Termite Barriers:
Toxic or Non Toxic Methods of Pest Control


Types of Termite Barriers

There are several types of termite barriers. Categorizing them into three sections will help you to understand the differences in approach.
They are:

1. Chemical
2. Physical
3. Biological


Chemical Barriers

termite barriers,non toxic termite control

Chemical barriers are among the most common used for subterranean termites. Although effective for a period of time, there are concerns about toxicity. In the preconstruction phase of building, a lender will often require "termite prevention" in the form of soil treatment surrounding the home foundation. Chemically treating the soil is by far the most common method used in the U.S. Although some of the termiticides (termite killers) have been banned for use in the U.S. in recent years (such as Dursban), chemical agents used as both killers and deterrents, are widely used.

One lower-tox method that is gaining in popularity are termite bait blocks. Baits may be recommended for those who are sensitive to chemicals. These may contain either boric acid, or one of several lower-toxicity chemicals. Some say this is
a slow method of deterring the pests, because it takes time for the termites to discover the bait, and then to spread it to the entire colony.

Non Toxic Termite Control

The following two categories represent several popular non toxic alternatives to dangerous chemical treatment for termites.

Physical Barriers

Metal shields are one physical barrier to termites. Care must be taken to ensure that no cracks form at the joints of the shields, as termites may easily find their way to the foundation from there.

Sand barriers are becoming more common in some places. I am told that Australia has used these types of barriers for some 20 years. The concept is quite fascinating: a specific size of sand granules are used all around the foundation. The pieces of sand are not feasible to tunnel through, and the termites also cannot squeeze between them.

Stainless Steel Wire Mesh is also used to deter termites. This may be used in combination with other deterrents.

Dessicating dusts, such as diatomaceous earth, may be used to destroy termites or other pests. Since moisture is a requirement for life, these drying dusts make it impossible for the termites to survive.

Borate-treated building products are becoming popular as well. Borates are naturally occurring mineral salts, but these disrupt the metabolic system of the termites, leading to their demise. Tim-Bor is one brand of boric acid treatment for wood.



Biological Barriers

Nematodes, a type of parasitic round worm, is a method sometimes recommended for sensitive persons as a termite barrier. A particular type of fungus, used in the brand Bio-Blast, may be used for the structures to kill termites.

Practices vary from lender to lender, so ask your lender if a specific type of termite barrier is recommended or required in your area.

Some of the lower-tox and non toxic termite control alternatives are piling up effectiveness data, so do your homework to decide what is available for you to consider, and what you are willing to employ on your future home site.





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