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Termites are the most destructive insect pests of homes and buildings in the US, as well as the entire world, and the most commonly managed species that inflicts the greatest amount of annual destruction in the country is known as the eastern subterranean termite, which is the only termite pest found in the Boston area. According to multiple surveys, around 75 percent of pest management professionals consider termites to be the most difficult insect pests to control, which is not surprising considering that termites always remain below the ground or within wood where they cannot be seen or easily eliminated.

According to a nationwide survey carried out by the National Pest Management Association, 38 percent of homeowners are concerned about the possibility of termites infesting their home, and 33 percent of people know at least one person who has fallen victim to a termite infestation. Despite the widespread concern American homeowners have about termite pests, 52 percent of homeowners in the country have never had their property professionally inspected for termite infestations or related damage. Since pest control professionals cannot apply either a preventative or remedial termite treatment without first performing an inspection, the above statistic can be accurately interpreted to mean that most people own homes that are not currently protected from termite attacks. This explains why termite infestations are becoming more common, as subterranean termite control methods are almost entirely preventative, and pre-treatments account for the majority of termite control programs performed in residential areas.

For several decades following the establishment of nationwide pest control services, preventative treatments involving termiticide barrier treatments around the perimeter of homes was the only termite control method available to consumers. While more sophisticated termiticide barrier treatments remain the most commonly applied method of termite control today, several other termite control options exist, including effective remedial control methods. For example, subterranean termite baiting systems have been rapidly catching up to barrier systems in terms of popularity.

Baiting systems can be used for both preventive and remedial termite control purposes, and while they are considered by some to be superior to barrier treatments, baiting programs are more expensive because they require consistent monitoring, inspections and the strategic alteration of bait placements over a period of several weeks. However, baiting systems are often favored by homeowners because they involve very small amounts of toxic chemicals, and they have been deemed environmentally and medically safe by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Do you favor baiting systems over barriers systems for the purpose of termite control?