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I had a phone call today that I've gotten many times and have not written down the steps for future reference. The common question I get is, "how do you perform a proper termite treatment?" It is actually quite involved, so I think by writing it down I can reference people to this and not have to explain it each time. This treatment applies only for SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES. Drywood termites require a wood treatment such as Bora-Care.
A Liquid termite treatment, although involved, is definitely something a homeowner can tackle. What makes it EASIER for a company is the equipment. It is definitely not rocket science. 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 100 to 200 gallons of finished solution, so it helps out quite a bit to be able to treat in one or two shots. 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. Once the trench is complete it is filled with 4 gallons of mixed termiticide per 10 feet. 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 top of the backfill.
For your garage, porch, patios, or other contiguous slabs against the home, you will need to get the termiticide underneath the concrete against the foundation. To do this you will need a hammer drill with a 1/2" x 18" drill bit. You drill holes throughout the concrete about 3-4 inches away from the wall or foundation, and about every 10"-12" apart. Once the holes are drilled, you fill at the same rate you did the trench, 4 gallons per 10 feet. 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. 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 addtion 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 you should add up all of the lineal footage you will be treating including the inside of the crawl space and slabs. 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, divide by 10 and multiply by 4. 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 product we recommend doing this treatment with is Dominion 2L. It is a non-repellent, odorless, termiticide that bonds to the soil and will last 7+ years before you need to retreat again.
If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good Luck!
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