There are several methods to prevent termites without using insecticides. One approach is using a physical barrier during construction. Additionally, steel mesh and specific sand sizes work well as physical barriers. Lastly, in lab settings, biological control agents like nematodes and fungi have shown promising results.
Since these techniques don’t require using insecticides, they aren’t controlled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
A business needs to get its pesticide checked by the EPA. They make sure it is safe for people and the environment. Then, the business can sell it in the United States. There are a few exceptions.
Once the EPA decides, they’ll approve the pesticide for use following the instructions on the label. Termiticides, used to prevent or treat termite problems, must show they can protect structures before getting EPA approval. Usually, a skilled pest control expert is needed to apply termiticides correctly.
These treatments are approved: Using liquid termiticides on soil, termite bait systems, using construction materials with termiticides, and treating wood to prevent termite damage.
There are two common ways to treat termites. First is using barrier treatments, which work well against many types, like subterranean termites. Second is using termite bait systems. Before using either method, a complete termite inspection should be done.
Conventional Barrier Treatments
One popular method to deal with termite problems is by applying soil treatments. It’s important to use chemicals designed specifically for this purpose.
When done incorrectly, such treatments can pollute the house and nearby water sources, failing to safeguard against termites. Thus, it’s crucial to employ a skilled, licensed pest control expert. The typical ingredients in standard termite treatments include Acetamiprid, Bifenthrin, Chlorantraniliprole, Chlorfenapyr, Cyfluthrin, Cypermethrin, Esfenvalerate, Fipronil, Imidacloprid, and Permethrin.
Recently, many bait techniques were created to reduce insecticide use. This helps protect people’s health and the environment. These methods also stop termite infestations by focusing on their food sources. These techniques depend on cellulose baits with slow acting insect-killing substances.
The usual ingredients found in termite bait are:
- Diflubenzuron – one that stops insect growth
- Hydramethylnon – an active ingredient used for controlling ants, cockroaches, crickets, and termites
- Lufenuron – a substance that controls termite and flea growth
- Noviflumuron – affects termite growth and behavior.
Often used as a spray-on treatment in the building of new houses to help safeguard the wooden parts.
Are Pesticides Used Against Termites Safe?
The EPA, a federal agency, oversees the management of all pesticides, including those for termites, in the United States. They must confirm that using these products as instructed is safe for people and the environment. To do this, the EPA asks for over 100 diverse scientific studies and tests from those applying. Most states also check the pesticide labels to make sure they follow federal guidelines and any extra state rules.
Many termite-killing chemicals are toxic. So, it’s important to follow the label instructions closely. Pest control experts have the skills and tools needed. They follow guidelines to make things safer and more successful.
How do I Handle a Termite Infestation?
Select a pest control company with caution. The company should have a license from your state to offer termite services. Ensure you see their license, and if you’re unsure, contact your state’s pesticide regulation agency.
Consult the pesticide label. This gives clear instructions on proper usage and outlines possible hazards. If it doesn’t mention termite control or structural protection, don’t use it for that purpose. To acquire a copy of the label, request one from the company representative.
Take note of when you can go back to your treated home. The waiting period before you can move back in depends on the product used and can be found on its label. Confirm with the person applying the treatment when you can enter the building again.
What if Something Goes Wrong?
If you want to file a complaint about incorrect pesticide use, reach out to your local state pesticide control office. You can also contact the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at their free hotline, 1-800-858-7378. The NPIC has professionals who can help with various pesticide questions, like how to use them and their impact on health.