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Article posted on February 28, 2020

DIY Termite Treatment VS Professional Termite Control, Which Is Best?

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DIY termite treatments usually end in disaster for homeowners, it’s no secret that the costs of everyday living can become overwhelming. With mortgage repayments, insurance, utility bills, groceries, fuel, and more, it can certainly feel as though expenses are never ending.

This is why many home owners are opting for cheap DIY termite treatment options.

Let’s face it, chemical termite barriers can be considered by many to be a rather costly exercise. Pricing typically starts at around $2,500 for a regular sized three bedroom home. However, for larger properties it can range anywhere from $3-$5,000 or more.

With the increased popularity of “do it yourself” home renovations and repairs on the rise, there has also been an increase in DIY pest prevention and treatments. In fact, many retail outlets and hardware stores such as Bunnings are offering low cost termite treatment solutions to customers as a cheaper alternative.

In a recent case study video below, a client contacted Pest-Ex after purchasing DIY Termite baits and having a $25,000 repair bill 12 months later as he thought he had the termites under control. We encourage all homeowners to seek professional advice in regards to termite control and your specific home, after all a site visit assessment by us is free.

But do these at home remedies really work? And will using a cheaper do it yourself treatment really save you money in the long term?

Getting rid of termites isn’t as easy as you might think

diy spray bottle termite treatment imageIt can be easy to assume that eradicating termites is a straight forward process. Believe it or not, we’ve found homeowners literally squirting handheld water bottles mixed with Bunnings products around the perimeter of their homes onto the grass, thinking they were taking proactive steps towards preventing termites.

What people fail to realise is the sheer amount of chemical that is required in order to properly protect a home. For most homes having a chemical barrier installed, over 600 litres of product is usually required. This liquid is injected deep into the soil (at least 300mm) around the property using specialised high pressure equipment, which creates a barrier designed to disrupt the natural path termites take when foraging for food.

So for anyone purchasing a few litres of chemical that they intend on “squirting” around the yard, they’re going to be in for a shock once they realise the structural integrity of their homes have been compromised by termites.

Another important factor that most homeowners are unaware of is the actual strength of the chemicals being used. Professional pest control technicians use chemicals that have undergone rigorous testing and development to ensure they are set at a certain mixture rate that provides maximum impact, whilst remaining safe for the occupants of the home and of course for the environment.

Over the counter products available to the general public however contain a much lower rate of active ingredient, simply as a safety precaution. This means you require a lot more of the product to achieve the same effect. This essentially defeats the purpose of trying to save money as you almost always need twice as much product.

So in summary, whilst cheaper alternatives might seem more financially attractive, there is also a massive reduction in the level of protection that a do it yourself application provides when compared to a professionally installed system.

bunnings diy termite treatment image

Do DIY termite treatments really work?

The simple answer to this is no.

Here’s why.

There are a number of different DIY treatments available on the market at the moment, but they all use the same form of repellent chemical base. Repellents, unlike termiticides are designed to deter termites rather than kill them. While this in theory sounds like it would be an effective outcome (to deter the termites away from your property), in reality it’s far less efficient.

For 3 main reasons –

  • The termites are not affected in any way, nor are they killed off
  • The main nest or colony is not killed off, and
  • Termites will eventually find another way into the property as termites will simply manoeuvre “around” or “under” the treated area as they can detect it

Termiticides used by professional pest control experts however, (such as Termidor) are undetectable by termites who pass through the chemical. Over a period of 1-2 weeks, thousands of termites pass through the treated zone, and are unknowingly affected by the pesticide. The effects of the pesticides are also passed between the termites themselves, which results in the chemical eventually being returned to the main nest, where the entire colony is exterminated.

Over the counter products such as the ones available at Bunnings do not do this.

The other important factor is the sheer amount of volume required in order to protect a home. A professionally applied termite barrier can use in excess of 600 litres of product to create an impenetrable boundary around the perimeter of an average size 3 bedroom home.  When you compare this to the volume of most DIY products, which are usually sold in 1-2 litre bottles, it becomes apparent why the level of protection provided by an at home application is clearly inadequate.

Keep in mind that a chemical termite barrier installed by a qualified professional also comes with an 8 year protection warranty. Over the counter products wont.

And of course lastly, equipment.

barrier rig termite treatment imageProfessional pest controllers use the very latest in tooling and equipment to ensure correct application of the product. One particular tool technicians use is what’s known as a “barrier rig”. Barrier rigs use a pressurised system to inject the product into the soil, often at rates of up to 80psi to ensure complete saturation of the intended zone.

Chemicals are injected deep into the ground, where they are designed to “bind” with the soil so it doesn’t simply “wash away” during light rain.

Of course most homeowners wont have the ability to do this and end up simply spraying chemicals on the surface, or against the wall edge, rather than deep down into the soil where termites exist.

Ready to work with Pest-Ex?

pest ex termite professionals imageIn summary, pest control is always best left to the professionals. Bunnings, is probably best for a sausage sandwich and a coke.

If you have concerns about potential termite infestations in your home, then be sure to give us a call. Don’t try cutting corners using cheap inferior products that have the potential to cause risks to your family, and leave your home unprotected.

Call us today to schedule an inspection, we look forward to hearing from you.

6 responses to “DIY Termite Treatment VS Professional Termite Control, Which Is Best?

  1. We had a small patch where we grew a small apple tree, we have now removed the apple tree and have seen white ants (termites). Is there a DIY solution we can use to remove them? Also, will they just be staying in the soil?

    1. Hi Jayne, Thankyou for your message.
      Chances are the termites were feeding on the tree as a food source, unfortunately DIY treatments usually end in failure, the important factor is to determine what type of termites are in the tree/grounds. If you remove the tree the termites will still be in the grounds and find other food sources. Feel free to email me direct a photo of the termites if you like and I can assess what type of termite colony you are dealing with- admin@pest-ex.com.au Also depending on what area you live in we may be able to do a free site assessment. Regards Danny

  2. G’day just a before getting use out
    I need a treatment done at my house, I’m just getting quotes atm as everyone is diffrent and people are useing all different products, and some warrantys a are 5 years some are 10 etc. What chemical does your business use and what is the active ingredient in it?

    1. Hi Brayden,
      Thankyou for your message, yes its confusing getting termite control quotes as many termite control company’s will give different advice, Ill be up front with you about this as termites and termite control must be taken seriously as its your home your protecting. If a company is offering a 5 year warranty they are probably using a cheaper termiticide such as bifenthrin at a low application rate maybe 5 liters per lineal meter. I would stay well away from bifenthrin as a termite treatment product as it is a repellant chemical (This pushes termites away from the treated zones) We trust termidor on all our termite barriers. It is a non repellant and allows termites to pass through the treated zone unknowingly picking up a lethal dose of termidor and transferring it to other termites resulting in a rapid decline in the colony. We use a minimum of 10 liters per lineal meter for this application and termidor termite barriers by Pest-Ex include a 8 year warranty. The active ingredient is fipronil, I would also avoid any other copy of product using fipronil. I’ve been using termidor for 14 years with zero failures, I’ve looked at some generics and found the cheaper products clog up our pump filters, the filters were clogged with chunks of active ingredient resulting in a very much diluted product coming out of the nozzle. Lucky these trials were on ants in grass, and not termites in a home. If your home is not suited for a termite barrier it will be suited for a termite baiting system. The creators of termidor have also developed a leading tablet style termite baiting system you can read more about here. My best advice is do it once and do it right, I’ve seen homes destroyed by cheap termite treatment attempts. I’m happy to do a free site visit if your property’s anywhere from Tweed Heads to Brisbane northside. Best regards Danny Kelly

  3. I have termites in my vegetable garden, pretty sure they came in the potting mix. They seem to only in the top inch or two of the soil. What can be done? Thanks Sharon

    1. Hi Sharon,
      Thankyou for the message, there is a good chance the termites haven’t came from the potting mix, termites live underground and need to get to and from the colony to survive. termites would eventually die off in a bag of potting mix, even if they survived in the potting mix they wont survive long as they wont have underground gallerys going to a nest. Im confident the termites are coming up through the soil to the area your seeing them. Termites love moisture and gardens that have a moist base of soil or potting mix even. I would reccomend a termite inspection for your home. A termite inspection is $220 inc gst and you can contact us here

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Kent Bailey
11 months ago
Just had my home barrier treatment for termites by Pest Ex. In every way a brilliant job and fantastic friendly service unlike...read more anything else I have struck on the Gold Coast. This is a very professional company and every person involved was excellent in every way. Strongly recommend them to all who read this review because you won't do better.
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Christie McCabe
a year ago
On time. Efficient. Friendly. Informative. Well priced. Our experience with Pest-Ex was easy from the moment Reception answered our call. Our routine...read more pest inspection could be done the next day (a Saturday which is most convenient for full time workers). Karl arrived at 7am with a smile to complete the service and carried out the work efficiently informing us of the process where required. Thanks team.
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Chris Burt
2 years ago
Very professional and able to identify our pest problem on the spot. Was on time and great communication with admin girls via...read more phone. Very conscious of keeping our pet safe after the treatment which was a classy touch. Highly recommend!
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6 months ago
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Lorrie Cruickshanks
a year ago
Thank you to Garyn who first identified the issues, he was extremely thorough and prompt and then to John and Janine and...read more the team who treated and area and placed the baits. The process was fully explained and they were extremely courteous and very professional. Thank you to all the team. The office also kept us up to date with when their representatives would be visiting and this is very much appreciated. Great work.
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Donna Hamerton
a year ago
After reading reviews, I'm glad that I chose Pest-Ex. Maria in the office was more than understanding to accommodate me and times....read more I was able to get a booking the same day I made the enquiry. Garyn my technician was even able to come earlier. When he arrived he was happy to explain everything that was going to happen and how to work around my pets and children. Need pest control done - hire these guys.
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Phoebe Worth
2 years ago
Impressed with the service. The technician Steve was on time, friendly and thorough - you could tell he was not rushing the...read more job. Will be using Pest-Ex again. Thanks guys!
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Mickey Ketch
a year ago
This company actually investigates the problem instead of just spraying your place and leaving. Very HIGH knowledge and experience in what they...read more do. They took the time to investigate the cause, the source of the problem and elimnated it completely which included going through every cupboard, cracks hiding spots the lot. We had a cochroach problem in our apartment for 3 months and we had 4 different companies come out and NONE of them investigated they only sprayed. After we called PestEx, Mr. Phillips was very knowledgeable and experienced eliminating our problem entirely. We also use PestEx in our shop and both Mr Phillips and Marty are EXCELLENT in resolving and maintaining pest problems. HIGHLY RECOMMEND PEST EX. BEST I'VE SEEN IN QUEENSLAND.