Termite Baits As A Form Of Pest Control

We have to admit that baiting alone looks attractive. It offers very little disruption with almost all the work done from outside the building. The apparent convenience of these programs makes them very marketable (and very profitable). As a result baiting programs have been marketed strongly by some major players in the termite control business.

However, we have some serious concerns about the effectiveness of baiting. We are committed to giving our customers the very best services available for their hard-earned dollars. Because of this commitment and our experiences with these systems we aren’t comfortable recommending stand-alone baiting as a good option for most of our customers. Why?

1. Expensive Baiting systems must be checked regularly to be effective. Service visits take time and “time is money”. A good service will be expensive. A cheap service will probably not control the termites.

2. Colony elimination is not a certainty.Although it has been proven that a baiting system can kill a subterranean termite colony, we haven’t found any system that guarantees it will kill any colony.

3. Different termites.Our Western subterranean termite’s behavior is not the same as species found elsewhere in the U.S. (This has been well documented.) Baiting has been shown to be an effective tool combating Eastern and Formosan subterranean termites. Results gained fighting our Western species haven’t been nearly as good.4. A baiting program is forever.Bait devices are only effective when serviced regularly. And the company owns the bait stations in most cases. If you stop the service the stations are removed and you loose your protection. Termites may still be active next to or even inside your home. And you have little or nothing for all the money you spent to that point.

5. Slow process.Baits can’t work until the termites find the bait. This may take many months (years in some cases). Then, after they find the bait, it may take several more months to gain any significant amount of control. During all of this time, additional damage may be occurring in the structure.

6. What happens when the termites don’t feed on the bait?We’ve seen too many situations where the termites hadn’t found the bait stations after several years! The customer has paid to install and service a baiting system but there was absolutely no termite control achieved. In effect the customer paid a lot of money and received very little (if any) value for that money. Meanwhile the termites continued to damage the structure unchecked.

Stand-alone baiting programs do have some usefulness. In certain uncommon construction types or where other unusual conditions exist, baiting may the best (or only) alternative. Our biggest concern is that you have a clear understanding about the limitations of this approach.

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