Wood Destroying Pest Information Pages:

Liquid Termite Barrier Around Perimeter of Home

How Does A Liquid Termite Barrier Treatment Work ?

Liquid Chemical Barriers for subterranean termite control work by killing or repelling termites before they enter the structure. The termites are killed before they enter the structure and/or killed upon leaving the structure to return to their colony. In some cases, when using a repellent chemical such as Talstar Professional, the termites will avoid the chemical and stay away from it. If termites are present inside the structure and a repellent chemical is used, the termites will "back up" inside the walls to avoid it. In some cases they will attempt to organize a secondary colony to continue living inside the structure or they will attempt to find a new way out of the structure. This is very seldom successful for the "blind" subterranean termite workers. Usually, in the absence of moisture, they are simply trapped inside the wall, cannot organize a new colony and eventually dehydrate (dry up) and die. It is common in homes that have had chemical treatments performed to find thousands of dead termites in walls where the termites were trapped and could not get out and simply died due to lack of moisture.

Barrier method

Repellent Termiticides

Repellent termite insecticides tend to repel termites away from structures. Talstar Professional, Prelude Termiticide / Insecticide andBifen are examples of repellent chemicals. The repellency factor of these liquid termite chemicals have specific uses - primarily in preconstruction treatments (before the structure is built) and in areas where fast control of subterranean termites is desired.

  • Talstar Professional (Bifenthin) - has been a pest control industry standard for years. It is very low cost, and very effective at killing subterranean termites. It is repellent to termites, long lasting in most soils and safe when properly applied.
  • Bifen Insecticide / Termiticide (Generic Bifenthrin) - works just like Talstar Professional but is much lower in cost. Manufactured by Control Solutions, it is generally regarded as safe when properly applied.
  • Prelude (Permethrin) - is a low odor version of Dragnet Ft. Prelude is considered by many experts to be a short lived termite control product which is recommended for use in areas where contamination from a long lived termiticide is not desirable.

Non-Repellent Termiticides

Non-Repellent termite insecticides are chemicals designed to be transparent to subterranean termites. This non-repellency factor is a great attribute in subterranean termite control. "Imidachloprid" registered as Premise (United States) and Hachikusan (Japan), "Fipronyl" registered as Termidor and "Chlorfenapyr" registered as Phantom are examples of non-repellent chemicals. The termites are not repelled and in most cases cannot even sense that these chemicals are present. Non-repellent chemicals work best in spot treatment applications because the termites are killed instead of repelled to other non-treated areas of the structure. A newer non-repellent and also "GREEN" termiticide is called "Altriset". Altriset is non-repellent to the termites and also very safe for the environment, probably the safest of all currently available termiticides. It works by paralyzing the muscles of the termites. The termites then then die due to lack of activity and inability to eat.

  • Termidor - (Fipronyl) is widely used for termite control and is the most popular termiticide in the USA. Termidor is the only Termiticide to show 100% effectiveness against termites and also provides termite colony elimination. It was first introduced in the United States in 2000. Since then, it has shown 100% control in over 90% of the test sites, and continues to provide excellent control. Fipronyl, the active ingredient, kill s termites and also has a transfer effect that is passed from worker termites to the colony. It is regarded as the most effective termite chemical available and used by almost all Pest Control companies. It is also regarded as one of the most toxic. Termidor has been banned in the European Union, France, Japan and other countries due to toxicity concerns. It is generally regarded as safe when properly applied.

