Termite Baiting Systems: When Are They A Good Option?

So you’ve heard about termite baiting systems and think they are the best option for you. If you live in South East Queensland, there is a very good chance that your best solution is to avoid termite baiting and instead install a chemical soil barrier — let’s find out why.

What is a termite baiting system?

A termite baiting system is, well just that, a baiting system for termites! To be serious, a termite baiting system is used to control termite infestations by deploying ‘tasty’ baits above or below ground to attract termites before they reach a home or business.

How do termite baiting systems work?

Termite baiting systems work by either deploying a non-toxic (i.e. cardboard, paper, wooden stakes, or other cellulose-containing material) or a toxic bait (i.e. Trelona or Sentricon, etc) below or above the ground. Non toxic baits are deemed as monitoring systems and we call toxic baits, active baits. Termites feast on these baits which then tell us that there are in fact termites and in turn kill the termites that fed on an active bait. A toxic bait may sound evil to some people, but have you seen the damage these pests can do!

Why do people think termite baiting systems are the best option to prevent termites? — 3 Myths

Termite baiting systems are seen as advantageous for the following reasons:

1. They are “better” for the environment.

Some see termite baiting systems as being more environmentally friendly than a chemical barrier because no chemicals are being delivered into the soil. However, many termite baiting systems still use chemicals.

The misconception that chemical barriers are harmful to the environment came from the original chemicals used in the 90’s (and prior) to kill termites that were harmful to humans and the environment. However, these chemicals have been banned and now pest control companies, including us, only use safe chemicals approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). The APVMA also approves the chemical label which stipulates when and how the chemicals can be applied and where they cannot be applied. This ensures that the chemicals have the lowest environmental impact while still effectively controlling problem pests.

If you’re truly averse about using chemicals in the soil next to your home, non-toxic termite baiting systems would be a better option for you. However, chemical barriers still provide superior protection.

2. Their upfront cost is less expensive and easier to install.

Other than chemical or physical termite prevention barriers, many believe installing termite baiting systems are easier and less expensive because all that is required are a few baiting ‘traps’ dug into the ground. Whereas chemical soil barriers have a higher upfront cost and can take up to a day to install. However, for the ultimate protection against termites, termite baiting systems aren’t always full proof. They may not catch all termite activity and you’ll be dealing with higher costs down the road when you need to fix any damage. This is why our team always prefers a chemical soil barrier over a termite baiting system, or a combination of both if a complete chemical soil barrier installation isn’t a viable option.

How much does it cost to install termite baiting systems vs a chemical soil termite barrier?

We’ve included a complete cost breakdown based on installing a termite baiting system vs a chemical soil termite barrier for a standard size home with average termite pressure in Queensland. We are also assuming (based on what we provide as a service) that each installation includes a full termite inspection that is included in the cost. As well, we are assuming both solutions would only require annual termite inspections.

