Let’s face it, no one wants to hear the word ‘termite’. It will make us want to either not listen to what the person is saying, or tense up with our eyes widened and want to hear more. Termites are the most invasive of all pests, causing more property damage than most other pests combined. If you have ever been a victim of termite damage or have known someone that has been a victim, typically you know the only way to control these wood-eaters is by calling a Pest Control Professional (PCP).
Once the PCP is at your home, they can offer you a few choices: Termiticides sprayed around your foundation and mixed in with your soil, or Bait Stations that have some termiticide in them and once the soldier termites find the bait stations, carry the termiticide back to the queen to hopefully end the colony.
These choices had really been your only two best answers. Termiticides work, and there are some very good ones on the market, but they are pesticides. I know you are asking me, well, what are my other choices, if any?
Glad you asked. If there was a product without any pesticides and was proven by years of University research, a product that was a physical barrier, and was safe around kids, dogs, and chemically sensitive adults, would you be interested in knowing more about it? Would you say, “That would be a product that I could use at my home or commercial property?”
Particle Barrier maybe your answer. What is that, you ask? Particle Barriers are a physical barrier that have had many years of solid research and gratifying proven results to stopping subterranean termites of gaining access into homes. Particle Barriers of similar types have been used in Hawaii and Australia for over 40 years. They have been proven to work. But shipping basaltic ash from Hawaii just isn’t worth the cost for anyone to want to pay, and don’t even think about shipping costs from Australia! Crikey!
Particle Barrier can be found for sale here on the good ole mainland. It is a precisely sized, weighted, and crushed stone particle, exclusively for the barrier of below-grade termites. Particle Barrier can be used on existing structures or new ones. The only requirement? Yes, there had to be a requirement! To be effective, Particle Barrier needs to be placed around vertical concrete. So, let’s break that down:
Vertical Concrete: slab-on-grade foundation, concrete piers, concrete grade beams
(cannot be used for wood piers)
The Particle Barrier is typically installed (poured) into a 4” x 4” trench that is dug around all vertical concrete. You want to protect your structure! Concrete Slab homes have a vulnerable area at every weep hole at the bases of brick homes, and any wood siding homes. You can also choose to install in a “wedge” shaped trench, 6” down on the concrete, 4” out and 5” diagonally. This will provide the same protection.
How do these particles work with no pesticide? This is the cool part. (Cool because it has a terrific track record!) The Particles are too heavy for the termite to move, too hard to chew or bite, and they compact so tightly they cannot crawl between. This provides a physical barrier to your property that does not degrade, allows the passage of water, and looks nice against the structure.
So, what is the downside? Or are you asking the negatives? I want to provide you with all the information that you may be thinking, so let’s add some maintenance items:
Particle Barrier should be installed by a licensed PCP. This allows protection for you and a warranty to be provided.
Annual inspection is necessary by the PCP. Each PCP varies with their warranties and may require additional inspections.
Particle Barrier should not be covered, and needs to remain visible.
Particle Barrier may need additional “topping off” if any is disturbed by animals, landscapers, heavy rains.
If you decide that Particles are the way to go for your structure, or you would like to use them, say just in your backyard, due to pets and/or children, then we have pesticide-free solutions. Particles can always be used in conjunction with Pesticides when needed (think crawl spaces, patios, driveways). And this is considered a limited impact treatment. The less pesticides you use in your structure, the better off you will be breathing in the future. That brings us all some comfort.
Here’s hoping you have a termite-free home and never need us, but for most folks living in the Midwest, South and near the coastline, the chances are pretty high that these buggers are waiting for a new structure to feast upon.
Jill Heidorf RCI, CSI, WWYW
Sales Manager TERM Barrier Systems Division