In areas that are susceptible to termite activity, proactive measures need to be taken so you can identify termite activity quickly and early. Before you experience difficulty with termites or even an infestation, termite stakes should be considered as an early warning detection and control method.
How Do Termite Stakes Help You Find Termite Activity?
Termite stakes are hollow plastic stakes that are placed at intervals around the perimeter of a home and around the yard. When termite stakes are first placed, they are filled with a removable wood block core. This wood helps monitor for the presence of termites. As termites dig along, they will run into one or more the termite stakes. You will have to place a number of them around the yard to make sure the termites find them.
When they termite encounter a termite stake, they will start eating the wood inside.
And that’s how you find them! You monitor the stakes for any wood that has been partially eaten away. And that will help you notice related termite activity.
It should be noted, that to be effective the stakes have to be monitored and checkered regularly to see if there has been any termite activity.
Termite Stake Placement
The stakes are placed around the home to form a type of perimeter.
Usually, 10 to 20 will be needed around most homes. Larger homes will obviously need more and smaller homes may be able to get a way with fewer (although that’s not really recommended).
After you have a good perimeter, extra stakes can also be placed strategically around the yard to help give additional range to your termite detection.
How Do Termite Stakes Kill Termites?
Once you find any termite damage to the wood in your termite stakes, you move from detection to elimination mode. The wood in the termite stake is replaced with a wood block treated with termiticides or insect growth regulators. These are slow acting pesticides that do not kill a termite immediately. A termite worker will gather the chemicals in the stake will take them back to their colony, just like they wood any other wood. As the worker feeds the wood to the other colony members, they too become infected with the chemicals and eventually the entire colony will be killed. If insect growth regulators are used inside the stakes, this will cause abnormal development within the termites which will kill them over time.
The benefit to this method of termite control, is that it can kill the entire colony. The slow acting poisons make sure that the termicides spread to all the members of the colony, most importantly the queen termite.
When Will Termite Stakes NOT Help?
If you already have a termite infestation in your home, termite stakes won’t help you. Termite stakes are designed to help you deal with termites finding their way into your home, but once they are already there, placing stakes won’t kill them. Termites that have already found a major source of food won’t be building as many exploratory tunnels, so they are less likely to find the stakes.
Continuing Use After the Problem
Many times when you have had a termite problem in the past and already taken care of them, termite stakes can still be used afterward as an ongoing preventative measure. You will want to keep you termite stakes in place to help detect any future termite activity. This lets you know it is time to deal with termites again of if you need to employ more effective methods of controlling the termites. Installing termite stakes is more cost effective in preventing termites than when finding serious damage later.
Termite Stake Kits
Termite stakes can be installed by a pest control company or you can buy and install them yourself with a handy Termite Stake Kit. One popular kind is The Termite Home Defense System made by Terminate and sold under the brand Spectracide within lawn and garden insecticides. This is sold in boxes with 20, 40 or 60 stakes in each box. What type boxes you need will depend on the square footage being treated. Termite stakes are easy and cheap to buy online.
Some termite stake kits are rather fancy and include a ground drill and alert of termite activity with a popup indicator if there is termite activity.
Termite bait systems generally run around $75, for a kit with 20 stakes in it.
The success of termite baiting and stakes requires careful installing, monitoring and replenishment of bait. Ongoing monitoring will also be needed of the entire structure. With proper and efficient preventative measures, termites can be stopped with termite stakes before they are able to do any damage.