Soil and Wood Termiticides
If an exterminator uses bifenthrin, chlorpyrifos, cypermethrin, fenvalerate, imidachloprid or permethrin, he can apply these chemicals to either soil or wood. A common type of termite application that targets the soil deploys one of these liquid insecticides in a trench around the foundation wall. If the homeowner applies the chemical treatment only to the wood, the protection typically extends mostly to that surface to which it attaches.
Termite specialists utilize boric acid, chlorpyrifos, cyfluthrin, deltamethrin, disodium octaborate tetrahydrate, permethrin and tralomethrin for wood-exclusive treatments of termites. Deltamethrin and permethrin are synthetic repellents that are used with wood.
Termite baiting systems use noviflumuron, sulfuramid, diflubenzuron and hydramethylnon to bait the termites. With these chemicals, the termites carry the bait back to the colony, feed and groom each other, and the entire colony is destroyed. Baits may be combined with liquid treatments; they can also be useful in situations where liquids are impractical or illegal. Sulfuramid was originally used to bait roaches and ants, while diflubenzuron is still used as a pesticide for field crops. The federal government uses noviflumuron to protect the Statue of Liberty and the White House.
Similar to the baiting chemicals, slow-acting non-repellent chemicals do not kill immediately. Instead, the dying termite returns to the colony. Exterminators who prefer this method use the chemicals fipronil, chlorfenapyr or imidacloprid.
Some biological agents protect structures naturally. In one method, the exterminator formulates Metarhizium anisopliae as a fungus and sprays it onto the infested area. Professionals who employ either Steinernema carpocapses or Heterorhabitis bactgeriophora make use of a water-dispersible medium. These substances have the advantage of being safer for people and pets.
Do-It-Yourself Bait Products
Because most homeowners do not have the expertise to treat termites, do-it-yourself products tend to rely on baiting methods. Chemicals used in these products include sulfuramid and borate.