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North Carolina's Building Code requires that all new residences have some type of termite protection during construction. The method of termite protection must be a one that has been approved by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services - Structural Pest Control Division. If you have input into the termite treatment that will be used on your new home, you may find the following links helpful:

You can also contact the NCDA&CS - Structural Pest Control Division (919-733-6100) to obtain a copy of this information.

North Carolina currently permits five methods of termite protection for new homes:

Soil-applied termiticides Termite Baits Wood Treatment Stainless steel mesh


Conventional liquid treatments applied to the soil form a continuous chemical barrier in the soil around both sides of the foundation. For houses with crawlspaces, the soil around the piers that will support the floor system is also treated (as shown in the image at the right). This barrier should prevent foraging termites from reaching the foundation and piers and, ultimately, the wood in your house. It should be noted that only the soil adjacent to these foundation elements is treated. You do not treat the entire soil surface in the crawlspace. For slab construction (including foundations, patios and garages), the entire soil (or gravel) surface is treated before the vapor barrier is installed and the slab poured over it. These treatments typically require in excess of 100 gallons (depending on the size of the house) so it is not a task that most homeowners can do on their own. A properly-done soil treatment is not a one-time application. It is done in stages coordinated with all building activities from foundation construction through final grading of the soil around the building's exterior. In order for the treatment to be effective, the final phase of the application must be done after final grading and sometimes after landscaping is completed so that the treated soil is not disturbed.

For additional advice to consumers, consult the NCDA&CS publication on Preconstruction Subterranean Termite Control



treating foundation


Baits are an important option in termite prevention and control programs. In some instances, baites are used when a liquid treatment is considered unacceptable for whatever reason or they may be used in conjunction with a liquid treatment. With new construction, baiting systems are not actually installed until after final grading is completed so that the stations are not accidentally damaged or covered with soil.

You can click HERE for additional information about baits.

bait installation
Bait tube installation in termite-active station


Another chemical alternative to soil applied termiticides is the treatment of critical structural wood members during construction. This treatment has to be done before siding and sheetrock are installed. Currently, the only product approved for this treatment is disodium octoborate-tetrahydrate which is sold under several trade names including BoraCare®, Bor-ram® ). According to data provided by the manufacturer, termites neither feed on nor will they construct shelter tubes over borate-treated wood. However,it should be noted that there is a possibility that termites could eventually enter a slab home through an expansion joint and attack nearby untreated wood, such as baseboard molding. Also, treating the wood only does stop termites from building mud tubes on the foundation wall. According to NC regulations, a mud tube on a wall is a indication of termite activity whether or not there are termites in the mud tube or the wood. In such cases, if the residence is being sold, the WDIR ("termite inspection") must note that the building may be infested even if the wood had been treated.

For additional information about borate pre-construction treatments, you might want to visit the manufacturers' web site:

borate treatment of band and joists


Termi-mesh® (Termimesh Australia Pty Ltd.) is stainless steel mesh (apperture of 0.66 x 0.45 mm) that is wrapped around foundations, pipes, posts to prevent termite intrusion. The product is marketed in Australia and, more recently, in parts of the United States, particularly in Hawaii. Termi-mesh was installed in a house in western NC during 1999. State regulations do allow the use of this product as a substitute for a conventional (liquid) or bait termite treatment in new construction.


Termimesh on foundation
Photo courtesy of Julian Yates III, Dept. of Entomology, University of Hawaii.


Click HERE for information about other barriers currently under research or in use elsewhere.

Note: Mention of a particular product or service does not constitute an endorsement by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service or North Carolina State University, nor does it imply discrimination against similar products or services not mentioned.