Whether you're about to build a new house on infested ground or are experiencing wood damage in an existing home, killing a termite colony can be an expensive and frustrating task. If you do find termites on your property, it is important to completely eradicate them because they can cause thousands of dollars of damages or even completely destroy your home. There are several methods of killing termites, some of which you can try yourself and others that require professional assistance.
Professional Sprayer Services
The most common strategy for killing termites is to call in a professional extermination service. Most professional services will spray a liquid pesticide on your property. Since subterranean termites -- the most common termite variety in the United States -- live underground, the exterminators spray the affected areas inside the house and on the ground around the home.
Bait traps may also be set by professional exterminators, but you can also buy and set them up yourself. These traps are deposited in the ground around a known termite infestation. The traps are filled with either a poisonous liquid or a food that the termites carry back to their colony. The bait traps usually come with a monitoring system that will let you know where the termites are present in your yard so that you can strategically place the traps.
Fumigation is another common method used by professional exterminators. This method is used to deal with the less common dry wood termites and does not work with subterranean termites.
Borate is a treatment that you put directly on the wood that is being eaten by termites. It is more of a topical treatment, as it will get the termites out of the exposed wood in your home, but it will not kill the underground colony like the spray or traps will. It also can not be applied to the wood structure of your house that is covered by walls or flooring. For this reason, Borate is most commonly used when a house is being built and the builders notice the presence of termites.
Termite Prevention and Control
To prevent and control termites, use caulking to seal windows, door jams and any cracks in your foundation. Put insect screens over any vents. Most importantly, remove any exposed wood or wood piles from your yard. If the termites don't have anything to eat or any way to get into your house to eat the wood structure, they will not be able to infest your property. While these steps won't kill termites, they will deprive them of their food source and keep them from coming into your home or returning after you've used the above methods to exterminate them.