The most destructive termite found in the United States is the subterranean termite. This is not a species of termite, but rather, a classification. A subterranean termite, as its names suggests, is a type of termite that lives below ground (subterranean). Here you'll find a quick rundown on what subterranean termites are and why bait is best in the battle to protect your property from these wood-eating pests.

Subterranean Termites

In nature, subterranean termites have an important job: they break down dead trees. Unfortunately, they can't tell the difference between a dead tree and the wood of your home. When they silently tunnel through the soil and get into man-made structures, they can feed undetected for years and cause significant damage. So, although your house may be the most significant investment you've ever made, it is just food to those termites.

If you were to look at a single termite, you probably wouldn't think much of it. At about ⅛ of an inch, it isn't much to look at. However, there are a lot of termites in a subterranean termite colony, and a single queen can produce millions of offspring in her lifetime. That means millions of tiny little mouths chewing on the equity of your home.

In a termite colony, there are three main roles to play: worker, soldier, or swarmer. Workers continually forage for food and bring it back to the colony, soldiers protect the colony, and swarmers leave the colony in search of a place to create a new colony. Of these three, the worker termite is the weak link, the Trojan horse that we exploit to take down the entire colony, including the queen.

Those workers never stop foraging. In fact, as an organism, they are so simple that they don't even need to sleep. They tunnel and eat 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Worse still, these creatures can travel underground as far as the length of a football field to get a meal. When they find food, they lay down a pheromone scent inside tunnels on the way back to their colony so that all the workers know the most direct route to get back to the food source, much in the way ants do. But, though the pheromone trail gives them sort of a superhighway to get back to the source of food, their instinct is to continue to forage.

Termite Treatment Options

How do you battle an enemy that is relentless in its foraging? You have two options. You can lay down a liquid barrier or you can put out bait. Here is how they work.

Liquid Barrier: The goal of a liquid barrier is to build a shield around the foundation of a home that kills any termite that comes in contact with it. In order to create this liquid barrier, it is necessary to dig all the way around a home, sometimes boring holes through concrete and brick to make the barrier complete. This is a process that requires potentially hundreds of gallons of Termiticide, and even with careful preparation, many things can obstruct the chemical barrier and reduce its effectiveness. A termite only needs 1/32 of an inch to breach this barrier. If there is no hole when this treatment is first put into place, over time a hole can develop because liquid barriers degrade over time; and they do nothing to destroy a colony.

Termite Bait: The Sentricon system uses the termite workers own foraging instinct against it. Non-obtrusive bait stations are strategically placed by certified Sentricon installers to provide a food source that has been scientifically proven to be preferable to wood by foraging termites. And, since termite workers never stop looking for food, they will eventually stumble onto this tasty bait and bring it back to their colony, killing workers along the way and eventually killing the queen. No more queen, no more colony. It's that simple.

The Winner Is... Termite Bait

The termite workers constant foraging makes liquid barriers vulnerable by ensuring that they will eventually find a hole to get through. But that same foraging instinct is what makes the Sentricon system work perfectly. No trenches. No digging. It’s just smart science that naturally works to stop termites in their tracks. When you need peace of mind, bait is best.

Hoffer Pest Solutions is a certified Sentricon installer serving South Florida including  Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Get real termite protection and keep those foraging worker termites out.

To learn more about liquid versus bait, watch Sentricon's video below: