Liquid termiticides are applied with the idea of providing a liquid barrier between the home and each place the home contacts the soil. This sounds like it would be simple but properly treating a home can be difficult. Homes with a crawlspace can be particularly tedious to treat as you must properly treat the inside and outside of the foundation walls and around the perimeter of every pier under the home.
As you might expect, these products must be applied in a very specific manner, at a very specific concentration, and in a very specific quantity. All these specifics are set forth in the labels of these products. Alabama and Florida are so-called label States, which simply means that the label is the law when it comes to how these products must be applied in Alabama or Florida.
In some instances, liquid termiticides are applied prior to the pouring of the foundation of the home. In other instances, they are applied after construction of the home has been completed. The former is referred to as pre-construction treatment and the latter is referred to as post-construction treatment.
When termites go from the home to the ground (something they normally must do to get the moisture they need to survive), they cross the liquid termiticide barrier. When a termite comes in contact with the liquid termiticide, it spreads it to other termites in the colony. In theory, this can prevent a termite colony from becoming established in a home.
There are several potential issues with liquid termiticides. First, if a post-construction treatment is performed and then the soil around the home is disturbed (such as by a homeowner disturbing the soil in conjunction with performing landscaping or building an addition to the home), the liquid termiticide barrier can be broken, thus providing a safe avenue for termites to enter and exit the home.
Second, there is some debate in the industry as to how long liquid termiticides remain effective. There is some evidence to suggest that properly applied liquid termiticides only remain effective for 5 years. Only a small number of companies retreat periodically to address the potential degradation of liquid termiticides.
Third, if there is an adequate source of moisture in the home (such as moisture from a leak around a window, a leaky roof, a plumbing leak), it can create a situation in which the termites no longer need to go to the ground for moisture. This is a particular problem with Formosan termites, which need very little moisture to thrive. If the termites no longer must go to the ground to obtain moisture, they will not come in contact with the liquid termiticide, and the colony can continue to thrive and grow.
Pest control companies are required to maintain records of their use of liquid termiticides. It is these records which allow us to determine if the home was properly treated. This is one of the things we look for when we review records in a termite case.
If you have any questions about liquid termiticides or any questions about termite infestation and damage in general, please call me for a free consultation. I have been handling termite claims since 1993 and I will be glad to discuss the subject with you and help you in any way I can.