Your termite pest control service has a few options for monitoring, preventing, and eliminating termite activity. The options include using various types of chemical pesticides and baits. Bait stations can be used in combination with perimeter spray. However, if you want to avoid the use of chemical sprays, then bait can often be used alone. Here's how termite bait stations work to keep these pests under control.

Bait Stations Can Be Under The Ground Or On Top

Bait stations are usually placed under the ground so they are out of sight. This works well for attracting subterranean termites since they live and work underground. Sometimes, your termite service may place stations on top of the ground. They might be placed near a woodpile that's infested with termites or over a mud tube the termites use for travel. One advantage to using an above ground station is that it can be placed right in the middle of termite activity so the poison can spread more quickly. When stations are placed under the ground, it may take some time for the termites to stumble onto the bait.

Multiple Stations Are Installed

One reason that it's necessary to install multiple bait stations is to increase the odds that the termites find the bait. The bait doesn't attract the termites, they have to find it when they are out foraging for food. While the bait doesn't attract them by scent, it has to be tasty to the termites so they'll eat it when they have a wide source of other foods to choose from underground. The pest control company will install multiple stations spaced several feet apart near the foundation of your home. These stations can be left in place permanently for monitoring and poison application.

Bait Stations Monitor Termite Activity

The stations initially have a small piece of wood placed in them that is not treated with pesticide. This is used for monitoring activity. The termite service will check the stations on a regular basis for signs of termite damage to the wood. If termites are found or if it appears they have been eating the wood, then the wood is removed and a treated food source is placed in the station. This is done because the food sources deteriorate rather quickly and it would require more frequent monitoring and replacement than using more durable wood for the monitoring phase.

Bait Stations Deliver Pesticide

The food source that's used in bait stations is made of cardboard or other material that termites enjoy eating. It is treated with a slow-acting pesticide that the termites carry back to the colony. The termites return to the same food source and other termites follow to eat the food and carry even more back to the colony. This spreads the poison around the colony to kill other termites that didn't make contact with the bait station.

Termite bait stations are an effective way to control termites, but if termites are already inside your home, you may need additional treatments as well. If you suspect you have termites or if you just want to protect your home from them, have your home inspected by a professional and consider having termite monitoring stations installed.