Choosing an earth-wise termite treatment

October 14, 2015

The word "termite" can strike fear into the heart of any homeowner. But it is possible to take positive steps to protect your property from invasion, and if you do need to call in professional help, you can still aim to be as informed and earth-wise as possible in your choice of treatment.

Here are a few things to consider when you're trying to choose an earth-wise termite treatment.

Choosing an earth-wise termite treatment

Don't just treat your house

In addition to your home itself, termites can colonize wood-based mulches in your garden. Be sure to consider this when choosing mulch.

If you live in a high-risk area, try a pebble mulch instead of a wood-based kind.

Choosing a termite treatment

1. A physical barrier

  • Installing a graded stone or a termite-resistant waterproof membrane around sensitive areas can be a useful solution for some termite trouble.
  • As an added bonus, this method is non-toxic.
  • However, it needs to be applied during building and isn't suitable for existing buildings.

2. A chemical barrier

  • This kind of barrier is applied to soil around your house.
  • It kills and repels termites, so that the colony becomes isolated.
  • This is a fast-acting solution, but it does not eradicate any existing colony inside your house.
  • By its nature, this method uses chemicals of varying toxicity that are put into the soil around your house.

3. Chemical dusting

  • Chemical dusting involves applying insecticide directly to termite workings.
  • If it's used correctly, this method can eradicate the source of an infestation.
  • But, even new generation insect-growth regulators (IGRs) are mildly toxic.

4. Chemical baits

  • With this method, insecticide baits are placed in strategic positions.
  • As a bonus, new-generation baits are less toxic than older ones and these baits generally use smaller amounts of toxin.
  • However, this method can be labour intensive.
  • It can also be very slow-acting.

Hiring a professional

Sometimes you will need help from an expert. Don't feel defeated — you can still make earth-wise choices.

  • Ask friends and neighbours for their recommendations and draw up a short list.
  • Ask about experience, accreditation, methods and chemicals. Ask specifically about the least toxic alternatives available.
  • Use the Internet to research the chemicals that the experts you contact propose.
  • Be wary of free quotes. A diligent pest controller spends time investigating and reporting and you should expect to pay for this. Paying for an assessment could save you money in the long run.
  • A reputable controller should provide you with references from previous customers. Phone them and ask whether they were satisfied with the service they received.

Be safe

Some chemicals used for termite control are extremely dangerous. Always refuse treatments that contain organophosphates or arsenic.

Keep these tips in mind when you're choosing your termite treatment method to keep it as earth-wise as possible.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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