Understand how construction gives termites access to structural wood


July 16, 2020

Joe Barile, BCE, Technical Service Lead, Bayer

Joe Barile, BCE, Technical Service Lead, Bayer

Whether you provide subterranean termite control with soil treatments, termite baits, wood treatments or a combination of these approaches, it is important to understand how a building’s construction can provide termites access to structural wood. Be sure to include termite management sales staff when you cover the following essential training subjects:

  • Basic construction methods: Pay special attention to foundation types, termite vulnerability and local construction trends.
  • Structural conditions that are conducive to providing termite access into the building: For example:
    • cold seams in garages;
    • patios and post-construction room additions;
    • bath traps and utility access through slabs;
    • embedded wood stairs that provide soil contact in basements and exterior patios; and
    • insulating foam panels placed on exterior foundation walls.
  • The importance of doing the math: Whether it is termiticide volume, bait station placement or volume of wood treatment, follow label directions to ensure structural protection. In my experience, the most common reason for failure in soil treatment is an insufficient volume of termiticide during application. In many states, this is considered a label violation.
  • Communication: Drawing a map is not enough. Talk to your customers to learn more about their specific structure changes, presence of heat-producing appliances in basements and crawlspaces, and wood/cellulose debris that has been present for years and may be contributing to termite activity.

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