Termites are annoying pests that can damage your furniture and property’s structure. There are two common methods to eliminate them: termite bait stations and liquid treatment. Choosing the right method is key to a pest-free home. 

So which termite treatment should I choose? While liquid treatment is a faster way to eliminate termites, it has more environmental and health risks because of its use of chemicals. Termite bait stations aren’t as hazardous, but you have to wait for a couple of months before it kills off an entire termite colony.

Differences Between Termite Bait Stations and Liquid Treatment

The difference between termite bait stations and liquid treatment lies in three main factors: what the treatment is made of, how it is installed or used, and how the treatment works. Learning about these factors can help you choose the right termite control method for your property. 

Termite bait stations are usually made of a cellulose source, insecticide, and other active ingredients that are stored inside a hollow plastic cylinder with slits. These ingredients work together to help eliminate a termite colony in your yard. A termite bait station is usually installed underground and inserted in the soil about 2-4 feet away from the home’s foundation. They can also be placed near areas where there is a higher chance of a termite colony infestation, such as tree stumps. 

Since the soldier termites and the queen can't feed themselves, the worker termites are tasked to look for food for all of them. A worker termite goes to forage for food at the underground bait station, which is laced with poison. The termites eventually eat the bait and “share” it with their nestmates. Since the food source is laced with poison, the termites in the colony are going to be poisoned. 

It’s important to remember that bait stations don’t necessarily attract these insects. A worker termite needs to find them when they go out of their nests to find food. That's why it may take time before this method  becomes effective in eliminating the colony. The use of cellulose in the bait station helps “attract” the worker termites because this is their main food source.   

On the other hand, liquid treatment acts as a “barrier” to prevent termites from infesting indoors. It’s usually made of fipronil, which is an active insecticide that belongs to the phenylpyrazole family. A liquid treatment is placed around a structure by digging the soil around the foundation’s perimeter and then filling in the dug-up trench with termiticide. The soil will be placed back on the trench and the termiticide will act as a barrier in the home’s foundation. 

When the termites attempt to penetrate this, they will be repelled or be killed, which will leave the structure free from infestation. It’s also possible for them to share the liquid treatment with other members of the colony, which results in the elimination of the rest of the termites. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Termite Control Method

When choosing a termite control method, you have to look at various factors and the corresponding advantages and disadvantages. Some of these factors are: 

1) Effectiveness

While both treatments can help in eliminating termite colonies, there is a difference in how fast the product works. It’s proven that liquid treatments work faster in eliminating the insects because it uses products that termites are highly sensitive to. However, this treatment can develop gaps that even the best exterminators can’t prevent. 

A termite bait station works slower than liquid treatments but the process is just as effective. However, using termite bait stations may not stop termites from entering your home since it doesn’t provide a barrier between the structure and the outdoors. Another disadvantage is that termites reduce their activity during the colder seasons, so the use of bait during the fall or winter can be less effective. 

2) Cost

The initial cost of liquid treatment is more expensive since this process involves more labor compared to installing termite bait stations. However, the maintenance cost of termite bait stations can pile up over the years, making it a more expensive treatment in the long run. 

3) Maintenance

Liquid treatments can last for up to five years when they are properly placed around the property. Termite bait stations need to be maintained once a year to ensure that it’s working effectively to eliminate the pests. In some cases, a lesser bait is placed inside the plastic cylinder before a more powerful treatment is used, requiring pest control professionals to come back to your property more often. 

4) Skill Required for Installation

Both treatments require a special skill set for their installation. Homeowners may need to drill holes in their foundation for liquid treatment to work properly. Additionally, the installation of liquid treatments requires a thorough and proper application of the chemicals around the structure’s perimeter to ensure that there are no gaps that will allow the insects to enter.  

Installing a termite bait, on the other hand, may require a professional to determine the best area in the property to place the bait. This involves determining where the termite nests are found and where the insects usually go to look for food.  

5) Safety for Surroundings

Since a liquid treatment uses certain chemicals to repel and eliminate termites, it can also affect the ecosystem that’s present on your property. This could affect the soil, any beneficial insects in the garden, or even people’s health. 

A termite bait station doesn’t use products that are as intrusive, so it’s safer for the environment and your health. However, it’s important to use a slow-acting bait so that dead termites don’t pile up in a certain area, which can make cleaning up difficult for you. 

