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Termite treatment is an essential measure in home pest control. It assures homeowners that their residences are safeguarded against these wood-eating pests. Most treatments last about five years, but the length of protection can vary depending on the type of treatment and other factors. In this article, we’ll dive into those nuances for a more detailed look at how long each treatment type lasts.
How Long Does Liquid Termite Treatment Last?
Liquid termiticide creates a chemical barrier around the perimeter of your home. Professional pest control companies apply this insecticide directly to the soil under or around your home’s foundation. It will target existing subterranean termite colonies and help deter future infestations. Tunneling termites will either be repelled or exterminated when they encounter the treated soil.
Liquid termite treatments can be applied before or after a home’s construction. For a preconstruction treatment, termiticide is applied to the soil before pouring a slab. Post-construction treatments, meanwhile, use a trench-and-drench method that injects termiticide into a 6-by-4-inch trench around the foundation.
Most liquid termite treatments last anywhere from five to eight years. Some even last 12 years or longer. Several factors impact how long a liquid termite treatment remains effective:
- Application: Incorrect application, gaps in the barrier, or an insufficient quantity can reduce the treatment’s life span.
- Environment: Rain, landscaping, and other environmental factors can diminish the effectiveness of soil treatments over time.
- Ingredients: Different brands and products have different active ingredients. Premium termiticides such as Termidor are often more resilient than less costly alternatives.
- Termite activity: Regions with high termite activity might require more frequent treatments as regular termite contact depletes the barrier.
- Soil type: Certain soil types might absorb termiticide more rapidly and thus require more frequent treatments.
A reputable exterminator can tell you what to expect from a liquid termite treatment given your property’s specific conditions. They will also have the skill and expertise to apply the treatment properly. For optimal results, pest control experts recommend scheduling annual termite inspections to ensure continued effectiveness and perform any necessary touch-ups.
How Long Does Bait Termite Treatment Last?
Termite bait treatments turn these pests’ natural behaviors against them by offering an attractive food source treated with slow-acting, non-repellent poison. Termite foragers that come across the bait stations will ingest the poison and share their find with the rest of the colony.
Most exterminators recommend bait stations as part of an ongoing pest control service contract rather than as a one-time service. The technician will strategically place bait stations within the structure of your home or the surrounding soil, then return periodically to check them. If you have an existing infestation, they may combine bait stations with a faster-acting method of termite control.
Termite bait stations can last several months, but they require monthly or quarterly monitoring to ensure that the bait is still in place and attracting termites. Several factors can affect their longevity:
- Environment: The weather and other environmental factors may impact the longevity of a bait station, particularly for in-ground models.
- Ingredients: The effectiveness of bait stations will vary depending on the active ingredient in the bait.
- Location: How long a bait station lasts may vary depending on where it is placed. In-ground bait stations are the most common, but above-ground models are also available.
- Termite activity: The more intense the termite activity, the more frequently the bait station should be checked and replenished.
When properly maintained, a termite bait system can offer year-round protection for as long as it remains in place. However, it’s important to monitor the stations diligently. Depleted bait or increased termite activity are signs that the bait needs to be replenished, replaced, or relocated.
How Long Does Tenting Termite Treatment Last?
A tenting termite treatment, also known as fumigation, requires evacuating the home and enclosing the entire structure with tarps or tents. Once the home is sealed off, the exterminator fills the space with a gas that affects the termites’ respiratory and nervous systems. Upon completion of the treatment, the home is thoroughly ventilated to ensure it is free of any residual fumes.
Effective fumigation takes about 24 to 72 hours, including preparation and post-treatment aeration. Unlike other termite treatments, fumigation permeates every nook and cranny of your home, making it ideal for severe drywood termite infestations or Formosan termites. How well fumigation works depends on several factors:
- Application: The duration, fumigant concentration, and seal quality determine the effectiveness of the treatment.
- Environment: Some areas are more prone to termite activity than others, necessitating more frequent treatments.
- Prevention: If fumigation is not paired with preventive treatment, such as bait stations, then the risk of a new infestation increases.
- Species: Preventing drywood termite infestations is more difficult than deterring subterranean termites.
The results of fumigation could last about five years under the right conditions, but this treatment does not provide long-term protection by itself. It must be combined with other treatments to prevent future infestations.
How Long Does Heat Termite Treatment Last?
