Termite baits, also known as bait stations, are capsules that contain paper, cardboard or other acceptable termite food laced with a slow-acting poison that is lethal to termites. Baits are sometimes called “termite traps,” although they do not actually trap termites. Baiting is an alternative to older “barrier” treatments in which large amounts of pesticide are applied to the soil underneath and surrounding a building in order to block all potential routes of termite entry. Termite baits employ small amounts of slow-acting poison that is gradually spread among worker termites when they return to the nest to feed one another.
Some baits are installed below ground and others are positioned above ground in the vicinity of known termite mud tubes and feeding sites. Below-ground stations typically contain untreated wood (as the poison rapidly decomposes underground) until termite activity is detected inside the stations, at which time the exterminator will deploy poisoned material. Poisons are designed to eliminate the colony either through sterilization or by stunting their growth.
Advantages of Termite Baiting
Inspectors may want to document the presence of termite baits, as they indicate the past or present activity wood-destroying organisms. This information may be of interest to potential home buyers. Inspectors should not attempt to open or otherwise disturb termite baits.
In summary, termite baits are new, non-invasive devices used to eliminate termites from homes. Inspectors should be aware of their presence so that they know that measures are possibly being taken to treat an infestation, and so that the traps aren't inadvertently disturbed during an inspection.
by Nick Gromicko, CMI®