How to Use Termite Barriers

picture showing termite bait station in background with termite and termite damage over it

Termites are tiny pesky creatures that can wreak havoc on your home. They cost U.S. homeowners an average of $3,000 in repairs. So, it’s necessary to take proactive measures to protect your investment. One highly effective method is using termite barriers. This article covers everything you need to know about termite barriers. 

About Termite Barriers

Termite barriers prevent termites from accessing and infesting your property. They act as a protective shield. 

Termite barriers come in two types:

  • Physical barriers 
  • Chemical barriers

Physical Barriers

gray colored stainless steel mesh
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Physical barriers include sand and stainless steel mesh. They are installed during construction or added to existing structures. Termites can’t move through sand or penetrate stainless steel, so installing either around your home’s foundation blocks these pesky creatures. 

Termite membrane, which contains a flexible plastic sheet with insecticide, is also an effective physical barrier installed during construction. This barrier fits between the soil and your home’s foundation, preventing termites’ entry. 

Physical barriers can easily last more than 30 years, so it’s a long-term investment. 

Note: Physical barriers can help keep termites out but won’t control them once they enter. If termites have already entered your home, you should use liquid, bait, foam, fumigation, or heat treatment to eliminate them. 

Chemical Barriers

anti termite baiting station
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Chemical barriers are liquid termiticides applied to the soil around your home’s foundation. Termites avoid entering the treated area, or if they enter, they will die. This treatment can be done during construction or after it. 

Another type of chemical barrier is bait stations. Termite pros strategically place them around the perimeter of your home. The bait contains cellulose along with slow-acting insecticides. Termites feed on it and carry it to their colony, poisoning their colony members.

Liquid termiticides last about five years. However, bait stations require quarterly inspections to ensure they are effective. 

Besides blocking termites, chemical barriers can also eliminate those that have entered your home. 

How Pros Install Termite Barriers

Installing termite barriers is a daunting task that’s best left to the pros. Here’s how it’s done:

1. Termite Inspection

Termite specialists thoroughly inspect your property to determine the severity of the termite infestation. They identify termite entry points and look for signs of termite activity, such as mud tubes, damaged wood, and discarded wings. 

2. Choose the Right Termite Barrier

After inspecting, the pros suggest a termite barrier depending on the level of infestation. Physical barriers are eco-friendly and last longer, while chemical barriers provide immediate results. 

3. Install the Barrier

termite barrier on house foundation
Photo Credit: Thurtell / Canva Pro / License

Physical Barrier 

Stainless steel mesh:

  • Dig a seven-inch deep trench around the foundation of your home. 
  • Roll out the stainless steel mesh into the trench.
  • Secure it with stakes. 
  • Ensure there are no gaps to prevent termites from entering. 


  • Dig a seven-inch deep trench around your home’s foundation. 
  • Dump in some coarse sand in the dug trench. 
  • Spread it evenly so the termites won’t navigate through it. 
  • Lay a geotextile fabric on top to keep the soil out. 

Plastic sheeting:

  • Excavate a seven-inch deep trench around the foundation of your home. 
  • Lay a plastic sheet into the trench. 
  • Nail it with stakes. 
  • Overlap the sheets to prevent any gaps between them. 

Chemical Barrier

Liquid termiticide:

  • Dig a seven-inch deep trench around your home. 
  • Pour liquid termiticide into it. 
  • Backfill the trench with soil. 
  • Repeat the process around the entire perimeter of your home. 

Bait station:

  • Identify areas where there’s termite infestation. 
  • Install bait stations in the ground. 
  • Monitor the bait stations every three months and replace them as needed. 

4. Maintain 

water leak in the wall
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Termite barriers, especially chemical ones, require regular maintenance to be effective. Most pest control companies provide ongoing inspection and maintenance services. 

Here’s all you can do from your side to prevent termites: 

  • Address water leaks immediately 
  • Ensure proper drainage 
  • Seal cracks, gaps, and crevices in your home’s foundation and walls
  • Install a dehumidifier in the basement to reduce humidity

5. Apply Termite Barrier Sealant

Applying termite barrier sealant to entry points provides added protection.

  • Inspect your home for cracks or gaps around windows, doors, and the foundation, as termites usually use them to enter your home. 
  • Clean the surfaces where you’ll apply the sealant and ensure it’s dry. 
  • Apply the termite barrier sealant to the identified areas with a caulking gun. Ensure it’s continuous so the termites can’t breach. 


How much does it cost to install termite barriers?

The cost of installing termite barriers ranges between $10 and $15.50 per linear foot, depending on the soil condition and type of barrier. 

How long do termite barriers last?

Physical barriers last about 30 years, while chemical barriers last five years. They can last longer with proper maintenance. 

Can termites still enter a property with termite barriers?

Termite barriers significantly reduce the risk of termites, but they don’t provide complete protection. We recommend an annual inspection to detect and fix any issues in the barrier. 

How much does termite treatment cost?

Termite treatment costs between $275 and $863, depending on the type of treatment and infestation size. 

When to Hire a Pro

Termites can cause significant damage to your property that often goes unnoticed until it’s too late. Termite barriers create a protective shield around your property to prevent termite infestations. Pest Gnome connects you with the best local termite specialists who can help you with everything related to termites.

Main Image Credit:
Background: Business / Canva Pro / License
Termites: ApisitWilaijit / Canva Pro / License
Termite Damage: titinan jeraphunthdu / Canva Pro / License

Abdul Wadood

Abdul Wadood has a lot of experience battling creepy crawlies in his house, from termites to cockroaches and mosquitoes. He wants to share his valuable insights with homeowners to help them keep unwanted guests at bay.