When it comes to termite problems, prevention is typically better, and less expensive, than cure. It is more prudent to include protective measures against termites when constructing a new home. But if you already have an existing house, you can still employ methods that will help in shielding your home from a termite infestation.
What Kind of Termite Barriers Should You Use?
You have the final say on what sort of barrier to use to safeguard your property from termite attacks. You can either opt for physical or chemical barriers. Most of the time, a combination of both types is the best choice. It will also help if you ask for the input of your contractor. Discuss your fears or concerns with him, and together, determine what protective measures will be most suitable and effective.
– Sand Barriers
Sand barriers can be used to discourage termites from infesting your house. However, you cannot just use regular sand. For this purpose, 16-grit sand is used. Other materials, such as basalt, lava, and silicon sand are also used. The most important feature here is that the sand must be of uniform size. Generally, sand is used to surround the foundations of a house in order to protect these from subterranean termites. The sand barrier must be about 4 inches deep, and it should form a band around a foundation that’s at least 20 inches wide.
– Termite Mesh
Termite mesh or metal termite shields are used to cover the foundations. Because the covered wood foundation becomes impenetrable to termites, the structure is protected. Metal shields also help in detecting termite presence. How? When the termites dig and encounter the metal underneath, they try to seek out the wood. This brings them up or on top of the soil, which then makes them easier to see. Woven stainless steel, galvanized iron and copper are typically used as these do not corrode easily.
Chemical termite barriers are also known as termiticides. Some chemicals are applied using a process known as “Trench, Treat and Backfill”. Here, a trench is dug around a structure. The soil is then treated and backfilled. Other chemicals are drilled or injected into the soil.
There are two common types of chemical barriers. These are –
As the name implies, this type of barrier repels termites. Sometimes, repellents also kill termites upon contact. The problem with using this kind of chemical is that the termites that have been enclosed in a treated property will have nowhere else to go. In other words, they become trapped inside the treated area.
Non-repellents, on the other hand, do not repel nor do these kill termites when the insects come into contact with them. Instead, the chemicals get attached onto the outer skin of the termites that have passed through a treated area. The termites then bring and spread the chemicals inside their colony. After a few hours, the termites die. There is a much better chance of killing the termite queen using these chemicals.
About the Author
The article is by Claire Clarke, a freelancer who specializes in pest management. Some of her write-ups have been used by Insight Pest Solutions, and she hopes that these articles will provide more information to others about pest control.