Given the relatively high number of destructive termite species that inhabit southern Arizona, homeowners in the state will likely experience termite pest issues at some point. This is especially true for residents who own homes that have never been pretreated for subterranean termite pests. Pretreatments involve the pre-construction application of soil termiticides beneath foundations and around the perimeter of homes. In fact, home-builders are legally obligated to pretreat the soil beneath and around homes before and during construction in most states.
While preconstruction termiticide soil treatments are not required by Arizona law, the Federal Housing Administration and the VA Housing and Urban Development Department will not approve mortgage loans unless the house being purchased was pretreated for subterranean termite pests. In some states, physical barriers, such as metal shields and particle barriers, can serve as an alternative to chemical barrier systems. Although physical barriers are significantly more expensive than standard chemical barriers, the former is a popular choice for those wishing to avoid synthetic insecticides.
Copper termite shields have become popular as a termite prevention method around homes in some parts of the world, but the cost of installation and materials can be pricey. Copper shields are installed on top of foundation or stem walls to deny subterranean termites access to structural wood in homes. Some homeowners opt for termite mesh barriers, which are applied within the stem walls of foundations, or they can be wrapped around pipe protrusions to protect homes from hungry subterranean termites.
While subterranean termite workers are capable of chipping away at cement, plastic, brick masonry, and many other materials in order to reach indoor structural wood, workers are unable to penetrate mesh and copper barrier products. Mesh barriers have become popular in Australia, Hawaii, and in several other US states, but they have yet to catch on in Arizona. In addition to being an environmentally friendly option, physical barriers provide long lasting protection from termite attacks, but erosion and other landscape disturbances may become an issue with these products.
Have you ever considered having physical barriers installed around your home to prevent termite pest infestations?