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Termites are stealthy pests, so it’s just right that you employ equally clever solutions. If the mites haven’t invaded your home yet, termite baits are your weapons for colony destruction. These bait kits will help you kill mites round-the-clock. You only have to know how to install termite bait stations and you’re all set.
In this post, I have discussed the proper use of termite baits, how it works, and what you should look for. If you want to skip the hassle, I have also reviewed 3 of the best termite stations you can find in the market.
What Is A Termite Bait?
In this video, Michael of DoYourOwnPestControl tells us more about termite bait stations:
Termite baits are cylinders packed with a termite food source (wood, paper, cardboard, etc.) and termiticide. The cylindrical cartridge will be pinned under the ground right where the termite path is located.
The goal here is to present the food source to the mites. When they forage in it, they will acquire the poison which they will spread into their colony. This will result in exponential deaths of the mites in just a few weeks.
Take note that termite baits are slow-acting for a good reason. Fast kills will cause dead mites to accumulate on the bait cylinder, which will lead to avoidance by other termites. Also, the slow effect of the poison allows the termites to spread it into other members first before dying. Through this, even the termites that didn’t feed directly on the bait cylinder will be infected.
Baits vs. chemicals
Baiting systems are safer alternatives to chemical barriers. Still, baiting systems may act as a standalone solution or paired with other treatments like pesticides and nematodes.
Multiple bait cartridges will be installed around the property. The distance will vary per kit, but it will usually range 10 to 20 feet for each bait cartridge.
How Does It Work?
Termite baiting systems are usually installed below ground to target Subterranean termites. Take note that this is an ideal solution only for species that harbor beneath the ground. If you have Drywood termites, this solution will not be successful.
Once the cartridges are installed below the ground, it will act like an intravenous port that will continuously provide food to the mites which are infused with slow-acting termiticides.
Unlike termite barriers, baiting systems aim to eradicate the termite population, not just to exclude them on specific areas of your property.
Baiting systems can be used as a monitoring tool to check for the presence of Subterranean termites.
Take note that this termite bait is designed for termites only. It’s less likely to target other insect pests.
Benefits Of Using Termite Baits
Termite baits are very easy to use and it provides a myriad of benefits. Here are some of the advantages of using a bait system on your property:
1. It’s Perfect For Termite Prevention
Termite baiting systems are excellent in detecting Subterranean termites even before they become a big problem. By detecting the infestation right away, you can come up with solutions to kill the entire colony.
2. It Can Eradicate A Whole Colony
If the Subterranean mites are still within your yard, you can use termite baits to destroy the entire colony. The combination of termite food and slow-acting pesticide will kill the colony members in exponential rates. Given that it’s installed properly, you can exterminate a whole colony in a matter of months without using pesticide sprays and abrasive chemicals.
3. It Doesn’t Require Professional Installation
Most termite baits can be installed on your own. The kits come with installation manual and a complete set of cartridges and termiticide. This will help you save money from professional extermination as long as the infestation hasn’t spread yet.
4. It’s Affordable
Termite bait stations cost less than 200 bucks depending on the number of cartridges you need. Although you may need to purchase refills and replacement cylinders, the ongoing price is still lower than professional extermination.
5. It’s Safer Than Pesticides
Since termite baits are installed beneath the ground, your kids and pets won’t be exposed to the termiticide. It’s also hidden so as not to ruin your yard. Still, make sure that your dog or cat won’t dig through the cylinders and access the termiticide packed food source.
Steps In Installing The Termite Bait System
Knowing how to install termite bait stations properly is the key to the success of the eradication process. Here are some of the general steps that you need to follow:
Step 1. Map The Perimeter Of Your House
Before you dig holes for the cylinders, you have to map the perimeter of your property first. Dot the installation spots so you can spread the baits properly.
The cylinders should be placed 10 feet away from each one and 2 to 4 feet away from your house’s foundation and drip line.
Step 2. Dig Holes For The Cylinders
Once you know where to dig, start creating ground holes enough to accommodate the diameter of the cylinder.
Bait stakes are slimmer but it can also carry smaller amounts of termite food. Larger cylinders may take a while to install but it can work for long without the need for refills. You should let the water flow in case of rains so the cylinder won’t be soaked.
You can dig manually or use the auger that may come in the package. After that, place the cylinders and make sure that the lid is tightly sealed.
Step 3. Monitor The Baits
Within 60 days upon installation, you should check the cylinders regularly for the possible signs of termites. Two months should be enough for underground mites to discover the cylinder. If there are no signs of foraging, you can recheck every 30 days.
Step 4. Fill It With Poison
Once there are termites on the cylinders, refill it with the poison-filled food source. The established path will pave the way for the spread of the slow-acting termiticide.
Above-Ground Vs. Below-Ground Baits
You may be wondering, what’s the better choice for a bait, a below-ground or an above-ground system? Here’s my advice:
➡️ Below-Ground Baits
This is ideal if you don’t want any protruding baits that your kids and pets may access. Also, it’s easier to use and the bait can be installed without professional intervention.
However, below-ground baits are more difficult to monitor since you need to open each cylinder to check for termites.
