The most common question we get in regards to treating for subterranean termites is: "How do I do a termite treatment?" Performing a termite treatment is not rocket science, but it is not a walk in the park either. However, most treatments can be performed in one day and is more sweat and labor then it is difficult to apply. The treatment methods outlined below really only apply for SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES. Treating for Drywood termites require a different treatment method using a product like Bora-care.
DIY Subterranean Termite
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A Liquid termite treatment, although involved, is definitely something a homeowner can tackle. What makes it EASIER for a company is the equipment. The main piece of equipment that makes it easy for a company is the fact that they have 100 gallon pressure sprayers. A typical termite treatment requires anywhere from 80 to 200 gallons of finished solution depending on the size of the house, so it helps out quite a bit to be able to treat everything at once with the help of a large spray rig. A homeowner normally does not have access to a 100 gallon spray rig, so it is much more time consuming. Most homeowners use a 5 gallon bucket. Since subterranean termites come from the ground, the goal is to put a complete termiticide barrier around the structure. This is achieved by trenching where there is dirt against your foundation, and drilling where there is concrete against your foundation.
Using a pick axe or trenching tool, you should dig a six-inch wide and six-inch deep trench directly against the foundation everywhere the ground comes up to the structure. The foundation of your house will make up one side of the trench. Once the trench is complete it is filled with 4 gallons of mixed termiticide per 10 feet of trench. This is where the 5 gallon bucket comes in handy. If one side of your house is 30 feet long, than you measure out 4 gallons in the bucket and pour it in the trench 3 times for a total of 12 gallons per the 30 feet. You can use a one gallon sprayer to mix and spray the chemical with, but if your house requires 100 gallons of chemical, it may take you two days to fill the sprayer 100 times. It is much easier to use the five gallon bucket method.
Once the trench is filled with the proper amount of termiticide, cover the trench back with the dirt that was removed. You want the dirt that you place back in the trench to be treated also, so that you have a complete barrier against your house and no untreated soil. If you place the dirt back in the trench while it is still filled with the termiticide, it will mix and be treated. If the ground has already soaked up the termiticide, than you will need to pour extra termiticide on the backfill as you are pushing it back into the trench so it will be treated also.
For your garage, porch, patios, or other contiguous slabs against the home where you cannot trench, you will need to get the termiticide underneath the concrete against the foundation by drilling holes. To do this you will need a hammer drill with a 1/2" x 18" drill bit. Not any hammer drill will do. You will need a heavy duty "big" hammer drill to make this easy. If you do not have a hammer drill for concrete then we recommend that you rent one from a tool rental place or Home Depot. You should be able to rent one for $40 to $60 per day (you should only need it for one day). You drill holes through the concrete about 2 to 3 inches away from the wall or foundation, and about every 10"-12" apart, only on the seam where the concrete is against the foundation. You are not only drilling through just the concrete here, but also as deep as you can into the dirt. The deeper the better. Once the holes are drilled, you fill at the same rate you did the trench, 4 gallons per 10 feet. If you drilled the holes 12 inches apart, then you would have 10 holes over 10 feet that you are trying to fill with 4 gallons. This works out to be a little less than half a gallon per hole. To fill these I would recommend using the one gallon sprayer on a "pin stream" setting so you can force the liquid down the hole and not splash it everywhere. You can also use a funnel and pour the termiticide down the holes. It is difficult to get 4 gallons per 10 feet in the holes, so it is important that you use a long drill bit, at least 18" long so you can bore out enough dirt to hold the termiticide. Sometimes the ground is slow to soak up the termiticide you place in the holes. You may need to fill the holes, then go work on something else for an hour, come back and fill them again, go work on something else.....3 to 4 times to get the proper amount down the holes. Once the holes are filled all you need to do is patch them with a concrete patch filler you can buy at Home Depot or you can use our Trebor plugs that will close the hole with no concrete mess.
These are the basic steps in a liquid termite treatment for Subterranean Termites for a house on a slab or a basement. If your home has a crawl space there are some additional drilling that usually is done when a professional treats your home. For a crawl space you would do all of the treatment outlined above for the exterior perimeter and any slabs that may be present on the outside, and in addition to the outside you will need to do some treating under the crawl space of the home. You want to dig a trench on the interior wall of the crawl space also and apply at a rate of 4 gallons per 10 feet. The most important step on a crawl space home is to trench and treat around the supporting piers underneath the house. Apply at the same rate of 4 gallons per 10 feet.
If there are no drill holes in the hollow block foundation of your crawl space, this is another step a professional company would do for the treatment of your home. Termites can tunnel up the voids on the inside of the hollow block foundation out of your sight and you would not know it. It is important to treat the voids of the block so they cannot tunnel up the inside. You would do this by using the same 1/2" drill bit from above and drill two holes per block, one in each void. The holes should be no higher than 18" from the ground; a good rule of thumb is to treat the second block up from the ground. You do this around the entire crawl space including the block piers. You treat these holes at a rate of 2 gallons per 10 lineal feet. For a home owner you would want to use a handheld pump sprayer to apply the termiticide in the holes.
To properly determine how much solution you will need to treat your entire house you should add up all of the lineal footage you will be treating including the inside of the crawl space and slabs (if present). For instance, if you are treating a slab house that is 200 lineal feet around, than you would need 80 gallons of termiticide solution. To do this take 200 lineal feet, divide by 10 and multiply by 4. This will give you how many gallons of solution you will need to treat your home. This is because you are treating at a rate of 4 gallons per 10 feet. If you have a 200 lineal foot home on a crawl space with a hollow block foundation, then you would need 80 gallons for the outside founand, 80 gallons for trenching the inside foundation, and 40 gallons for the hollow block (2 gallons per 10 feet). You need a total of 200 gallons of termiticide to treat a 200 lineal foot home on crawl space with hollow block.
This all being said, the next step is to choose a termite product to use. The number one used termiticide by professional companies is Termidor. Termidor will last for 10+ years in the soil, but it is also one of the most expensive termiticides. One bottle of Termidor will make 25 gallons, which treats about 60 lineal feet. Most houses need 4 bottles of Termidor. We do have another recommended termiticide called Dominion 2L. It is a non-repellent just like Termidor is, but will only last for about 7 years in the ground before needing to be re-treated. However, it is about half the price of Termidor. One bottle of Dominion 2L will make 50 gallons, and most houses only need 2 bottles of Dominion 2L, so your treatment cost can be cut in half.
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