Many people don’t want to be around the harsh chemicals used in liquid treatments for termites.
The next best option is usually termite bait stations, but do they work, and are they worth the cost?
Termite bait stations are one of the cheapest forms of termite control. They’re even usually included in a termite warranty. You don’t have to have a professional install them, saving you even more money on a great, long-term termite killer.
What Are Termite Bait Stations And How They Work?
Termite bait stations are essentially just traps that lure and kill off termites. Calling them traps can be confusing though because they don’t actually trap termites inside.
Instead, termite bait stations contain some sort of bait that the termites will eat. Bits of wood, paper, or cardboard are typical choices.
The bait is laced with a poison that is toxic to termites and can spread throughout a colony fairly easily.
Bait stations should be strategically placed around your yard. They can be installed in the ground or just sit on top.
Generally, you want to place bait stations two to four feet away from your foundation, in intervals of ten to twenty feet. You also want to put them near any known active termites.
When termites wander away from their nest in search of food, the bait inside the bait station will attract the termites. They then eat the bait and return to their colony.
Once back at the colony, they spread the food around to the other termites, along with the poison.
Most poisons are meant to be slow-acting for this very reason. It gives the termites time to get back to their colony and spread the poison before the termites that originally ate it die.
One main advantage of a bait station is that it can be used in any location and any environment.
Traditional liquid treatments are limited in where they can be used and, while effective, are better at deterring termites than killing them.
How Effective Are Termite Bait Stations?
Bait stations are one of the best forms of long-term termite control. The poison is indiscriminate, killing all species of termites and all the different working classes in a colony.
It can take quite some time for bait stations to eliminate a colony. How long it takes termites to find your bait station depends on several reasons including the time of year, placement, and weather.
The poisons are also slow-acting to give them time to spread to more termites. It will likely take multiple rounds of poison bait spreading through a colony to kill it off.
This means that the bait stations won’t get rid of an infestation very quickly and aren’t the right choice for doing so.
It can take weeks or months to bait stations to wipe out termites, but properly placed stations will keep termites from entering your home during that time.
Overall, bait stations are incredibly effective at deterring infestations and eliminating colonies, they just take time to work.
Hiring a pest expert to do a termite inspection and place your bait stations increases their effectiveness. It takes the guesswork out for you and you can rest easy knowing the traps are in the right spots.
Worth It Or Not?
You can purchase termite bait stations on your own without ever hiring or consulting with an exterminator or pest expert. They’re typically very affordable but can vary quite a bit in price depending on where you purchase them.
You can find bait stations for as low as twenty dollars, but some can cost over two hundred.
Including bait stations in a termite warranty or maintenance plan is generally your best bet.
While the initial cost can be high, yearly monitoring, maintenance, and replacement of bait stations are fairly inexpensive.
Hiring a professional to set up a trap system, can run between $1,200 and $3,500, depending on the size of your home. You can usually find a deal that runs for much less, from $300 to $800.
Yearly fees for maintenance and monitoring run around $250. This kind of plan includes much more than just the traps.
Annual or semi-annual inspections by a pest expert are included. They place the traps, use chemical treatments if necessary, and maintain everything for you.
While it may seem expensive to install bait stations with a professional, it’s almost always worth it.
It’s your best option for eliminating termite colonies efficiently and for keeping termites out of your home.
Once inside, termites can cause tens of thousands of dollars worth of damages. You would have to pay for repairs and for treatments that eliminate and keep out termites anyway.
If you live in a high-risk area or your home has a history of termites, setting up a plan with a pest expert can save you thousands of dollars over the long run.
Even purchasing traps on your own and setting them up is a much less expensive option.
Overall, termite bait stations are worth it because of how effective they can be at eliminating and deterring termite colonies.
Is Liquid Treatment Or Bait Stations A Better Option?
A liquid treatment is a fairly simple operation. A pest expert will dig a trench around your home and fill it with termite poison.
This forms a barrier between your home and the termites outside. This treatment is usually considered the best option because it can last for years and both kills and deters termites.
While incredibly effective, there are some drawbacks to liquid treatments.
Liquid treatments can’t do anything about infestations that are already in your home though. They also don’t kill colonies and only termites that cross the barrier are killed.
If there are any gaps in your liquid treatment or it washes away over time, termites can get through.
Bait traps on the other hand don’t require you to dig trenches or bore holes around your home.
Instead of a harsh chemical, they use poison bait that attracts termites to it. Unlike liquid treatment, bait stations can eliminate colonies and can be used to help destroy active infestations inside your home.
The main drawback to a bait station is that it takes time to work. In an active infestation, the termites have longer to do damage if bait stations are your only way of eliminating them.
Overall, bait stations are more effective at killing colonies, don’t require the use of harsh chemicals, and are a cheaper option than liquid treatments.
Combing the two is the real best option, but if you must choose one, go with the bait stations.
Termite bait stations are one of the cheapest and most effective options for eliminating termite colonies and keeping them out of your home. Overall, they can save you thousands of dollars in damages and are worth the cost of entry.
Generally, hiring a pest expert to place your bait stations is better than doing it yourself. Not only will they be placed properly, but you get annual inspections and maintenance to go along with the traps.