t’s no secret that for many homeowners, 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. Infact, many retail outlets and hardware stores such as Bunnings are offering low cost termite treatment solutions to customers as a cheaper alternative.
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
It 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.
Do DIY termite treatments really work?
The simple answer to this is no.
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.
Professional 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?
In summary, pest control is always best left to the professionals. Bunnings, is probably best for a sausage sanga 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.