Bayer Advanced Termite Killer

This is a do it yourself product you can buy to try to get rid of termites cheaply. It's just a bunch of little granules that you spread around your lawn. When you water them, they release a pesticide into the ground, which will kill off termites living in the subterranean tunnels of their colony.
It uses Imidacloprid, which is a pesticide that is related to nicotine and has low levels of toxicity for mammals, but is highly toxic to insects (because it interferes with a kind of nerve receptor that insects have many more of).

It's used in many flea medicines, and in a mammal it is about as dangerous as nicotine (you don't want to eat it or somehow expose yourself to a lot of it, but in low levels it won't hurt you).

Basic Info About Termites

How to Inspect for Termites

Termite Pictures

Ways to Protect Your House

Liquid Treatments

Bait Treatments

Borate Treatments


I don't recommend do-it-yourself systems period, but many people are interested in them (and I know some people can't afford a real treatment). There are very good reasons for not trying to do it yourself with termites. If you don't kill the queen, you won't kill the colony. You may misapply it, the soil in your area may be such that the chemicals don't seep through effectively, or any number of other problems can happen.

With this chemical specifically, I found at least one study saying it doesn't do anything about Formosan termites (you can read the abstract here). Another one said that some termites can survive the application. Another found that it did kill Formosan termites in the immediate area (but maybe not all, and not nearby). Still another found that it's 100% effective at the rate suggested on the label, but not at lower rates.

I'm not a scientist so I don't know how to sort all that out. The best guess is that it generally will kill all termites under ideal conditions. However, you might not have ideal conditions. You aren't an expert and won't be able to inspect to make sure the colony is dead. And you're risking a bunch of damage to your house if you're wrong.

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