➡️ Above-Ground Baits
Professional exterminators typically install this type of bait once they tracked the pathway of the termites. It could be installed right into an active mud tube, drywall, and so on.
Above-ground baits can be used to track termite infestation within the property.
So what’s the better choice? Both works in different situations. If you want to track termites on your yard before it enters your home, below-ground baits are ideal. Meanwhile, above-ground baits are perfect for non-ground installation.
Professional Extermination Vs. Termite Baits
Just like any treatment, termite baits have its limitations. If you’re using it to eradicate an entire colony, the termites should be on the ground and haven’t invaded your home yet.
Also, it can be tricky to identify the spot where to place it. Most homeowners will use the baits to surround the entire property. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
You can also tap the help of professional exterminators to install the baits for you. They will use special tools to detect the possible termite paths and install the cylinders on it. However, this service can be costly for such a simple process.
List of TERMITE BAIT STATIONS
1) Spectracide Terminate Termite Detection Kit
- Two termite products IN one: pop-up indicators detect termite activity, and the stakes kill foraging termites
- Installs IN minutes: place stakes in the ground 2 to 3 feet away from your home and no more than 10 feet apart
- Pop-up indicator: check the stakes for termite activity when the pop-up indicator is seen
- Complete kit: includes 15 stakes with locator shields, instruction booklet and digging tool
If you’re looking for a bait system trusted by many homeowners, don’t miss the Spectracide Terminate Termite Detection Kit. It’s made with Dow technology and comes with pop-up termite indicators with locator shields.
Aside from the termite bait and 15 stakes, this kit comes with a digging tool so you can install it within minutes. Each of the stakes should be installed 10 feet apart and 2 feet away from your home’s foundation.
This will work for termite detection and prevention. Still, you have to replace the stakes every 12 months as the pheromones of dead termites will cause avoidance by the colony.
I have been using this for years and I am satisfied with the results. It’s an easy way to arrest termite population so it won’t get into your home.
Also, if you need more cylinders, Spectracides sells it individually for a low price.
✔️ Comes with a digging tool for easy installation
✔️ Easy-to-monitor stakes
✔️ Comes with pop-up termite indicators
❌ Will need to be replaced every 12 months (for its low price, it’s not a biggie)
If you need bait cylinders instead of stakes, the Advance Termite Bait Monitoring System might be for you. It comes in individual cylinders, but you can purchase as many as 30 pieces at a time.
The Termite Monitoring Base (TMB) remains in place so the termites can still feed on it even if you remove the Termite Inspection Cartridge (TIC).
Each of these cylinders contains 124 grams of bait load. This is more than other termite bait systems. You can also purchase the New Advance Compressed Termite Bait separately if you want better killing power.
This termite bait has a hit rate of as fast as 15 to 45 days. Just make sure that you install this at least 7 to 10 feet apart.
Aside from its fast hit rate, I like the fact that I can purchase the bait stations per piece. That’s a big plus for homeowners on a budget.
✔️ The Termite Monitoring Base (TMB) remains in place
✔️ More bait Load
✔️ Can be purchased per piece
❌ The bait station can’t be broken down (I didn’t find the need to do so)
- box (6 cartridges)
- Not for Sale: AK, AL, CA, GA, HI, MA, PA, TN, WA, UT, NY,
- Active Ingredient: Novaluron 0.5%
- Target pests: Subterranean termites
- EPA Registration: 499-557
For those who are looking for a killer bait, the Trelona Compressed Termite Bait could be the best option. It has Novaluron as the active ingredient which will kill Subterranean termites.
This Trelona bait system comes with 6 cartridges. Take note that it’s not for sale in Alaska, Alabama, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington, Utah, and New York.
Each of the cylinders contains 124 grams of compressed termite bait. Make sure that the cylinders’ distance doesn’t exceed 20 feet. Also, you should install this 3 feet away from your house’s foundation.
✔️ Comes with compressed bait with higher killing power
✔️ Affordable for 6 cartridges
✔️ Fast hit rate
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Do Termite Bait Stations Attract Termites?
A: Termite baits don’t necessarily attract the pest. Instead, it’s placed strategically on where the termite pathways are located. The goal is to divert the mites to the food source infused with termite poison, which will initiate the kill.
Q2: How Far Apart Should Termite Bait Stations Be?
A: The rule of thumb is to place the baits at least 10 feet apart. Some baits can be placed as far as 20 feet apart depending on the potency of the formula. Overall, 10 feet is the standard practice in the termite control industry.
Q3: Do Ants Eat Termite Bait?
A: If you’re thinking of using the termite bait as an ant control system simultaneously, you have to check the formula. Some baits may or may not affect ants.
Q4: How Often Do You Check For Termites?
A: It’s ideal for new homes to check for termites at least once a year. Once every two years is also advisable. For old houses, annual inspections are a must, especially if you’re located in a termite-prone area.
Q5: Can A Termite Bait Kill The Entire Termite Population?
A: If you don’t have any termites yet inside your home, a termite bait may eradicate the entire population on the ground. An inspection should confirm if the entire colony has been eradicated.
Knowing how to install termite bait stations will help you eradicate the pest before it brews a widespread infestation. What do you think of the three picks mentioned above? Do you have more suggestions? Let me know!