Termite Bait Stations Vs. Liquid Treatment: Which One Should You Choose?

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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
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

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