- Michael Perrino
Are Termite Bait Stations Effective For Flying Termites?
Updated: Jun 21, 2021
The risk of a termite infestation within your home increases as the season changes along with the rise of humidity levels. One key factor to be on the lookout for regarding a termite infestation is the presence of swarming termites in large clusters. Eradicating termites from your property will not only deal with flying termites but will also reduce the spread of termites and the potential for future termite colonies to appear. Colonies usually swarm only once per year, though in some cases, multiple swarms may occur. When multiple swarms occur in a season, they’re generally smaller than the first occurrence.
One of the most popular methods to exterminate flying termites is the use of a termite bait system. There are different kinds of termite baits such as in-ground monitoring systems, insect growth regulators, and above-ground termite bait.
So does a termite bait station work with flying termites? Termite baiting systems are by far the most intuitive and powerful solution for flying termites. Termite bait is designed to not only kill termite swarmers active within the traps but also to kill off the actual nest too. To achieve maximum results, one must understand that termite baiting is a slow process. This method has clear visual evidence of different stages of colony decline and a solid documentable basis for declaring colony elimination at the end.
How Termite Bait Stations Work
The technology to kill termites using baits is now widely available. Many would use that instead of injecting chemicals into the soil which will only last a few years and potentially contaminate the environment. Termite baits are placed directly into the ground around the outside of a structure or above ground. Termite baiting is simple and can also be used as a preventive measure to detect termites before they become a problem.
What Are Termite Bait Stations and How Do They Work?
Termite baiting is a modern and environmentally friendly way to control termites. It provides a reasonably predictable pathway to gaining control over different termite infestations by those such as subterranean termite colonies, eastern subterranean termites, drywood termites, winged termites, and Formosan termites. Unlike more traditional forms of pest control and extermination methods, termite baiting stations are cleverly designed to work in conjunction with the natural behavior of a termite swarm.
Termite baiting works by killing the worker termite in the termite colony. When the worker termites have been eliminated, the colony is starved of food and goes into a suppression phase or a decline. The reproductives, queens, and soldiers die of starvation because they can’t feed themselves. When the queens and reproductives can’t eat because there are no workers to feed them, they die and the termite colony starves and is virtually eliminated.
The final blow to the colony comes when the termites are unable to regrow their exoskeletons to make way for new growth. This means that not only are existing termites eradicated, but any future generations are eradicated as well since they can’t reproduce.
Are They Effective For Flying Termites?
When properly executed, an advanced termite bait station is more effective and safer than other termite extermination methods. A comprehensive baiting program should be done to maintain a termite-free condition on the customer's property through ongoing inspection, monitoring, and re-baiting as needed.
Unlike the impact of most conventional insecticides, the impact of termite baits isn’t immediate. By design, the insecticides used in the baiting systems are slow-acting Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs). This allows the bait to be spread by the foraging termite workers to other members of the colony that don’t go out and collect their own food.
There’s no way to predict how soon termites will find and feed in a bait station. An important part of effective termite control is to install the termite stations completely around the structure. You must also target known or suspected sites of termite activity for drywood termite and winged termite such as old tree stumps near the house. For that reason, a thorough inspection of the house and immediate property is important before the stations are installed.
The time of year that the bait is installed will also affect how quickly termite activity is eliminated. Baiting during late fall and winter is generally less productive. Most subterranean termites may be found in below ground stations at sub-freezing temperatures, but their feeding activity and effects of the bait are reduced.
The baiting program should continue year-round until signs of infestation and termite damage are gone. The key to a successful termite baiting program is proper monitoring and maintenance of the stations for effective termite control.
Types of Termite Bait Stations
1. In-Ground Monitoring Baiting System
In-ground stations are installed around a structure at specific intervals. The in-ground stations are installed around your property where termites are likely to be foraging for food. The stations contain eucalypt timber interceptors which, according to numerous independent studies, are the termites’ preferred food source.
One sets up the baiting system by installing 24 small plastic bait stations strategically located around the perimeter of the property. These small bait stations have cellulose inserts like wood, paper, or cardboard which will serve as termite food.
Placement is usually about 1-2 feet from the foundation in order to avoid soil that may have been treated previously with another termiticide. Patios, driveways, and other paved surfaces are not problems unless access for installation of stations is prevented around the majority of the structure. Oftentimes, stations can be installed farther out from the foundation, in adjacent turf landscaped areas.
2. Insect Growth Regulators
Insect growth regulators (IGRs) are pesticides that don’t usually kill insects outright. Instead, they affect the ability of insects to grow and mature normally. IGRs either block the insect's ability to turn into an adult or cause it to change into an adult before it’s physically able to reproduce. If immature insects aren’t able to molt into reproductive adults, the population will eventually die out.