  • Taurus - (Fipronyl) is a generic or "post patent" version of Termidor. Taurus is manufactured by Control Solutions in Pasadena, Texas. Taurus is generally recognized as a viable low cost alternative to Termidor, as the cost can be less. However, the active ingredient "Fipronyl" is manufactured in Israel and is not the same as the Fipronyl used in Termidor which is manufactured in the USA. The overall effectiveness of Taurus compared to Termidor appears to be similar, however, in our opinion it has a slightly different color and a different odor than Termidor. Another important factor, is that there are no viable University tests available to show exactly how effective it is.
  • Altriset - (Chlorantraniliprole) is a recently introduced termiticide that is considered "Green" and low in toxicity by the EPA. It works by causing muscle paralysis to the termites. This unique function starts working almost immediately upon contact by the worker termites and causes them to stop feeding on the wood. The results of University testing and the USDA are very promising. While Altriset does not have the transfer effect that Fipronyl has, it has enough transfer between effected termites to eliminate colonies close to structures. The "Green" aspect of this product make it perfect for use in sensitive homes, environmental areas, and in areas where more toxic products cannot be used.
  • Premise 2 / Premise 75 (Imidichloprid) - is the most popular termiticide in most countries of the World. It is a "neonic" or neonicintinoid chemical which is derived from tobacco plants and nicotine. It is a liquid concentrate that foams very easily, is easy to mix in small quanitities and is very effective. An interesting attribute of Premise is that it causes termites to stop feeding and to stop socializing with other termites. After termites are exposed to even small amounts (very few parts per million) of Premise they wander around in a state of confusion until they eventually die. When large amounts of termites die in the same place, this causes a natural repellency for other termites to leave the area. It is generally regarded as safe when properly applied.
  • Phantom - (Chlofenapyr) - Very popular non-repellent termite insecticide. It is generally regarded as safe when properly applied.
  • Bora Care - (Sodium Borate) - is not a soil treatment, but a wood treatment. It is a form of boric acid, and will last the life of the wood when applied. Very safe when properly applied.

Steps Involved In Applying A Liquid Chemical Barrier

In the 1970's, high pressured sprayers putting out a whopping "150 PSI" were popular in the pest control industry. The thought was that the higher the pressure, the better the spray coverage.

All of this changed in the early 1990's when it was found that lower PSI did a better job of dispersing chemicals with reduced "drift" and mess. Chemical manufacturers changed their labels (directions for use) to specify that very low pressure of around 25 PSI was to be used in liquid termiticide applications. Today, all pest control companies that are doing liquid temite chemical applications use smaller gas powered or electric powered sprayers. In fact, most of these sprayers deliver less pressure than a standard water hose!

For the Do It Yourselfer - to spot treat with termite insecticides, you don't need expensive equipment. In fact, most liquid termite chemicals can be applied with a few simple tools readily available from your local hardware store. Of course in more complex termite infestations, the services of a professional should be obtained. However, if you want to do it yourself, we've put together a simple strategy that makes the job easy.


How To Apply Liquid Termite Insecticides

  • Outside Foundations (Slabs) and All Pier and Beam Structures:

    Most termiticide labels have specific instructions on how to perform treatments along foundation areas.

  • Pic or small shovel. Pics or small shovels are used to dig trenches around your outside perimeter. Pier and Beam structures require trenching around the exterior and interior foundation wall. Piers and plumbing lines also need to be trenched. A pic has a sharp point on one end and a flat spade on the other. The flat spade side is used to dig a trench by dragging it along your foundation wall to make a shallow trench 3-6 inches deep. The dirt from the trench is simply laid back next to the trench for later replacement after chemical treatment. The normal rate of application in a trench is around 4 gallons of termiticide per 10 linear feet or about 1/2 gallon per foot.
  • 5 gallon bucket. A 5 gallon bucket is used to mix the termiticide so that it can be applied 4-5 gallons at a time into the trench and/or drill holes. Many pest companies use this technique in the winter time when their spray rigs are frozen up ! We find it is useful in many situations and perfect for the do it yourselfer.
  • Patios, Porches, Floating Slabs, Concrete Expansions:

    Termiticide labels have specific instructions on how to perform treatments below cement or slab foundations.

  • Hammer Drill. You can rent hammer drills from any tool rental center. The standard drill bit is a carbide coated tip drill - standard size is 1/2" wide by 18" long. You may also want to rent a ground fault interrupter (GFI). The GFI is a small box that the drill plugs into. The GFI then plugs into any 110V wall plug. GFI's are especially useful when drilling inside slab foundations near plumbing lines. If the drill bit contacts any metal in the slab, it will cut off electricity to the drill and save the drill bit , not to mention plumbing lines, post tension cables, rebar, etc. Make sure that you test the GFI prior to use by touching the tip of the drill to any grounded metal object, such as water lines under a sink, etc..

