Do-It-Yourself Termite Baits: Do They Work?

Do-It-Yourself Termite Baits: Do They Work?

Discovering you have termites is never a pleasant experience. These small insects bury into your wood and eat it, causing a considerable amount of damage in the process. The average colony is 60,000 termites but, if they have been left unnoticed for an extended period of time you may discover there are multiple colonies living under your house.

If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘Money Pit’, you’ll understand the potential consequences.

The key to eliminating the termites is to get on top of the issue as quickly as possible. For many, this means getting hold of the latest termite bait systems and having a go themselves.


The question is whether a do-it-yourself termite bait system will work.

The answer is yes and no.

The Right approach

In reality, it is best to let the professionals handle the termites. Not only will they have the right tools they will be able to confirm all the termites are gone and even provide a guarantee.

However, if you copy their approach you should have some success in eliminating the termites.

The key is to understand that every bait station needs to be pre-baited.

This means you place the bait station near where you see termites and you add genuine food to it. Termites like wood and cellulose, placing that in the trap will attract their attention.

You then need to wait and carefully monitor the trap for several days. It is important that the scout termites find the trap and take some of the bait. Only when you are convinced they have taken the bait and returned can you move to the next stage.

When they have returned they have marked the trap with a pheromone that draws the worker ants to the trap. You can now add the toxic substance which will kill all the workers coming for the food.

Once all the workers are dead the queen will not have food and will starve, as will the rest of the colony.

The Problem With Do-It-Yourself

The problem with doing it yourself is what toxic substances you use. There are a variety of different products available but they are not all effective.

For example, Chitin inhibitors only target immature termite workers and prevent them from molting. They are effectively trying to grow and are unable to do so, this kills them but will take a long time to kill the entire colony.

Other baits include metabolic inhibitors that effectively prevent the termites from converting food to energy. In effect, the termite will starve to death despite eating.  Other poisons include Sulsurimid and Sodium borate which can both be effective.  But, all of these substances are slow killing and it is hard to be certain that they have been completely effective.

However, they are effective. Perhaps the best approach to doing it yourself is to speak with the local pest control form supplying your bait trap and get them to advise you regarding the best poison to use.

Slow is actually good, but too slow is simply not an option if you want to enjoy your home.