Termite Treatment & Control in Boston | Free Consultations

Termite Treatment & Termite Control in Boston

Termite Treatment and Exterminator Services based in Newton, MA

Also Serving Boston, MA and Eastern Massachusetts

Termites and their infestations are very destructive pests and can wreak havoc on your home or business structures. The Boston area is no stranger to termite problems. A termite exterminator in Newton and Needham is always busy.  That is why we put our office right here.  Start now with a free termite consultation.  The eastern subterranean termite, pictured to the right, is creamy in color. Customers will refer to termites they see (in broken wood or mud tubes) as looking like rice. They lack any pigmentation because they live underground. They eat and digest wood with the aid of single-cell protozoa in their digestive tracts. A colony may number from 250,000 to several million.

Termites and their infestations are relentless in their search for food sources because they lack the ability to understand if they face an abundance or shortage of food. For that reason, the workers in the colony are constantly actively searching for new food sources. In an urban or residential environment, it may simply be a new part of the same structure.

In the natural environment, termites’ unending appetite for cellulose is a tremendous benefit.  Termites and their infestations are essential to the breakdown and recycling of nutrients from grass, processed cellulose like paper and cardboard, roots, and wood.  This important ecological role intersects with human activity because most structures in New England are made of wood.  In addition, they contain large quantities of cellulose-derived building materials.  For example, the paper on drywall is a food source.

At Greenhow, we specialize in eco-friendly termite control and treatment for the Boston, MA area. Read more about our solutions below:

Our Termite Control Solutions Include:

  • Termite Liquid Treatment

    We use cutting edge liquid termiticides like Altriset to protect your property.  Termites stop feeding from paralyzed jaw muscles after 24 hours from being exposed to Altriset.

  • The Sentricon System

    The Sentricon® System is scientifically designed to eliminate entire subterranean termite colonies — including the queens. Never had a termite problem? We can help you keep it that way.

  • Wood Preservation with BoraCare

    Borates have been used to treat wood for many years to safely and effectively control termites and wood destroying organisms like beetles and fungus.

Termites are destructive

Damage is not covered by homeowner’s policies

Termites are the single largest destroyer of wood property. They account for $5 billion in property damage each year. More damage to property each year than fire, flood, and other damage combined.  A termite problem and termite damage are not covered by homeowner’s insurance policies. There are two costs a homeowner faces when dealing with a termite problem. First, is the cost of the exterminator.  Second, the cost to repair the damage.  Pay attention to reducing the amount of damage you will face. As a pest control company, we offer effective and environmentally friendly methods that eliminate termites and other wood-destroying organisms.

Signs of Termites

Common Signs of a Termite Infestation

An interior termite swarm is the most common sign that a termite infestation is present. This is a massive invasion of gracefully flying termites called swarmers. Swarmers are reproductive males and females that pair up to mate and create entirely new colonies. Their goal is to survive the flight and avoid predators like birds. Then they find a mate and a sunny patch of soil to procreate and burrow into the soil to begin their colony.  The king and queen live for 25 years.  From the humble beginning of two insects and a patch of dirt, a colony numbered in the hundreds of thousand individual insects will grow.

Termites or Ants?  The difference is the waist, antennae, and wings.

Termite swarmers resemble ants but differ in important ways. Termite swarmers are black since they are the only termites that will be exposed to sunlight. All other types of termites are normally in the dark and are cream-colored without any pigmentation. They have a pair of equal length long wings that at rest are straight back and go beyond the abdomen.  The wings have to fold fully back so they can travel inside the mud tubes.

The termite wing is opaque and appears light gray or silver with a single dark vein along the leading edge.  Termites drop their wings quickly after a swarm.  Finding wings on the ground often is the only sign of a termite swarm.  Ant wings at rest tend to be at an angle from the body and have visible veins.  Ants do not drop the wings.

If you examine an existing termite, you notice a thick waist, like a piece of rice, whereas an ant has a pinched waist. In addition, the termite has antennae that resemble balls or beads strung together, in contrast to the ant that has joints in its antennae resembling a stick with straight sections and elbows.

Black termite swarmers with clear, opaque wings.

This mass of termite swarmers is gathered in a swarm castle in a piece of wood getting ready to emerge.

If you find only the wings, you can easily identify a termite wing by looking for the dark vein along the leading edge of the wing.

How to Get Rid of Termites

Termite Treatments

Termites travel and feed underground.  A subterranean termite treatment creates a protective zone around your structure that prevents termites.  This protective zone kills not only the termites that forage against your structure but also kills their colony.  Termiticides kill this destructive insect.  They are placed in the soil adjacent to the foundation to create this continuous protective zone around the structure.  Spot treatments, or treating only one area, do not work to control termites.

Treatments must be done by a licensed exterminator or pest control professional.  Homeowners and handymen do not have access to the materials and tools to deal with termites.

