Termite detection and bait stakes are available for do-it-yourself protection against termites. Termites approach a home by tunneling through moist soil. Traditional treatments inject a wall of insecticide deep into the soil, creating a protective perimeter around the home. Termite stakes are designed to have the same effect. Stakes contain bait in the form of treated wood. These stakes should be driven into the ground around the home, with about 10-20 feet between each stake. The stakes should not be visible. The baited wood contains a slow acting insecticide, designed so worker termites carry it back to the colony. This allows other termites to become exposed to the termiticide. Many stakes also contain detection devices. When termites begin eating the bait, the top of the stake is triggered and pops out of the ground. This signals to the homeowner that termites are approaching the home.
Termite stakes should be inspected regularly for damage, and should be replaced every nine months. If bait in a stake is being consumed, place more stakes in the immediate vicinity. The bait can be harmful to children and pets, so be sure to drive the stake fully into the ground.
Termite stakes are cheaper than many deterrent programs. While many claim that stakes are effective, they have not been proven to protect a home all on their own. Termite stakes are not designed to treat infestations present in a home. Professional inspections and treatments are encouraged if a home has an active infestation.