Termites: How to Identify and Control Them | US EPA

Posted: February 5, 2018 at 3:42 am


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The most common form of termite in most of the United Statesis the native subterranean termite.Exit Other, less common, types of termites include the smallerdrywood termiteExitand the invasive Formosan termite.

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During construction, use a concrete foundation and leave a ventilation space between the soil and wood. Cover exposed wood surfaces with a sealant or metal barrier.

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Some ways to keep termites out do not involve the application of insecticides. For example:

Because these methods do not involve the application of an insecticide, EPA does not regulate them.

Before a company can sell or distribute any pesticide in the United States, other than certain minimum risk pesticides, EPA must review studies on the pesticide to determine that it will not pose unreasonable risks to human health or the environment. Once we have made that determination, we will license or register that pesticide for use in strict accordance with label directions. The pesticides used for the prevention or treatment of termite infestations are called termiticides and must demonstrate the ability to provide structural protection before we register them. In most cases, termiticide application can only be properly performed by a trained pest management professional.

Approved treatments include:

Two common forms of treatment are conventional barrier treatments and termite baits.

The most common technique for treating termite infestations is the soil-applied barrier treatment. Termiticides used for barrier treatments must be specifically labeled for that use.

If conducted improperly, these treatments can cause contamination of the home and surrounding drinking water wells and will not protect against termites. For that reason, it is important to hire a pest management professional who is licensed and trained to take proper precautions. The most common active ingredients found in conventional termiticides are:

Also see our Web page on pyrethroids and pyrethrins for general information on the pesticides in this class and our reevaluation process for them.

In recent years, several bait systems have been introduced to help reduce the overall use of insecticides and their impact on human health and the environment. These systems rely on cellulose baits that contain a slow-acting insecticide.

The most common active ingredients found in termite baits are:

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As the federal agency responsible for regulating all pesticides, including termiticides, sold, applied, or distributed in the United States, EPA must ensure that the pesticide, when used according to label directions, meets current safety standards to protect human health and the environment. To make such determinations, we require more than 100 different scientific studies and tests from applicants. Most states also review the pesticide label to ensure that it complies with federal labeling requirements and any additional state restrictions of use.

Many termiticides are highly toxic, making it critical to follow label directions with added care. Pest management professionals have the knowledge, expertise, and equipment as required by the label, which minimizes risks and maximizes effectiveness.

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To register a complaint concerning a pesticide misapplication, contact your state pesticide regulatory agencyExit. You may also want to call the National Pesticide Information Centers (NPIC)Exittoll-free hotline at 1-800-858-7378. NPIC provides experts who can answer a broad range of questions concerning pesticide-related issues, such as product use and health effects.

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Tel: 1-800-858-7378E-mailNPIC’s website ExitTermite Resource Guide ExitState Pesticide Regulatory Agencies ExitState Cooperative Extension Service Offices

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Excerpt from:
Termites: How to Identify and Control Them | US EPA

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