After World War II, scientists developed petroleum–based termiticides. They were used to make soil barriers around homes and buildings. The termiticides were very repellant to termites, so they were very effective at protecting the homes.
Since the 1980’s, scientists have developed synthetic reproductions of plant–based insecticides. The natural plant–based insecticide is called pyrethrum. The synthetic reproductions are called pyrethroids.
The largest benefit of the synthetic reproductions is that they can be made t last for several years. For this reason, they are very effective as termiticides. There are several termiticides in this chemical group.
Pyrethroid termiticides are very toxic to termites but they have very low toxicity to mammals. If termites come into contact with the termiticide barrier, they perish very quickly.
Pyrethroid termiticides are also very repellant to termites. The termites seem to be able to detect the barrier when they approach it. They turn away from the barrier and go somewhere else. This has proven to be very effective in protecting homes against termite attack.
Scientists have found that if there are gaps in the repellant barrier, termites can find them. The termites use tiny gaps in the barrier to enter the building in search of food.
Gaps in a termiticide barrier can happen when an obstacle interferes with the application. If there is a tree root next to a home’s foundation, it could deflect the liquid termiticide. This could easily result in a gap in the termiticide barrier.
In the past, these gaps often happened under homes, especially in areas where pipes penetrate a concrete slab. The termiticide would only protect one side of the pipe, leaving the other side unprotected.
For several years, pest control professionals have used foam–generating machines. These machines change liquid termiticide into foam. The foam expands under a concrete slab. The expanding foam spreads to treat hard–to–reach areas.
When termite control is done using repellant termiticide, the homeowner can expect the treatment t last for several years. The exact time will vary because of weather, watering, and the type of soil. After their home is treated, many homeowners have it inspected every year to be sure the barrier is still effective.