Termite Bait System

We install our bait systems around the perimeter of the structural foundation.  Termites forage randomly and continuously ensuring the stations are found by termites near the foundation.  The bait matrix (or food) is more palatable to termites than the wood in your structure because it contains more of the termite energy source – cellulose – than wood.  It is like offering filet mignon in the bait station next to the hot dog stand of your structure.

Termites that consume the bait adjacent to your structural foundation and carry the material back to the colony in their guts.  The colony is killed because termites feed each other via trophallaxis.  Trophallaxis feeding (you do not want further details about this) ensures the entire colony will share the control material.

Liquid Termite Treatments

Liquid termiticides mixed with water are applied to the soil adjacent to the foundation.  In areas where the soil is covered by another material, a drill is used to penetrate the material and place the termiticide in the soil.  Then the covering material is sealed.

The most common covering material drilled is concrete.  Examples of where concrete is drilled include the basement floor, front steps, garage floor, and capped concrete block walls.  After treatment, the holes are plugged.  Liquid termite treatments, like baits, are not detected by termites.  Termites that travel through the treated soil adjacent to your structural foundation pick up and carry the material back to the colony killing it.

Termite Station InstallationSentricon Termite Colony Elimination and Termite Bait Station installation slide show illustrates the placement and look of a termite baiting system installed outside a home.

Termite Renewals

Termite treatments are not permanent.  The behavior of a termite, carefully avoiding light and eating wood materials from the inside, makes it important to inspect structures at least annually for new activity.  Our termite renewal makes protecting your home easy.  We set up an annual termite inspection at a time convenient for you.  We check the inside and outside of your structure for termite activity.  After the initial termite treatment, the termite renewal continues the termite protection.

Our technicians place outside termite monitors against the foundation of your home to detect termite activity in the soil adjacent to your home before they attack your structure.  Most importantly, your renewal includes any update to your termite treatment that is necessary to prevent and cure any termite infestation.  In addition, termite renewals are transferable to new property owners after an inspection and payment of renewal fees.

Greenhow Termite Monitors detect ertmies early.

Greenhow Termite Monitors are placed adjacent to the structure to detect activity before damage is severe.

Don’t Just Take Our Word For It

What our customers have to say about GreenHow:

Boston Local, Cured My Ant Problem

I have kids and pets so I wanted to avoid the crazy chemicals while still getting rid of the ants that had raided the cat food bowl and then made them selves at home in our bathroom. GreenHow was easy to deal with, prompt, and quickly found the source of my ant problem… and got rid of the ants. They are now my pest control company of choice!
– Michael K., Arlington, MA

I now have a go-to exterminator!

They came out very quickly (one business day from when I called), were thorough in their investigation, and gave us an incredibly reasonable quote for pest control for other “guests” that we have like carpenter ants.  I was very surprised at their low initial and quarterly costs compared to their high level of service and commitment to using natural products.
– Kathy R., Woburn, MA

Great Service - Super Smart.

Sean Grenhow has without doubt the best of business ethics. He came on time.  He was intrepid in finding the problem, did a thorough search, gave me lots of information – and good news- charged me not one penny and left after a good 20-25 minutes.  I recommend him and his extremely knowledgeable service wholeheartedly.
– Alexandra H., Newton, MA

Honest and Smart

…the best experience of my life in calling an exterminator.  Sean is a great guy.  Honest.  Avoids toxins.  Smart.  GreenHow is what you should want to deal with pests.
– Max, Cambridge, MA

Consumer Information

Termite treatment takes place in the soil around and under your home.  We work hard to ensure that our treatment is the least intrusive or invasive as can be and still be the most effective available.  That is why we use materials that allow us to treat your home with the greatest efficacy combined with no odor, the lowest risk to non-target pests, and the least disruption to your property.

The documents in this section are the Massachusetts Consumer Information Bulletin on Termite Control and the appropriate labels for the materials we use for termite control.

Termite Consumer Information Bulletin Massachusetts

Click here to follow a link to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Pesticide Division Consumer Information Bulletin on Termite Control.

