Termites. Just the word makes my skin crawl, no pun intended. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have, they don’t discriminate. Those little suckers are a thorn in the side of homeowners everywhere… a true equal-opportunity pest. When you’re looking to purchase a home, whether to flip it or to call it home, termites are definitely on your radar.
We recently acquired a project in Woodland and saw this bad boy in the ground (below, left). Not knowing what it was, I walked right past it not giving it a second look, but Josh knew exactly what it was.
So what the heck is this thing? Simply put, it’s underground bait. There are several reasons why you might put the bait traps underground versus above ground, one of the biggest being that you don’t know exactly where they are coming from. Above ground, termites leave visible mud tubes, making it simple to place the bait in their path. Whereas, when their trail isn’t as easy to spot, these “traps” are set in their general vicinity.
The University of Kentucky does an awesome job of breaking both above ground and below ground baiting systems down into greater detail, but for the purpose of this blog post I’ll keep things relatively short and sweet. To read the full article, check it out here. For the condensed version, keep reading!
These in-ground “traps” are placed at fixed intervals, with more being inserted depending on the severity of the infestation. The bait is filled with all the good stuff… you know, wood, paper, cardboard… a feast fit for a termite’s last meal. As they’re out foraging, looking for a nice quite home to destroy, they stumble upon the bait trap. Little do they know their find is laced with a slow-acting substance that inevitably has the potential to wipe out their entire colony.
In most cases, the problem has been eradicated and the bait trap has just been left in the ground. That being said, if you are actively having an issue with termites, I strongly suggest reading the article by the University of Kentucky. Not only is it incredibly informative, it gives recommendations on the best brands, methods, etc.
Like I mentioned, we purchased the home in Woodland, despite it’s history with termites, and have had zero issues moving forward. After doing your homework (pest report, etc) and using your best judgement, don’t let seeing one of these detour you from a potentially great buy!