Termite baiting is essentially a method of providing an IGR laden material to termites which will be eaten by the termites but will not kill them instantly as we want to eliminate the colony, NOT just a localized group of termites. The slow-acting nature of the IGR means that great numbers of termites will become infected before it starts its work of killing the host and eventually eliminating the colony.
3. Above-Ground Termite Bait
Above-ground bait systems are placed directly in the path of termites. This can be in the middle of active mud tubes or wood, drywall, or other materials directly above active galleries. If the exact location of the subterranean termite colony is difficult to detect, your expert may use moisture meters or other inspection tools to locate the source.
However, above-ground termite baiting systems can be effective when installed by termite experts in areas with known flying termite activity. Above-ground termite bait installations generally don’t require any drilling of the porch, slab, or foundation walls, so there’s no damage to the structure.
What Is the Termite Baiting Procedure?
When a thorough inspection of the flying termite infestation has finished, termite baiting systems set up bait for the termites in the area surrounding the house at its core. The monitoring stations act as a trap to discourage the termites from heading straight to your home while foraging.
Termite baits are typically installed below ground around the entire perimeter of the building or above ground directly in the path of termites. Some systems may also be affixed indoors over active termite tunnels. Depending upon product and company protocol, the inspection of stations may occur monthly, quarterly, biannually, or annually. On some homes, baits constitute the only form of treatment; on others, they’re supplemented with partial liquid termite treatment and soil treatment.
After installation, some or all of the stations are provisioned with bait. Termites can’t see or smell the baits in the soil; they more or less wander into them during their persistent foraging activities. To increase the odds of discovery, one must install stations at fixed intervals. The stations are typically 10 to 15 feet apart around the entire perimeter of the home. Additional stations are often placed in known or suspected areas of flying termite activity.
The type of termite and size of the colony will determine the period of time the baiting process will take to complete. Termite species such as drywood termite, winged termite, Formosan termite, and Formosan subterranean termite will require different timetables for the termite bait system. This is generally between 6 to 12 weeks before it becomes fully effective. The elimination of the colony will take place during the termite molting process, which is when they shed their skin ready — something they do regularly in order to grow.
Termite Baiting vs. Barrier Treatments
The two main solutions for flying termite infestation are termite baiting systems and liquid soil treatments also known as termiticide. Liquid termiticide and an advanced termite bait system are not necessarily needed to be applied to your property. It depends on the construction your home has been built in, construction flaws, the type of soil, and the presence of a slope in your properties. There are also other factors such as the severity of the infestation and the duration of infestation.
A liquid termiticide requires the injection of hundreds of gallons of chemicals into the soil around a home with the goal of creating a complete barrier. To make a complete barrier, one must drill through concrete and brick and trench around the foundation wall. A bait solution is less intrusive. Discreet bait stations are strategically placed around the foundation perimeter. When termites come to feed, the bait immediately begins to use those termite workers against the colony that sent them, slowly passing from one termite to the next until all the members of the colonies get exterminated.
Are Termite Bait Stations Safe?
Termite baiting systems are often the preferred method of termite control for property owners who share concerns about the well-being and safety of their families, children, and pets. As mentioned above, most baiting stations are locked with a secure cap and buried beneath the ground.
Professionally installed baiting systems are the least invasive and most sought-after method for getting rid of Formosan subterranean termites. Although the active ingredients in the baits are toxic pesticides, they’re effective in contained, targeted, gram-sized doses as compared to dumping 100 to 150 gallons around your home. Baiting systems work by using the termites’ own process of feeding their hoards to deliver poison to the entire colony. The baiting formula is harmless to animals, children, and wildlife as it’s only designed to harm insects with exoskeletons. This type of controlled extermination is far more effective and safe than a broad or liquid termite treatment, soil treatment, or deterrent.
Read more: How to Naturally Kill Flying Termites Without Chemicals
Set Up Your Termite Bait Station With Midway Pest Management
There’s no termite protection system that can be applied to all buildings or homes. Each property has its unique needs depending on its termite problem. Hiring a termite technician to do your termite baiting systems ensures that the protection techniques work for different kinds of species. Choosing a trusted pest management professional will be a wise investment. Midway Pest Management is a reputable pest control company that can handle the installation of your termite baiting systems.
Schedule your free initial consultation today with Midway Pest Management. We offer different pest control services for termite species like Formosan termite and drywood termite, and ant species like carpenter ant.