethrin in the paint or polish prevents termite attacks permanently. Moreover, since the Permethrin is embedded in the paint, there is no risk of long term exposure or inhalation. You can also mix Permethrin in the glue while laying wooden flooring or in the mortar while laying stone (marble, granite) flooring. The dosage is 0.1% of the paint (10 mL Permethrin per liter of paint/polish/glue/mortar). Only use pharmaceutical grade Permethrin (VAV, Dow) approved from human use and not farm grade Permethrin intended for cattle.