Are termite bait stations safe for gardens? What are their pros and cons?
Do they work, and are they safe for gardens?
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Termite Bait Stations?
Termites are no one’s friends, farmers, or property owners; no one wants termites around. Apart from being very destructive, they are also perhaps one of the most challenging pests to control.
There are two significant ways to protect what you own from termites: the chemical soil barrier method and the termite bait station.
We’ll be looking at termite bait stations and the pros and cons of this termite control method.
What Are Termite Baiting Stations?
Think of fish hooks and baits, tasty meals, like worms that attract fish to your hook.
Well, that’s the same thing with termite baiting systems. Termite baiting systems are a termite control method that uses baits to attract termites before they get to your property.
Do Termite Stations Work?
Back to the fish analogy, imagine you’re on a river trying to catch some fish, but instead of one hook with some bait, you have hooks with baits on them spread across the river, and of course, a way to monitor which has caught a fish.
Now you’ll be said to have a baiting system because it’s no longer just one hook. That’s the same way this is. It’s a system of baits for termites installed underground or all around the house.
Usually, you have a plastic container that contains things that termites like to eat, usually items that contain cellulose, such as paper, cardboard, and wood.
These are called inactive baits or non-toxic baits. Then there are the toxic baits, such as Sentricon or Trelona, to name a few. These two kinds of bait are essential to the success of the baiting system.
The non-toxic baits, like the wood and cardboard, function more like a monitoring system. When these baits are consumed, it signifies the presence of termites in that area.
Then you call in the services of the calvary (the toxic bait). When the termites eat the poisonous bait, it kills them very slowly, unlike the chemical soil barrier method, which kills them almost instantly.
The baiting system takes a slower process which happens to be an advantage.
The toxic bait will usually have some slow-acting chemicals; these chemicals ultimately do one thing, prevent the termites from being able to cause a nuisance to you.
Some contain insect regulators; these hampers the termites from becoming adults. It can cause them to grow abnormally or not past a particular stage. Eventually, they die or are unable to reproduce.
Therefore when they die (as all things eventually do), there are none to take their place.
When these chemicals infect the termites, they gradually infect each other when they return to their colonies, which can slowly kill off a settlement.
If it happens quickly, as with the chemical barrier method, the termites will know (so to speak) where the sudden death is coming from and avoid that place totally; this will not kill their colony.
The pests can always wait out the chemicals and return after it has dissipated. With the slow-acting chemicals, they can’t tell the last place they’ve been.
Therefore, there’s a longer-term effect on the colony.
The growth inhibitors in the bait are usually very small, so they have little to no effect on the environment. These baits are also not harmful to all insects.
Therefore it’s just the termites that die.
And in a place where you don’t want the liquid chemicals.
Safe From Children and Animals
The baits are usually placed underground and far from the house; therefore, there’s very little chance for children or animals to play with them.
Bait stations are a very effective method of controlling the termite population in a place. They work to kill the termite colonies. Therefore it’s great for long-term use.
Early Detection Purpose
Bait stations are great for checking for the presence of termites in an area. It takes a while before termites start to attack your property after they have arrived.
They have to breed enough numbers to be dangerous, which would take some time. With early detection, which the bait gives, you can take care of the situation before it gets out of hand.
It costs more than the liquid treatment, as much as four times a chemical soil barrier.
It doesn’t end here, though. You’d have to inspect it regularly or have an expert take a regular look at it to be able to tell when it needs replacement. Yes, it does need periodic replacement.
Therefore, it is more expensive, but it is also more labor-intensive.
The advantage it has can also be its disadvantage.
Sometimes it can take a few months to take out the colonies of termites around. However, this would be useless if you want to do something speedy, except when used with chemical soil barriers.
There Are No Guarantees.
Crazy right? But that’s true; the termites move randomly. Therefore, they can bypass the baits and head straight to your home.
The top of the bait stations can be unpleasing to look at.
When To Use Termite Bait Stations
If you have time and have detected or suspected the activity of termites, you can use the termite bait stations.
If you’re looking for a longer-term measure, bait stations are it.
If your home is built in a way that uses chemical soil barriers would be impossible to install. If you hate the idea of chemicals in your soil, then the bait system might be what you need.
Termites don’t just up and go away.
Therefore, waiting them out while you do nothing will not guarantee they’ll leave. However, using any of the two methods will ease the problem.
For best results, you can use both the chemical and barrier system methods. One would. Professionals usually install bait stations. However, you can also install them yourself.
If you can find the termites tunnel, that’s the best place to install them. However, if you can’t find them, as is often the case, you should install the baits about 10 feet apart and 2 feet away from the structure.
Sometimes, you can use the two treatment methods for the best options: the liquid method and the bait stations. The liquid is used for spot treatment, that is, in areas where the termites are already.
Meanwhile, the bait stations are placed as some side attraction.
When they begin fleeing from the area where the fast action is working, they get into areas where the baits have been installed, and that way, you can stop an ongoing infestation and stop future occurrences.