To help you choose what kind of treatment to use, refer to the table below: 

DifferenceLiquid TreatmentTermite Bait Stations
CompositionChemicals such as fipronilCellulose, insecticide, active ingredients
InstallationPlaced around the foundation’s perimeterInstalled underground in the soil
How It WorksCreates a barrier to eliminate termitesWorker termite shares the poisoned bait with other members of the colony
EffectivenessFast-actingSlow-acting
CostInitial installation is more expensiveMaintenance costs pile up in the long run
MaintenanceCan last up to five yearsNeeds to be maintained annually
Skills NeededProper application of the chemicalsDetermine the best area in the property for installation
SafetyChemicals can affect the environment and your healthLittle to no effect on the environment or your health

Termite Control at Pinnacle Pest Control

Though both termite bait stations and liquid treatment provide a great way to eliminate termites from your property, improper usage of these products can render them ineffective and even lead to other problems. With the help of pest control professionals at Pinnacle Pest Control, there’s a guarantee that termites and other pests are eliminated safely and effectively. 

Our team utilizes the most advanced tools and technology in pest control to ensure that we offer you quality service. We are here to help households in The Sacramento Metro or the East Bay Areas with their pest problems. Call us today to know more about us and the services we offer. 

Read more: How to Identify Termite Mounds in the Yard

If you are a fan of the television show, “House, MD” you may remember a first season episode called, “Detox.”  In this episode, the disease-of-the-week (spoiler alert) turns out to be acute naphthalene toxicity from termites.

While it makes for a great story, and it was (Hugh Laurie was nominated for an Emmy for best actor for that episode), the chances of a person getting naphthalene toxicity from termites is incredibly low. 

Naphthalene is the ingredient in mothballs that gives them a distinctive smell and its effectiveness.  Certain termites have learned that the use of this odorous and poisonous chemical keeps predators, like ants, away from their colonies.

Considering that it is the Formosan Termite that uses naphthalene, the chances of seeing this issue in Sacramento is, well, zero.  Formosan Termites are subterranean, but they are more common in the South, and the only times they have been seen in California, it was around San Diego.

Unlike other pests, termites are not vectors for any known diseases.  They are also not known for biting.  As a matter of fact, in most cases, termites cannot bite.  The only termites that can bite are the soldiers. 

If you decided to handle termites you found without protection or gloves, the soldier termites could bite.   Termite bites can be painful and unpleasant. You may develop some red spots or a rash, but again, unless you are going out of your way to find and hold them, the chances of termites biting people or pets are extremely low.   A good rule of thumb is not to disturb a termite colony.  Call us, and we’ll take care of it.

Even though termites do not carry any known diseases and do not bite, termites can cause health issues.

Termites like damp environments.  A home with damp environments is a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Termite activity can release that mold and mildew into the air, and the spores can aggravate allergies in some people and trigger severe asthma attacks in others.

When you call Pinnacle Pest Control for a termite inspection, we will look at all the places where there may be termite activity.  Since these are the same places where mold would be, our inspection would find the mold before termites had a chance to disturb it, causing the spores to travel throughout the house.

While termites are not a direct threat to your health, their activity can cause secondary issues, leading to serious health issues.  Not to mention that the damage that termites can cause to your home can be extreme if left untreated for long enough.

Insects like carpenter ants and termites don’t just damage your homes. During an infestation, they also leave behind frass, which is droppings and feces that usually resemble sawdust or wood shavings. These also contain insect excrements or wood debris that are left behind when insects infest your building or home. It can be difficult to distinguish the frass from each insect since they almost look the same, but that are other ways to help you identify which insect is responsible for the infestation. 

So what’s the difference between carpenter ant frass and termite frass? The main difference between the frass from these two insects is their composition. While both frass usually consists of the insect’s droppings, carpenter ant frass contains insect parts, which is something that termite frass doesn’t have. 

Carpenter Ant Frass Vs. Termite Frass

Though carpenter ant frass and termite frass look similar, there are signs that you can look at  to make it easier for you to tell them apart: 

1) Components of Frass

Carpenter ant frass contains debris from wood, carpenter ant droppings or fecal matter, soil and gravel, and insect parts and carcasses. On the other hand, termite frass doesn’t contain insect parts; it’s usually just made of termite droppings or fecal matter and particles of digested wood or sawdust material. 

The reason for this difference lies in the insect’s eating and nesting habits. Carpenter ants don’t eat wood; they only excavate the wood to establish their nests. Frass from carpenter ants have insect parts because some carpenter ants either eat their nestmates or die while excavating the wood. Termite colonies eat wood and don’t create nests in the wood like carpenter ants. This is why the frass they leave behind mainly contains droppings and digested wood. 