  • 2 gallon bucket. A 2 gallon bucket is used to mix the termiticide so that it can be applied 1-2 gallons at a time into the drill holes. Many pest companies use this technique in the winter time when their spray rigs are frozen up ! We find it is useful in many situations and perfect for the do it yourselfer.
  • Long Plastic Funnel. A long plastic funnel (1.5 - 2.0 feet) is perfect for inserting into drill holes (1/2" or larger) and dispersing the termiticide below porches, patios, garages, slab foundations, etc. The average rate of application in holes drilled is about 1 gallon of termiticide per hole (holes drilled every 12"). Mix any termiticide in a 2-5 gallon bucket and pour it through the funnel. This technique is useful for treating concrete areas where the soil is tightly compacted against the bottom of the slab and the termiticide has to "drip" down into the soil.
  • Rubber gloves and goggles and appropriate clothing. For safety reasons. The products that we sell are safe when used as directed, but be a little safety conscious. You don't want to end up like your termites !
  • Trebor Triple Seal plugs. For plugging holes that you drill into the cement foundation. We do not recommend to use paper towels as this is against the label on most pesticides.
  • Cement. A small amount of cement or sand mix mixed in a small bowl with water works perfect for patching holes drilled in cement etc. Be sure to plug the hole with the Trebor plug first.
  • Foaming Inside Wall Plumbing Penetrations And Plumbing Voids (Slab Foundations):

    Most termiticide labels have specific instructions on how to perform wall foaming. To foam a wall using a liquid Termiticide, the termiticide has to be mixed with a foaming agent to make it foam. It usually will not foam on its own. Mix the normal amount of termiticide and then add in 2-4 oz of foaming agent such as ProFoam Platinum Concentrate. The amount of foaming agent depends on the hardness of the water, so experiment to find that perfect ratio to get a shaving cream consistency foam. All foams have to be applied with a special foam applicator such as the Solo Wall Foamer.

  • Solo Wall Foamer - The Solo Foamer is an excellent tool for foaming into wall voids and other areas where drilling through the cement patio or foundation is too difficult or inappropriate. Use a 3/8" drill bit and drill in between wall studs about 4-6 inches from the floor. Fill wall void with 6" layer of foam to penetrate studs, woodwork, etc, and kill termites on contact. Do this for the entire length of the wall wherever termites (subterranean) are located. If you are treating for Drywood Termites, then the foaming becomes much more complex as the entire wall must be foamed. This is normally accomplished by drilling the entire wall in a "checkerboard" every 12" and also into the infested wood where termites are located. If you need help, or have specific questions, please visit our Question and Answer Library.
  • Air Mate Air Grill. For covering access holes made to plumbing or bath traps through sheetrock. In some cases, such as getting access under a bathtub, it is better to make a small hole 6" x 6" where you can actually see under the bathtub. Using a small sheetrock saw, cut the sheetrock out, then make the inspection and treatment. Replace the sheetrock, and cover the entire hole area with duct tube. The simply install an Air Mate Grill Cover to make the hole look like an air conditioning return. This way, the next time you need access, you simply remove the cover, peel off the tape and you have access to the plumbing.

After you have stopped the termites with a termiticide, it is time to go after the colony with a bait system. Termite Colony Baiting can be easily performed with our Hex Pro Termite Baiting System. Using a termite baiting system without first killing the localized termite infestation with a termite insecticide can allow the termites to continue feeding until control with the baits are achieved. Although some pest control companies follow this philosophy, and some pest companies use liquid termiticides without a termite bait system at all, we think the best approach is a combination of the two. This is currently the technique that most reputable pest control companies use.


The 2 Step Professional Approach To Killing Termites:

1 - Spot treat termite activity with a liquid termite chemical - (See Above)

2 - Bait the termite colony with a termite baiting system. Read more about termite baiting here


Need Help or Have Questions? Visit our Question and Answer Library Click Here
or Call us Toll Free at 1-855-55- PEST (37378) M-F 8:30 am CT - 5:00 pm CT

Best Selling Termite Bait Kits

Termite Baiting System
More Info

Best Buy Picture

Hex Pro (Sentricon) Termite Baiting Kit

20 Hex Pro Termite Baiting Stations
(6) Shatter Termite Bait Cartridges
(1) Lid Removal Key
Free Seasonal Termite Baiting Tips
FREE Lifetime Technical Support
Regular Price $379.85

Combined Kit Savings - $40.00

Special Sales Price - $344.95


Advance Termite Bait Station Kit
More Info

Best Buy Picture

Whitmire Advance Termite Bait System

15 Advance Termite Bait Stations
(6) Advance Compressed Termite Bait Inserts
Free Seasonal Termite Baiting Tips
FREE Lifetime Technical Support
Regular Price $279.95

Combined Kit Savings - $30.00!

Special Sales Price - $239.95