Termite baits consist of paper, cardboard, or other acceptable termite food, combined with a slow-acting substance lethal to termites. The bait must be good enough to compete with the presence of competing tree roots, stumps, woodpiles and structural wood. If the bait kills too quickly, sick or dead termites may accumulate in the vicinity of the bait stations, increasing the chance of avoidance by other termites in the area. Delayed-action or slow-acting bait also enhances transmission of the lethal agent to other termites, including those that never fed on the bait.
Some bait stations are installed below ground out in the yard, and others are positioned within the structure in the vicinity of active termite mud tubes or feeding sites. Below-ground stations typically contain untreated wood until termite activity is detected inside the stations. Then the wood is replaced with active ingredient treated material-the bait itself on.
Until recently, the only methods available for subterranean termite control were the traditional barrier treatments using large amounts of chemicals. There are alternative termite control strategies; baiting systems are the most promising as to replace barrier treatments.
Termite baits are a whole different concept. With this approach, small amounts of material known as the toxicant knocks out populations of termites foraging in and around the structure.
Some homes may have only baits as a stand alone treatment; others may be integrated with liquid or barrier treatments. Using a baiting system with barrier treatments will allow a reduction of amounts of pesticide use.
No termite control method can guarantee you will never get termites. Termite control may include a combination of one or more of these methods, a baiting system, termiticide treatment, moisture control, foaming, removal of earth wood contact, etc.
Termite baiting is a simple process. It can be used preventively to detect termites where they are not yet a problem.