Certainly - bycatch during the perimeter sprays is my biggest heartache. Pretreatments and garages not so much, since most insects avoid the big open sand-pads anyway, and they get covered in plastic and concrete immeadiately. And once the concrete is down not much is going to interact with it anyway, apart from termites exploring exploring for ways into the house.
But all too often something will be hiding in the leaf litter at the bottom of walls, or behind the downpipes, so perimeter sprays can depress me.
As far as non-poisonous alternatives go, there aren’t many that work. Granitegaurd, for example, turned out to be completely useless, as my employers learnt to our cost after termites got into the test homes anyway. And we don’t use metal mesh because of the tendency for bricklayers to punch holes in it to let water drain away - making the entire exercise of installing it a waste of time.
I wasn’t specific enough with this question…
There have been a lot of times when I’ve been unwittingly exposed to these poisons, by techs who are blase’ about the effects of the poisons being applied.
An incident that sticks in my craw… back when I was a carpenter, I had to crawl under the crawl-space of a timber frame house that we’d started… to add structural support between the beams… And the d*mn termite guy got there first!
As a gardener, I see the termite tech come through… spraying his poisons… without even a by-the-way… to me… busily labouring away, breathing hard… inhaling dangerous toxins… working in one of the few “healthy occupations” available in today’s world.
Ask these termit peeps about these toxins, and receive mindless blandishments about the supposed safety of the product.
We all know otherwise… In Rachael Carson’s book, “Silent Spring”, there is a discussion of how these poisons were developed in the war effort to kill people. They were tested on bugs, and that’s how the chem peeps knew people would be killed by the product.
So… the question should have been about what the tech… personally… is doing in an effort to discover safe methods to discourage termite activity.
We are all responsible for our impact on the planet… and there are almost no occupations that are of benefit to the Mother. Even my job description… usually has a negative impact…