2) Identification of Frass

You can also identify carpenter ant frass and termite frass by looking at their physical appearance. These two differ in the following: 

  • Shape and Size: Carpenter ant frass look like wood shavings and termites leave behind frass that are oval-shaped. Moreover, frass from carpenter ants varies in size, while termites produce uniform-sized frass.
  • Color: Frass from these insects vary depending on the wood they forage in. Carpenter ant frass is usually like light-colored sawdust, while termite frass comes in varying colors of tan and brown.

3) Placements of Frass

Analyzing the placements of frass can help you identify whether your building is infested with carpenter ants or termite colonies. Carpenter ant frass is usually found around the opening of their nests. You can find them in places underneath the nesting area such as near walls, window frames, door frames, and roof lines. On the other hand, termite frass is usually scattered around their nest, beneath damaged wood. 

4) Getting Rid of Frass

Though frass from these insects isn’t as harmful as droppings from other pests, you should still take extra precautions when cleaning them up. You can clean up frass from these insects by picking it up with a paper towel and sanitizing the area using a disinfectant. Remember to use protective gear such as gloves and face masks to prevent inhalation of viruses. Moreover, furniture or objects damaged by frass should be appraised to determine whether they can still be repaired or if they need to be replaced. 

The table below helps you understand the difference between carpenter ant frass and termite frass: 

DifferenceCarpenter Ants FrassTermite Frass
ComponentsContains wood shavings, carpenter ant fecal matter, soil and gravel, and insect parts and carcassesUsually made of termite droppings or fecal matter and particles of digested wood or sawdust material
IdentificationShaped like wood shavings, vary in size and look like light-colored sawdustOval-shaped, uniform-sized, usually tan or brown 
PlacementFound in the openings of nestsScattered around their nest
SanitizingSanitize using a paper towel and disinfectantSanitize using a paper towel and disinfectant

Pest Control at Pinnacle Pest Control

Eliminating frass involves identifying which type we are dealing with here and using the right treatment for it. Failure to clean properly can create more serious problems and even affect the health of humans and pets. At Pinnacle Pest Control, we provide the best solutions to help eliminate different kinds of pests and clean up the mess they leave behind. Call us today to know more about our services. 

Learn more: How Do Termites Get Into Your House? Your Guide To Termite-Free Living

Having termite mounds is a common sign of termite infestation on your property. These insects build these to serve as their home and help provide the respiratory needs of the colonies in outdoor areas. Termite mounds can be a nuisance and you may want to know how to identify these to maintain your safety from these pests.  

So how can you identify termite mounds in your yard? Termite mounds tend to resemble ant hills and are commonly made up of a specific ratio of soil and termite saliva. You can also determine these structures by looking at whether termites are entering or exiting them. 

Identifying Termite Mounds: What You Need To Know

Since termite mounds tend to look like anthills or a giant molehill, they can be difficult to identify. Termite mounds also come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the species of termites that built the mound. Here are some factors to help you identify termite mounds easily: 

1) What They Look Like

Termite mounds come in different sizes, with some even reaching 25 feet tall and with a diameter of almost 100 feet. Common termite mounds don’t reach that size, but they are still easily identifiable because they aren’t the same level as the rest of your yard. You may want to look for tunnels made of soil or gray or brown specks of fecal matter. 

If you want to take a closer look at these lumps of soil, look for a rounded smokestack on top of the mound, which serves as its opening. Check to see if there are termites coming from the opening of the mound. 

2) What They Are Made of

Termite mounds are usually made up of soil, termite saliva, and dung. Saliva is one of the important components of these structures. It doesn’t necessarily make the structure stronger, but it’s incredibly helpful in keeping the mounds more weatherproof. 

When all of these materials are combined, it creates a biocement called “boluses”, which are spherical bricks used to construct the mound. There is a specific ratio of water and soil to create these boluses. Termites shape boluses while they are still wet, and they become hard and strong once they dry up. Inside the termite mounds, there are several specialized chambers that help store food and feed the colony. Termite mounds are also constantly maintained by worker ants, who are responsible for repairs. 

3) Where to Look for Them

Although most termites build their mounds in the soil, homeowners who face termite infestations may have to deal with the pests sealing themselves inside the wood they’re feeding on. The part you see above the ground is only a small part of the termite colony’s nest. Most termites don’t live in the mound’s part that you see above ground, but under the soil where the mound is. 

