The Most Common Methods of Pest Control Available to Homeowners
Termites are small insects, usually less than 1/2 inch in length. Despite their size, the damaged inflicted to wooden structures in the Southwestern part of the United States alone, is more than 1.5 billion annually. Some of the more common pest control treatment methods used by pest control professionals include:
Fumigation - Fumigation, sometimes called "tenting", is the most effective means of termite control available. Fumigation methods work by enclosing the structure with a gas-tight tarp, releasing a gas (sulfuryl fluoride) inside the structure, and then aerating the structure afterward. The gas permeates the smallest of openings, making it extremely effective at eliminating every termite in the structure. Once the structure has been aerated and tested it can be reoccupied.
Extreme Heat - If you prefer a non-chemical alternative to eliminate termites, the termite inspector might offer the extreme heat method. Extreme heat treatment is best suited for portions of a structure, such as an attic or basement, rather than whole structure treatment. The area to be treated is sealed off with vinyl or polyethylene sheets. Temperature probes are placed in hard to reach areas and heat is blown in by heavy-duty propane heaters. Once a lethal temperature of at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit is achieved it is maintained for a predetermined period of time after which the area is quickly cooled for reoccupation.
Baiting - Baiting systems are an efficient method of controlling termites. The baiting system uses termites natural feeding habits to distribute the poison to the rest of the colony. Bait stations are positioned around the perimeter of the building or house. Non-treated wood is also placed at the bait stations and periodically checked for termite activity. Once the bait stations show signs of termite activity, the non-treated wood is replaced with chemically treated wood. The termites bring the treated wood back to the nest to feed on it and later die from the poison.
Early detection is vital to control the extent of the damage. Unfortunately, by the time damage is visible, it has progressed beyond that which the homeowner can control. A reputable pest control professional will not only rid your home of termites but will treat your home with preventative products to inhibit re-infestations.