Spot / Soil Treatment
The nature of termite infestations is such that the extent of treatment methods will depend on how long the infestation has been present, as well as how near a large colony of termites may be to a building. In some cases, a full treatment of a structure,
such as a home, may be necessary when long-term infestations have had a chance to invade the entire structure. In other cases, a termite spot treatment will be all that is required.
Methods of Infestations
The two most common types of termites that invade structures are the drywood and subterranean termites. These infestations occur in different ways, yet the method of infestation can be similar. Drywood termites invade the structure from the air, often by means of winged reproductive members, known as "swarmers," that ride air currents for dispersal during natural mating cycles. Subterranean termites usually invade from the soil in which they live, gaining access through foundation piers or openings in slab foundations, such as cracks or plumbing and electrical conduits.
Extent of Infestations
Given enough time, both types of termites will make headway within the structure. Drywood termites will begin tunneling through rafters, ceiling joists and wall systems, going through more reproductive cycles to further spread their colony. Subterranean termites will make their way along structural members of a building, making protective tunnels from soil and secretions. Both of these methods of tunneling will often go unnoticed until evidence of infestation appears as a pile of fecal matter or a small amount of dirt in an unexpected place.
Electing to Spot Treat
A termite spot treatment is often an efficient way to address infestations without resorting to more extensive and costly methods. This will depend on the growth of the colony within the structure, but a termite spot treatment will have a positive effect, even in extensive infestations. Treating those areas of evident infestations, such as frass (debris similar to sawdust in appearance), kick-out holes for fecal matter or a collection of dirt on a window sill or a baseboard, will exterminate a significant portion of the existing colony.
Methods of Termite Spot Treatment
One method, used by professional termite exterminators, is to drill into infested wood at those points of evident infestation. These points are connected to the tunneling system, and introducing a pesticide into the drilled holes will spread the chemical through the tunnel from one spot. Another method of termite spot treatment is to apply the pesticide directly to a spot on an infested wood member, or it may be injected into a void in a wall or around a door or window.