How to Eliminate Termite Mounds 

Once you’ve identified termite mounds in your yard, you can eliminate them using different methods. Some of them are the following: 

1) Chemical Insecticides

Using chemical insecticides is a common method to eliminate termites and other pests. Chemicals like Arsenic trioxide, Bifenthrin, Fipronil, and Permethrin can be used for this purpose, but remember that some of these products can be hazardous to your health and can even damage the plants in your garden. You should understand the effects of these chemicals on the environment before choosing it as your pest control method. 

2) Baited Traps

Setting up baited traps or termite bait stations is another way to help eliminate termites, especially subterranean ones. These devices work slowly to kill off worker termites, who are necessary for the colony’s survival. Without worker termites, soldier termites and queen termites starve since they can’t look for food on their own. Termite bait stations are installed underground to help get rid of termite colonies that live under the soil and they usually contain cellulose, insecticides, and other active ingredients. 

3) Professional Pest Control

Professional pest control is possibly your best option to eliminate termite mounds and their colonies from your home. Pest control experts have the knowledge to identify termites and the necessary skills to use specific methods for controlling a pest population. These professionals conduct a thorough inspection of your property to determine what kind of solutions are the best for your pest problem. 

Another great thing about professional pest control is that they guarantee termite-free houses. They are willing to do another round of pest control visits if the termites or pests ever come back. 

Eliminate Termite Mounds With Pinnacle Pest Control

Eliminating termite mounds properly requires the skill of a professional. At Pinnacle Pest Control, we provide the best pest control services to remove termites and other pests such as rodents, bed bugs, and cockroaches. 

Our team is committed to provide the best service for our clients so that they can live in a safe and pest-free home. Experts and technicians are more than willing to answer any questions you have about our services. Call us today to know more about Pinnacle Pest Control. 

Learn more: How Does Termite Bait Work?

Using termite bait is one of the most effective pest control solutions to help eliminate termite colonies in your property. These baits are made of cellulose combined with other ingredients that are lethal to termites, such as poison. It’s usually a non-invasive way to treat termite infestations so that homeowners don’t have to worry about dealing with the pests anymore. 

So how does termite bait work to remove termites? Termite bait is usually placed inside termite bait stations, which are cylinder plastic containers with tiny slits that allow termites to enter and get some of the bait. Once worker termites find this bait, they share it with other members of the colony, resulting in a decline in their population. 

What Does Termite Bait Do to Termites?

Though there are different kinds of termite baits available in the market, all of them generally work the same way. A termite bait attracts a colony using a food source laced with poison. This eventually eliminates the colony because once worker termites start to die, the termite soldiers and their queen won’t have any food source. 

There are a variety of termite baits available on the market and knowing the differences among them can help you choose the best product for your termite situation. Some of the commonly used termite bait stations are the following: 

  • Sentricon: Sentricon is one of the most popular termite bait stations available on the market, and these are “always active” as long as they are installed properly. However, older versions of this system inspection require the removal of the piece of timber inside it, which can disrupt the termites' activity.  
  • Exterra: The timber or bait used in Exterra is in direct contact with the soil, making it easier for termites to find. It doesn’t require the removal of the actual bait, so termite activity isn’t disrupted during an inspection. Though Exterra can be used by itself, localized liquid treatments need to be done with its installation. 
  • Trelona Advance: Trelona uses an insect growth regulator called novaluron. The bait station is pre-baited with two levels - a cylinder of wood and a monitoring matrix.

How Termite Baits Work

It’s important to understand how termite bait works in order to kill a termite colony once it’s been installed underground. Here’s how termite baits remove termite colonies in your property: 

1) Installation

Termite bait stations are usually installed underground. The product is placed around the perimeter of the property, around 2-4 feet away from the home’s foundation and with fixed intervals in between other bait stations. This is to ensure that the termites go to the bait for food and decrease the chances of them infesting the structure. 

You also need to know where to place termite bait since you don’t usually see termites above the soil. You have to check the property for possible areas where termites might live and forage so you can strategically place the bait stations there. A tree stump is an example of those areas that termites can feed on. 

2) Process

After installation, the bait stations will start to work gradually in eliminating a termite colony. The eliminating process will rely on a bit of luck, so you have to wait a while before the product becomes effective. Remember that these products are designed to align with a termite’s natural activity, so bait stations don’t necessarily “attract” the pests. The process of baiting termites has three steps: 

  • Pre-baiting: Pre-baiting is the process wherein scout termites have established the bait station as a possible food source. For this to happen, the foragers tag the bait station with pheromones, which is a scent trail that worker termites follow so that they can get food. Establishing this scent trail since is a significant part of their feeding cycle and the baiting process. 
  • Introduction of toxic bait: Termites need to establish the bait as a food source before you place toxic bait or chemicals because they have to bring the bait back to their nests. When the termites have already done this, you can now introduce the toxic stuff in the process. The termites will continually feed on this poison until the feeding stops. 
  • Population reduction: The population of the termite colony will start to decline as they continue to feed on the poisoned bait 

3) Effectiveness

Termites are not active the entire year. These insects typically feed during warmer temperatures and they significantly reduce their activities when temperatures start to drop. Because of this, termite feeding on bait stations is also reduced and delayed until temperatures have stayed above a certain level. 