Termite Baiting Systems
Assumptions
  1. We are assuming that the cost of concrete core drilling has been left out of this service. Usually, if a full perimeter termite bait station was installed there would generally have to be some concrete cutting for large concrete areas abutting the house, such as driveways, patios, etc. The cost to run specialist equipment and the extra labour required would add cost to the installation, but for our cost comparison we are leaving this out.
  2. We’ll also be associating the cost of using Trelona bait stations as they are always active bait stations and are currently the best bait stations on the market (in our opinion). As we’ve assumed a best-case scenario, we’ve selected 6 monthly bait checks. However, if quarterly or monthly checks are required the price would increase significantly.
  3. We’re also assuming that no baits are required to be changed. For example, Trelona baits have a 4-year life and will need to be changed at a minimum of 4 years. However, if Termites consume 50% of the bait, the bait needs to be replaced. This would increase the cost.
  4. Lastly, we’ll assume that no active termite treatments are required as Trelona would take care of any potential termites. Of course, if a customer were to choose a monitor only baiting solution, they could potentially have to pay for treatments when active termites are found.
Breakdown Of Termite Baiting System Costs
Cost of initial installation$2,131
Cost of 6 monthly bait checks$262 per appointment
Total cost of 4 years of protection (initial installation + 6 monthly bait monitoring)$3,965 (or $991 per year)
Every bait cartridge will need to be replaced at least every 4 years$942 (minimum)
Minimum average annual cost from 4 years on$759 (This will quickly increase if more frequent monitoring, bait replacements, or termite inspections are needed)
What are the pros and cons of termite baiting systems?
Pros:
  • Termite baiting systems are a good solution to reduce the risk of termite damage to your home where a chemical soil barrier is not a viable option.
  • No chemical will be within the 15cm of soil directly next to your building edge. Please note: you won’t be having contact with this soil, and if you have to it will be safe.
Cons:
  • The annual cost can be 2-4 times more than a chemical soil barrier.
  • There is no guarantee provided.
  • The protection provided is inferior to a chemical soil barrier.
  • There is a higher chance that more frequent termite inspections are required.
  • The top of the bait stations can be a real eye-sore (see image below).
  • More visits may be required by your pest provider.
  • There is nothing preventing termites bypassing the bait stations and going straight to your home.
Banana for scale — the termite bait system on the left is for general on ground needs. The bait station on the right is for concrete.
Chemical Soil Barriers
Assumptions
  1. We’re assuming the home has a 200mm footer depth. The cost would be more if the footer is deeper and less if it’s shallower.
  2. We’re also assuming that the home would need 40m of trenching and 40m of drill and inject.
  3. We would use Termidor HE, which is the best product on the market (in our opinion).
  4. Lastly, we’re assuming the life expectancy is 5 years, meaning it will need to be replenished every 5 years.
Breakdown Of Chemical Soil Barrier Costs
Cost of initial installation$2,796 (or $559 per year)
Cost of replenishing in 5 years$2796 (or $559 per year)
What are the pros and cons of a chemical soil barrier?
Pros:
  • It is the best solution to reduce the risk of termite damage to your home (as long as it’s viable for your home’s construction).
  • Some Pest Control companies will guarantee the barrier for the life expectancy as long as you maintain your annual termite inspections (we provide this guarantee).
  • You’ll only need to see your Pest Control company annually.
  • It is cheaper than the baiting systems — 2 to 4 times cheaper!
  • The whole perimeter of your home is protected (except any limitations), meaning termites shouldn’t be able to find a way around the barrier.
Cons:
  • There will be chemicals in the 15cm of soil directly next to your building’s edge. Please note: you won’t be having contact with this soil, and if you have to it will be safe.
  • You may have 8mm or 12mm plugs visible along with your concrete areas where reticulation wasn’t installed prior to concrete being poured.
To Conclude…

Chemical soil barriers offer superior protection at a much lower cost once annualised. In practical terms, the cost can be between 2 to 4 times less for a much better solution!

3. They can be used for early detection.

Yes, termite baiting systems are a great way to detect if you have a termite problem, however, because we live in Australia, more specifically in Queensland, termites are everywhere! Our risk of termites is incredibly high and it’s safer to assume that you have (or will have) a termite problem.

A better approach is to install a professional termite barrier and set up annual inspections to keep your home safe rather than wasting money to detect a problem you may not have now, but are almost guaranteed to have in the future.

When should a termite baiting system be used?

As Termite experts we only recommend a termite baiting system over a chemical soil barrier in Queensland if:

  1. The construction of your home makes a chemical soil barrier impossible to install correctly.
  2. The construction of your home means that the installation of a chemical soil barrier would be cost-prohibitive.
  3. You have a strong aversion to having termiticides in the soil directly abutting your home.

In all other circumstances, a chemical soil barrier offers much greater value to you as it offers superior protection for your home. That said, if we do recommend to you a solution that includes termite baiting, then we will recommend you the best that the market has to offer.

What termite baiting system can you offer?

At the moment, the only termite baiting system that we offer is BASF’s Trelona. The greatest benefit of Trelona (other than its great results) is that it allows us to create a barrier that has a mixture of a Termidor HE chemical soil treatment and Trelona bait stations. Therefore, we are limiting the baiting zone only to those areas where chemical soil is just not viable.

What if I already have an existing termite baiting system?

If you have an existing baiting program at your home and you’re looking for a new pest management company, we would love to come out and provide a free of charge proposal to you. We will either:

  1. Propose that you convert your termite baiting system to a chemical soil barrier.
  2. Or, propose we convert your existing bait stations over to Trelona.

Whether you have an existing system, or are considering having one installed, please get in touch and we will send out one of our technicians to assess your home and give you a free proposal for the best way to protect your home from termites.

Questions? Call us today!

(07) 5475 4660

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