Termites can be incredibly destructive, literally eating your home from the inside out. Many times, the damage that has been done goes unnoticed until it is has reached catastrophic and potentially irreparable levels. Ideally, the best way to keep your home termite free is to prevent them in the first place by addressing the issue during construction via treatment. This is clearly not an option for existing homes, however, and there are products that you can purchase to kill termites if they become a problem.
Several products on the market are marketed as being termite extermination chemicals. One of the most popular of these chemicals is Imidacloprid, which is marketed by several different companies, generally in the form of granules that you sprinkle on your lawn. The pesticide itself is similar to nicotine, is fairly benign to mammals but highly toxic to insects, which makes it a fairly ideal product to use around pets or children. These granules do their job when they are doused with water, which allows them to dissolve and the chemical will leach into the ground. They kill the latent termites that live in the underground tunnels, which can reduce the total size of the termite colony.
Another option for eliminating termites is to invest in a do-it-yourself termite bait system. One such system is called Termite Home Defense System by Spectrum Brands, and it works with a series of baits that attract and then kill termites. These kinds of products tend to be more effective in eliminating larger numbers of termites due to the fact that they actually attract them. In addition, this particular product also comes with indicators to let you know if termite activity is occurring near the stakes, as well as an instructional CD ROM.
The problem with most do-it-yourself termite eliminating chemicals is that they lack the ability to eradicate the queen. Unfortunately, even if you decimate the colony and reduce the number of worker termites substantially, the colony will remain and rebuild as long as the queen is still alive. This is the reason that do-it-yourself termite elimination products are less popular than those for other kinds of insects. To really eliminate an entire termite colony (queen and all), your best bet is to contact a professional that guarantees the effectiveness of its services.