Heat-based termite treatments are a non-chemical alternative to fumigation. Also known as thermal remediation, this treatment eradicates termites by exposing them to high temperatures in the range of 120 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. After about 35 minutes of exposure to this heat, termites and their eggs will die.
Like fumigation, whole-structure heat treatments can permeate the entire home and kill termites in all stages of life. Although homeowners must vacate for this type of treatment, it can be performed more quickly than fumigation and leaves behind no residue. Most termite heat treatments take about eight hours. However, the exact duration will vary depending on the size of the home, the building materials involved, and the severity of the infestation.
Several factors can impact the effectiveness of termite heat treatments:
- Insulation: A well-insulated home will retain heat more effectively, while poorly insulated areas may not achieve the requisite temperature or hold it long enough.
- Materials: Some building materials are more difficult to heat than others, which can complicate efforts to superheat your entire home and render the treatment less effective.
- Prevention: Without adequate preventive measures post-treatment, new termite colonies could establish themselves in the structure.
- Species: Subterranean termites can be more difficult to exterminate with heat treatment, as some members of the colony may be outside the structure.
Thermal remediation can be efficient at eliminating an existing infestation, assuming the entire colony is inside the home at the time of treatment. However, like fumigation, it provides no ongoing protection against termites unless paired with other treatments.
How to Prevent Termite Infestations After Treatment
The saying “prevention is better than cure” resonates deeply when it comes to termite infestations. Termites cause extensive damage that can easily go unnoticed until it’s too late. Of the treatments covered in the article, only barrier sprays and bait stations provide a proactive defense against termite damage.
After your initial termite treatment, you can take a few practical steps to prevent future infestations:
- Fix moisture issues. Moist environments are a haven for subterranean termites. Ensure proper drainage around your home, fix any leaky faucets or pipes, and maintain clean gutters to reduce the moisture-laden spots that attract termites.
- Inspect for gaps and cracks. Regularly examine your home’s foundation and exterior for cracks and gaps. Sealing these openings can help deter termites, preventing them from accessing the interior of your property.
- Remove wood debris. Termites feed on cellulose fibers, which are primarily found in wood. By keeping your property free of wood debris, old logs, extra lumber, and unused wooden furniture, you are eliminating potential food sources.
Invest in ongoing pest management services, including regular termite inspections. Gather quotes from multiple companies to compare their pest control pricing and consider investing in a termite protection plan. Be sure to hire a reputable, licensed pest control company. Terminix and Orkin are two options we highly recommend. Both companies have locations across the United States and offer termite treatments.
Depending on the treatment you choose, you can expect a professional termite treatment to protect your home for about five years. Liquid treatments last the longest, while bait stations require monthly or quarterly monitoring and maintenance to remain effective. Tenting and heat treatments provide quick and comprehensive relief but must be paired with another treatment for ongoing protection.
Consult a pest control professional to determine which treatment will work best for your termite problem. Then, invest in regular termite inspections and home maintenance to prevent future infestations.
Termite Treatment FAQ
How long does it take for termites to go away after treatment?
How long it takes for termites to go away after treatment depends on the type of treatment. Bait stations can take a few weeks or months to eliminate your termite problem, while fumigation can exterminate the entire colony within a few days. Liquid termite treatments begin working in a few days, while heat treatments only take a few hours.
How effective is termite treatment?
Termite treatment is extremely effective when conducted by a qualified professional. However, it’s important to understand the difference between various termite treatments, including how they work and how long they last.
Is termite treatment worth the cost?
Compared to the potential cost of termite damage and its effect on home value, termite treatments are well worth the cost.
How We Chose the Top Pest Control Companies
Our pest control research process starts with analyzing customer reviews on third-party websites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Trustpilot, and Google Reviews. We then do a deep dive into each company’s website, service plans, and available cost information. We also secret shop the companies we review, reach out to representatives, and request quotes.
From there, we compile the information we’ve gathered and compare each company using our in-depth pest control methodology and review criteria. This process uses a series of factors that are important to our readers, and we score each company depending on how well they perform in each factor. For instance, companies that offer more guarantees for their service earned more points than others, and pest control plans with a larger range of covered pests earned more points than ones with fewer.
After analyzing dozens of residential and commercial pest control businesses through this process, we were able to determine the best pest control companies on the market.