Department of Agricultural Resources
251 Causeway Street, Suite 500, Boston, MA 02114
617-626-1700 fax: 617-626-1850 www.mass.gov/agr
Consumer Information Bulletin
The Pesticide Enforcement of the Department of Agricultural Resources requires that pest control operators provide this Bulletin to all persons who want their property treated for termites. The bulletin must be provided before an application is made, or before a contract is signed. The bulletin is intended to inform consumers of issues related to termite applications.
1-Q: What pesticides are used to control termites and how are they applied?
A: Pesticides that control termites are called termiticides. In Massachusetts, there are many termiticides registered.  Each may contain one of several different ingredients.  Termiticides are most often incorporated into the soil around and under buildings. Since termites travel through soil, this forms a protective barrier around the structure. This type of termite treatment is referred to as a subsurface application.
2-Q: Can homeowners make subsurface applications of termiticides themselves?
A: No. Although most termiticides contain pesticides that are also found in household products, much larger amounts of pesticide are used with subsurface applications. Specialized application equipment is also needed. In Massachusetts, the sale and use of termiticides labeled for subsurface application is restricted to specially trained professionals who are licensed through the Pesticide Enforcement.
3-Q: What health risks do termiticides pose?
A: All chemicals, including pesticides, are toxic to some degree. The key to avoiding possible health effects is to limit exposure to the chemical as much as possible. Label directions are designed to limit exposure to a point where the risk is minimal. Additional precautions can also be taken, such as vacating the area for 2-4 hours after the application, and ventilating. These precautions are particularly important when person who may be sensitive to chemicals are present in buildings being treated. Sensitive individuals may include children, elderly, asthmatics, etc.
4-Q: Will there be an Odor after the application?
A: There may be. Odors may follow the application and last for several days or more, and then dissipate. Odor from applications will dissipate faster if the treatment areas are ventilated. If an odor persists, contact your applicator.
5-Q: What concerns are there with termite applications?
A: The main concern with subsurface termite applications, is that pesticide will accidentally be introduced into an area where it should not be. There are two particular concerns:  that cracks in the foundation may allow significant amounts of pesticide to enter the basement. when pesticide is being injected beneath concrete slab foundations, that it may accidentally be introduced into heating ducts contained within the slab.
(1) Cracks in the foundation: For applications being made around the outside of your foundation, it is important that there are no visible cracks or holes in the foundation. If your foundation has cracks or holes, they must be filled with mortar or other suitable material, in order to prevent significant leakage. If the cracks can not be filled, then the applicators must remove soil to form a trench, treat the removed soil above ground, and replace it in the trench.
(2) The location of subslab heating ducts must be located before a pesticide can be injected beneath the slab. If locations of sublab heating ducts cannot be determined, then pesticide may not be injected through the slab.
6-Q: How can I check to make sure the application is done properly?
A: Make sure you have a licensed applicator performing the job. Ask to see the their license, and check the expiration date to make sure it is current. The applicator should also be certified in category 43 (termite control) or
under the direct supervision of someone who is certified in this category. Supervising applicators do not have to be on the job site, but they must be readily available to the person applying the termiticide. If the applicator is not certified, ask for the name and license number of the certified applicator who is supervising the job.
7-Q: What if I have a well?
A: Termiticides are relatively immobile in soil. However if there is a well within close, proximity to the treatment area, consult with your applicator. If soil in the area to be treated is saturated due to flooding, rain, etc., the application cannot be made at that time.
8-Q: What If I Have A Garden Next To My House?
A: As a measure of safety, vegetable gardens should not be located in treated soil. Vegetable gardens should be located at least five feet away from the treated foundation.
9-Q: Are there other methods for controlling termites?
A: Yes. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques may be available. Discuss IPM methods with your applicator.  If you have questions or concerns about pesticide applications please contact your applicator. For additional information, contact Pesticide Enforcement, Department of Agricultural Resources, 251 Causeway St., Suite 500.  Boston, MA 02114 Phone: (617) 626-1781.

Termite Control Material Labels and Safety Data Sheets

Materials, Labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

Sentricon HD:

The Sentricon HD Label can be accessed by clicking here to open the pdf document as a new tab.

The Sentricon HD SDS can be accessed by clicking here to open the pdf document as a new tab.

Sentricon Above Ground Station:

The Sentricon AG Label can be accessed by clicking here to open the pdf document as a new tab.

The Sentricon AG Flexpack Label can be accessed by clicking here to open the pdf document as a new tab.

The Sentricon AG Safety Data Sheet can be accessed by clicking here to open the pdf document as a new tab.


The BoraCare Label and Safety Data Sheet can be accessed by clicking here to open the pdf document as a new tab.

Altriset Liquid Termiticide:

The Altriset Label can be accessed by clicking here to open the pdf document as a new tab.

The Altriset Safety Data Sheet can be accessed by clicking here to open the pdf document as a new tab.

Protect Against Termites

A termite swarm is the most common alert termites are present. This is an often massive invasion of gracefully flying termites called swarmers. These swarmers are coming out of a colony to set up entirely new colonies. Their goal is to survive the flight and avoid predators like birds. Then they will find a mate and a sunny patch of soil to procreate and burrow into the soil to set up a new colony.

These swarmers are black since they are the only termites that will be intentionally exposed to sunlight. They have a pair of equally long wings. They resemble ants but differ in some important ways. If you examine a termite, you will see a thick waist, where an ant has a pinched waist. In addition, the termite will have antennae that resemble balls or beads strung together, whereas the ant will have joints in its antennae resembling a stick with straight sections and elbows.