Termites are a troublesome pest for any homeowner. They don’t feed on blood or food crumbs like most other pests. Termites remain out of sight and quietly damage the very foundations of your home.
The longer they remain on your property, the more damage they can cause. Another problem is that termites reproduce very quickly. They can grow into a large colony in a matter of weeks. If you don’t dispose of them quickly, your pest control efforts can turn into a never-ending battle.
When you apply the right treatment, by yourself or through a pest control company, you can end termites on your property within a few days. For multiple colonies on a property, it shouldn’t take more than 4 – 6 days to completely get rid of all the insects.
Effective Termite Treatment
It is possible to get rid of termites with DIY methods, but it depends on the size of the infestation. If you only have a few termites in the home and successfully locate all of them, you can quickly exterminate them on your own. If the infestation is larger and you don’t have much experience, however, there is no guarantee that this method will provide long-lasting relief.
For larger infestation spreads, a professional exterminator is better equipped to ensure that your home becomes completely free of pests for a long time.
In either case, the length of time it takes to kill termites completely depends on the following factors.
- Methods Used for Termite Extermination
- Size of Your Property
- Level of Infestation
- Experience of the Exterminator
- Follow Up Inspections
Method Used to Exterminate Termites
Experienced or professional exterminators employ several methods to destroy a termite colony. The most common methods are to use liquid sprays containing chlorpyrifos or place baits on the property that get rid of the bugs.
Sprays are considered quite effective for killing termites quickly. Sprays are generally applied both outside the property and inside the home, where you detect signs of termite activity. When used correctly, termites typically start dying within a day or two of spraying.
In case of a bigger infestation, it can take a little longer for the treatment to fully reach the queen and kill the colony for good. If you are facing extreme termite infestation with multiple colonies and queens inside your home, then sprays may not be too effective unless you use them everywhere. It is highly recommended to always have your entire home treated with sprays to ensure all colonies are treated and all potential entry points are taken care of.
The downside of sprays is that it may fail to kill the queen. Termites will disappear for a while after the treatment but may reemerge after some time if the queen survives.
Baits are also used for effective termite control. They are great to use outdoors, around your home’s exterior near entry points.
Baits provide a source of food for termites and offer a distraction that keeps the insects from entering your home. Baits are generally poisoned and carried by worker termites inside the colony. Once the other termites start feeding on it, it will start to kill off the colony and, eventually, the queen as well.
They are also sometimes used indoors to supplement sprays in homes that have major infestations, with multiple queens. You may need to replace baits when they begin to run low. The length of time they last depend on the level of termite infestation.
Baits are great for killing the queen. However, they take some time to work as termites may take several days to find and take them to their colony.
Size of Your Home
The time it takes to kill the infestation also depends on the size of your property. Bigger properties with several wooden entry points for the bugs can take longer to clear than a small apartment with a single entry. This is because larger properties offer more hiding placed for the termites.
Level of Infestation
A few termites without a queen can be cleared with a single treatment within hours. If you start the treatment early, on the first sign of termite activity, you may even be able to clear it yourself without any pest control experience.
However, termites are very good at hiding inside your home’s structure. By the time you detect the first signs of termite activity, things may already be out of your hands.
If the termites have taken hold of the property and infected several colonies spread across multiple rooms, it may take a long time to get everything cleared. You may have to carry out multiple treatments over several days to fully get rid of the termites completely.
Experience of the Exterminator
If termite extermination is carried out by an experienced professional, the colony will usually die off within a few days of treatment.
Professionals use a mix of spray and bait to kill all the termites. It takes a few days for all the inhabitants of the colony to come into contact with the chemical treatment methods used.
One main reason why so many self-applied termite treatments fail is because the treatment isn’t carried out as extensively as an experienced exterminator would apply. Homeowners generally just use a spray on the visible termites, see them die and think that the problem has been taken care of.
This method leaves the potential for inner members of the colony to survive and multiply, bringing the problem back after a while. A colony may appear to have died off only to resurface again a few weeks or months later.
Follow Up Inspections
If your home had a termite infestation and you applied treatment, it is necessary to carry out regular inspections later to ensure that the termites do not return. You can carry out inspections on your own, without hiring an extermination company.
Carrying out routine inspections on your property is crucial to protect the investment in your home and keep your family safe from hazards.
How To Stop Termites From Coming Back
Termites don’t move very quickly and they can’t fly. It takes time for them to spread from one location to another.
If termites appear to invade your home out of nowhere, there is a good chance that they had first appeared somewhere nearby before they made their way inside your home. They could have appeared on a tree in your yard, on firewood stored in your shed or even come from your next door neighbor’s home.
While termite treatments can be completed quickly and offer good results, they can be quite costly. A single treatment can cost you thousands of dollars. Leaving the problem to linger or amateurish treatment is even worse because it can significantly lower the value of your property.
Here are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of getting a termite infestation in your home or prevent a re-infestation after treatment.
Understand Termite Lifecycle
The termite breeding season begins in early spring and goes on till the mid of summer. You should be particular wary around this time. Look out for any signs of termite activity in and around your home and take action immediately to prevent them from spreading.
Clear Their Food Sources
Termites feed on wood and you should prevent their access to food. While you cannot remove all wood within your home, you should look for ways to clean up any wood debris or mulch in or around your property.
Any firewood that you purchase from the market should be stored at least 20 feet away from your house. If possible, remove all wood to soil contact in your basement and check them often. Do not allow any leaves to fill up in your gutter or drain pipes.
Reduce Moisture Levels
Moisture appears to attract termites. They need it to survive and grow their population. Make sure all leaky faucets, drains and gutters outside your home are properly fixed. You may also want to remove heavy brush around your property as it can create areas of intense moisture that feeds a termite colony.
Seal Off Entry Points
If you see termites inside your home, that could mean they made their way in through cracks and holes. Get a proper inspection of your property and seal all cracks and holes, especially around your home’s foundation.
Termites are one of the most dangerous pests to invade your home. They feed on the wooden frames that support the foundational structure of your property. If left unchecked, they can significantly undermine the structural integrity of your home and create falling hazards.
Thankfully, they are not the most persistent pests to get rid of. Once you discover termites, a thorough professional treatment should get rid of them in a couple of days at most. You may need to carry out additional inspection from time to time and take preventive measures to keep the insects from coming back in the future.