However, this doesn’t mean that you have to wait until spring or summer to install termite baits. You should install them before the temperature starts to rise so that the ingredients inside will have enough time to adapt to the surrounding area. This gives the termites a few months to find the bait stations underground and start feeding on them. 

Keep in mind that there's still a chance that insects can infest indoors even if you use a termite bait. Unlike other treatments such as liquid treatment, termite bait doesn’t create a barrier around a property. Once the termites look for food, they won’t necessarily prefer the bait found in the station. They can still go to wooden structures and feed on those. 

Additionally, termite bait stations are more effective in eliminating subterranean termites, since these termites live underground and travel through the soil. So this means that if you’re trying to eliminate drywood termites from your property, the baits can be less effective and you might need to look at other forms of treatment or prevention to control their population. 

What Is in a Termite Bait?

termite bait in the backyard

A termite bait has the following ingredients or products that attract and eliminate termite colonies: 

1) Cellulose

Termites are always looking for food sources that provide them with cellulose. Cellulose is a structural component of wood that provides these insects with the nutrients they need to survive. A termite feeds on anything that has cellulose, such as wood, paper, and cardboard. 

Some termite bait stations use strips of wood or cartridges that contain compressed cellulose materials. This helps establish the product as a possible food source for their colony. Without cellulose, termites will not go to the bait station. 

2) Insecticide

Termite bait also contains some insecticides to help control the termite population. This ingredient helps poison worker termites when they share the bait  with other members of the colony. A common chemical used in termite bait stations is a chitin inhibitor, which prevents them from molting or shedding their outer body covering. 

Molting is a significant process of this insect’s life cycle, where they shed their exoskeleton in order to grow and allow them to mature. Since it can only affect immature termites, worker termites must be the ones first affected by this chemical so that they don’t molt, eventually die, and don’t provide the colony with food. 

3) Other Active Ingredients 

Aside from cellulose and insecticides, termite bait also contains other active ingredients that work to attract and eliminate these pests. The active ingredients found in termite bait vary in their effects, so you need to learn about them to know which kind of active ingredients to look for in termite bait stations. Some examples of active ingredients in termite bait stations include hexaflumuron and novaluron.

How to Make Termite Bait More Effective

If you’re having problems with the effectiveness of your termite bait station, you may try the following tips:

1) Using Correct Bait and Active Ingredients

The ingredients in baits have varying effects and you should know which ones to use in your particular termite situation. You may opt to use a slow active ingredient rather than a fast-acting one so that dead termites don’t accumulate in a specific area. When there are a bunch of dead termites in a place, the insects might avoid that area and your bait station will become ineffective. 

Additionally, a pest control professional may initially use a less active ingredient to attract the insects. Once termites are attracted to the bait, a professional will switch out the less active ingredient to a more powerful one. 

2) Regular Maintenance

It’s not enough to install termite bait stations and think that it will magically eliminate all the termites on your property. Regular maintenance once a year is needed so that the bait stays efficient in controlling the termite population. You have to clean out the bait station every 12 months and replace the wood or cellulose inside it. 

If you live in an area where it rains a lot, more maintenance may be needed. And since the bait has to be replaced eventually with a more powerful one to ensure efficacy, you definitely need to monitor its status regularly. 

3) Be Patient

Termite baiting is not a quick solution to termite infestations since the slow-acting poison needs time to become effective. And since termites reduce their activity during the fall and winter, you may have to wait for temperatures to rise before the process can work.  

Eliminate Termites With Pinnacle Pest Control

While termite bait is a popular and effective method, improper installation can make it inefficient and even lead to more serious problems. With professional pest control here at Pinnacle Pest Control, we guarantee that termite infestations are properly treated and eliminated. 

We use the best tools and techniques to eliminate different kinds of pests and help make your home safer for you and your family. Our team is here to assist you and answer any questions you have about our service. To know more about Pinnacle Pest Control, you may visit our website or give us a call today. 

Read more: Carpenter Ant Frass Vs. Termite Frass: What’s the Difference?

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