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Subterranean termites are by far, the most common termites in Virginia. Several subterranean species are native to Virginia, but their biology and activity are essentially the same. The Formosan subterranean termite, an imported species, has recently been identified in a few locations in the state, but they are not widely distributed at this time. Termites "nest" in the soil and from there they can attack structures by building shelter tubes from the soil to the wood in structures. To control termites, it is almost always necessary to use pesticides. Pesticides used to control termites are called termiticides. Termiticides may be applied as liquids or baits. When applied as a liquid, the termiticide is injected into the soil or to wood members of a structure. When a bait system is used, the bait is placed in specially designed bait stations in the soil around the exterior perimeter of a structure. In this publication, we will discuss some of the options that homeowners' can use to better understand how a structure is treated for termites.
The best time to provide protection against termites is during the planning and construction phase of a structure. The major objective of subterranean termite control is to establish a chemical barrier between the soil, where termites live and the wood in the home. A thorough pre-construction treatment is needed to protect the structure from termites. Treating a structure for termite control requires specialized equipment that homeowners usually do not have on hand such as a 100-gallon tank, roller pump and auxiliary motor to deliver the insecticide from the tank, hoses, treating tools, etc. Therefore, it is not recommended homeowners' attempt to treat their homes for termite control.
A continuous termiticide barrier is established in the soil adjacent to foundation elements (in accordance with label directions). This treatment is usually performed after the footings have been poured and the foundation walls and /or pillars have been built. The termiticide is applied in the soil by trenching or trenching and rodding adjacent to foundation elements. With shallow footings, the soil is removed by trenching and is treated with the termiticide as it is replaced into the trench. Where footings are exposed, treatment is performed next to the footing but not below the bottom of the footing. Where deep footings exists, such as a basement home, termiticides are applied as the soil backfill is placed around the foundation. Alternatively, the pest control operator may trench and rod into the trench or trench along the foundation walls and around pillars and other foundation elements, at the rate prescribed from the top of the grade to a minimum depth of 4 feet. The termiticide must be applied on all sides of all foundation elements, including chimney bases, foundation walls, pilasters and pillars. Where drain tile, french drains, or other foundation drainage systems present a hazard of contamination outside the treatment zone, treatment must be performed in a manner that will not introduce the insecticide into the drainage system. The insecticide must be mixed with water as required by the pesticide label and applied to a minimum depth of 4 feet at the rate of 4 gallons per 10 linear feet, per foot of depth.
One of the most common types of construction in Virginia is the concrete slab resting on the soil. Often a slab will crack or shrink away from the foundation wall allowing termites to infest the wood above. In addition, concrete slabs usually have many other points of entry such as bath traps, plumbing outlets, construction joints, etc. Treatment to these areas requires establishing a horizontal barrier. The soil underneath and around the concrete slab must be treated with the termiticide before the concrete slab is poured. The termiticide must be applied after installation of the sub-slab fill material. Diluted insecticide is then applied to the fill material at the rate of 1 gal. per 10-sq. ft. Where the final fill material is washed stone, termiticide is applied at the rate of 1½ gal. per 10 sq. ft. In addition to treatment underneath the slab, foundation elements are treated as stated above. In addition, a vertical barrier must be established around foundation elements adjacent to slabs.
If you desire more information on other species of termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, or other wood destroying pests or organisms, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get the answers to you!
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