Termite treatments are designed to keep your home safe or eradicate entire termites colonies. They are very effective at doing this, but many homeowners have some concerns regarding the safety of these treatments. In this article, we’re going to go over the most popular termite treatments and take a look at how safe they are.
Termite treatments vary based on the species that is being treated. For subterranean termites, you have chemical barriers and baiting systems, and for drywood and dampwood termites you have fumigations and wood treatments.
The safest of these options is the baiting system, and it is used to kill off entire colonies. A piece of cellulose laced with a slow-acting insecticide is placed inside a plastic container in the ground, so there is zero danger to pretty much everyone. Chemical barriers are a close second. This treatment consists of injecting insecticide into the ground to create an impenetrable barrier. As long as the area is clear during the installation of the barrier, there is zero risk to homeowners and their pets.
You then have wood treatments. Wood treatments are applied to pieces of wood that have drywood or dampwood termite infestations, and some precautions have to be taken during and after the installation process. Your exterminator will advise you on these precautions. Finally you have fumigation, which is used to deal with extensive drywood termite infestations. A fumigation consists of tenting the building and releasing a gaseous insecticide in the tent. You will have to leave the home, remove all food and medication from the building, and you may need to do some cleanup afterwards. The exterminator will lay out the process for this treatment as well.
The termiticides used during a treatment have gotten safer and safer over the years. Cyclodienes for example, which were widely used during the 70s are strictly limited today. Other termiticides such as pentachlorophenol and chlorpyrifos manage to maintain a balance between toxicity and the longevity of the treatment. For example, chlorpyrifos will have a residual effect that lasts for up to 10 years, which means that it needs to be applied only once a decade. However, these termiticides are still toxic, and they need to be handled by a professional.
If you would like to know more about your termite treatment options and their safety, or if you have a termite infestation that has to be removed, contact us today.