The first step in termite prevention is to be aware of their presence. Termites seldom emerge from the soil, mud tubes, or food sources they tunnel through. The majority of people are unaware they have termites before they see a swarm or harm during building.
The following are some of the methods for determining whether or not you have termites: Examine exposed wood for hollow spots by poking it (using a flathead screwdriver or similar tool). Termite swarms should be identified (sometimes ant swarms are mistaken as termites).
Are Pesticides Used Against Termites Safe?
Insecticides aren’t needed in some cases to keep termites at bay. Consider the following scenario: A physical barrier is one such tool, which is commonly used during construction. Physical barriers made of steel mesh and sands of specific sizes have been shown to be reliable. Biological control agents (nematodes and fungi) have shown some promise, particularly in the laboratory. The EPA does not control these strategies because they do not require the use of an insecticide.
How Do I Handle A Termite Infestation?
Carefully choose a pest control business – Termite control companies must be approved by your state. Request a copy of the company’s license, and if you have any questions, contact your state’s pesticide regulatory agency Exit. More information on how to pick a company that will do a good job can be found in our Citizen’s Guide to Pest Control & Safety. Read the pesticide product label –
The label explains how to use the product and warns you of any possible hazards. If there are no instructions on the label for controlling termites and protecting the structure, the product is not intended to protect the structure from termites and should not be used. If you’d like to see a copy of the product label, request one from a company representative. Be aware of when you will return to the treated residence – The period needed before the residence can be reoccupied varies by product and is stated on the product label. Check with the applicator to see when you’ll be able to reenter the house.
What If Something Goes Wrong?
Contact your state’s pesticide regulatory agency Exit to file a complaint about a pesticide misapplication. You can also call the Exit toll-free hotline of the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at 1-800-858-7378. Experts from the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) are available to address a wide variety of pesticide-related queries, including product use and health effects. Top of page offers termite management information and resources to federal, state, and local governments, as well as the general public.
The pesticide review method is designed to ensure that licensed termiticides are successful at treating termite infestations while posing minimal risk when used according to label instructions and precautions. We provide the general public, the news media, and state and local agencies with information about pesticide and non-pesticide controls. Termite avoidance is something we support. Registration and use of termite control items are subject to strict guidelines.
Before we register termite goods, we need a certain number of years of demonstrated effectiveness and certain label claims (See Pesticide Registration Notice 96-7 OCSPP Harmonized Test Guidelines 810.3600 and 810.3800 for more information.) Termite-killing products have not been shown to be effective at protecting buildings from termites. These pesticides are only meant to destroy termites that come into close contact with them, not the entire infestation.