Recently, a homeowner in Spring Lake, NJ who was renovating his house contacted Cowleys for a preventative termite treatment. Although there was not an active termite infestation, the homeowner wanted to take proactive, preventative measures against termite damage. We wish more homeowners took this approach! Termite prevention is far preferable to dealing with the damage of an infestation. Replacing termite-damaged building materials can be quite costly, and in extreme cases, home foundations have been completely destroyed. Also, the problem with termite damage is that it’s slow and silent, often taking place over a period of years. The infestation is not discovered until there is either extensive damage or the home is listed for sale, and termite damage is uncovered during the home inspection, creating a host of roadblocks in selling the home.
For termite prevention, I installed Sentricon bait stations around the home’s exterior perimeter. Sentricon is a proven subterranean termite colony elimination system that takes advantage of termite biology and behavior. The bait stations contain cellulose (the “food” that is consumed by termites) treated with an insect growth regulator (IGR) that prevents molting. The worker termites bring the bait back to share with the colony. The affected termites die as they are unable to molt, and the colony is eliminated. The effectiveness of this baiting system depends on proper installation by the technician. With my installations, every house is handled as though it were my own. For full coverage, the bait stations should be spaced at approximate ten-foot intervals of separation, and there can’t be any gaps. The baiting system is only as strong as the weakest link — and I don’t allow any weak links! It is helpful to think of a Sentricon installation as an underground moat surrounding the “castle.” The termites are diverted to the underground bait stations instead of reaching the home.
For this home, I installed the bait stations in the mulch beds surrounding the home. For full coverage, I also needed to drill under the brick patio and concrete slab abutting the house in order to reach the soil. Subterranean termites move through the soil from their underground nests and forage for cellulose, a material that we happen to use in many building materials.
For added protection, I also treated the soil directly with Termador, a highly effective termiticide. The termites die as they come into contact with the product. However, they don’t die immediately. The termites bring the product back to the colony where shared among the termites as they come into contact with one another, and the product spreads throughout the colony, soon “smothering” the nest.
Upon completion of these treatments, this homeowner now has complete protection against termites. Going forward, we will periodically inspect the bait stations to determine if there are termites on the property and replenish any bait as needed. Often, homeowners are surprised to learn that there are underground termite nests on their property, and they are happy to learn the infestation is being resolved “automatically” long before the termites have a chance to reach the home and cause damage.