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Overview Of Termite Baiting Process
Until recently, the only methods available for subterranean termite control were the traditional barrier treatments using large amounts of chemicals. There are alternative termite control strategies, baiting systems are the most promising as to replace barrier treatments.
Termite baits are a whole different concept. With this approach, small amounts of material known as the toxicant knocks out populations of termites foraging in and around the structure.
Some homes may have only baits as a "stand alone treatment", others may be integrated with liquid or barrier treatments. Using a baiting system with barrier treatments will allow a reduction of amounts of pesticide use.
No termite control method can guarantee you will never get termites. Termite control may include a combination of one or more of these methods, a baiting system, termiticide treatment, moisture control, foaming, removal of earth wood contact and etc.
Termite baiting is a simple process and can be used as a preventive measure to detect termites where they are not yet a problem.
Establish A Solid Feeding Cycle
Establish a solid feeding cycle between the bait stations and the termite colony by "prebaiting", placing monitoring stations that include a wood monitor or inspection cartridges in the soil. You establish this by allowing the foraging termites eat the wood, "sourcing out" the feeding source. If you were to put our the "active" or "toxicant" at this point you would kill off the very workers that you need to establish the cycle. Once the termites start eating on that wood or the inspection cartridge, introduce the toxicant or active bait.
Place Bait or Toxicant in the Monitoring Stations
Once the termites have been attracted to the monitoring stations, replace the wood or inspection cartridge with a toxicant or bait provided in the system. Termites eat the particular bait, feeding it to the entire colony....and in THEORY the colony dies and the complete colony is eliminated.
Results of Termite Control/Baiting
Currently, there is no way to substantiate claims of "complete" colony elimination. Laboratory tests do suggest that colony elimination is possible..but in reality they may have multiple food sources, the poisoned bait not being the only food source.
Population reduction and not population elimination is more likely the true story. In laboratory tests...termites are confined to a test site given only the bait as the choice of food. This is not a reality with multiple food sources,buried tree stumps, etc. However with proper monitoring and bait placement the termites will consume it,resulting in a population reduction! Because of the smaller population level you would find less stress from the termite colony, resulting in less feeding and less damage. It can be a valuable tool.
Termite baits are an added measure of security and are best used in conjunction with the new non repellent termiticides such as Dominion 2L, Termidor or other non repellent soil treatments especially if you have a current infestation .
In infested structures, it is best to treat the area where termites are found with a non repellent soil treatment. You would be forcing the termites to travel thru the treated soil to get to their food source(your home). You may use a non repellent termiticide with a bait system. We recommend Advance Termite Bait System with Dominion 2L.
What are Termite Baits ?
Termite baits consist of paper, cardboard, or other acceptable termite food, combined with a slow-acting substance lethal to termites. The bait must be good enough to compete with the presence of competing tree roots, stumps, woodpiles and structural wood. If the bait kills too quickly, sick or dead termites may accumulate in the vicinity of the bait stations, increasing the chance of avoidance by other termites in the area. Delayed-action or slow acting bait also enhances transmission of the lethal agent to other termites, including those that never fed on the bait.
Some bait stations are installed below ground out in the yard and others are positioned within the structure in the vicinity of active termite mud tubes or feeding sites. Below-ground stations typically contain untreated wood until termite activity is detected inside the stations. Then the wood is replaced with active ingredient treated material-the bait itself. on.
Understanding Termite Behavior in Baiting
Termites frequently exchange food and body secretions as part of their normal activity. This food/secretion exchange is called trophallaxis. Trophallaxis also transfers microbes in the gut that aid in breaking down cellulose to new members of the colony. The termite queen secretes specific chemicals that are used to communicate and "direct" the activities of all members of her colony. The chemical secretions eventually pass through all members of a colony. The reason why baits are even possible for termite control is because exchange of food/secretions allows slow-acting baits to be transferred throughout the entire colony. Eventually the whole colony will be reduced to such a low level that it can't survive and termite activity will stop.
A key characteristic of termites in dealing with termite baiting systems is the fact that termites cannot be attracted, so placement of the monitors are important. Termites are predicatable. We know enough about their behavior to know where they are most likely to travel.
As of yet there is not a bait on the market that actually "attracts" termites. Yes, you will find roach, ant,and even rodent bait that is designed to attract the target pest to the bait, but not for termites. However, because termites randomly forage in the ground around their colony in search for food, they will eventually forage at almost every point in the soil around their colony. The first thing done in the installation is putting out stations in the ground that contain wood or an inspection cartridge that serve as monitoring tools.
Once termites start eating the wood or an inspection cartridge in the monitoring stations , you replace the wood or an inspection cartridge with the termite bait(toxicant). Termite baits use small amounts of insecticide to knock out populations of termites foraging around the structure. The toxicant-laced bait should be installed after termites have been detected in an untreated monitoring device.
For this reason, monitoring and inspecting your bait stations or having them monitored is critical. It is possible for a homeowner to install and maintain an in-ground bait system. However you should understand that you will need to commit yourself to regular monitoring throughout the first year and at least every 3 months after that. In research conducted in the southern states it sometimes took 1-5 months for termites to find the bait stations. In the northern states, the bait stations may not be found for a year or more. Bait stations may be more likely to be found in the spring when foraging is most active.
After the termite bait(toxicant) has been placed, you continue to inspect the bait stations on the recommended schedule. After no more evidence of feeding is seen, it is assumed that the colony has been eliminated and the bait is once again replaced with the untreated monitoring devices.
Scheduled inspections should continue to insure that your house is protected. These systems then serve as a long-term monitoring program and the bait can easily be added to the monitoring stations at the first signs of termite feeding.
It is also important to note that termites will leave an area if they are disturbed. Because they have no natural defenses against disturbances, they simply leave the area they have been feeding. So, it is important to minimize disturbance of termites feeding in the stations. Don't inspect the stations more frequently than recommended. More in is not better.
Installation of Termite BaitsTermite baits can be installed in the soil around the home or nearby buildings. Some homes may have only baits as a "stand alone treatment", others may be integrated with liquid or barrier treatments.
Installation below ground:
Baits stations are put below ground by enticing termites to feed on wooden stakes, cardboard, or some other cellulose-based material. The toxicant-laced bait can be substituted after termite activity has been found in an untreated monitoring device(the preferred way).
Termites are not lured to the baits or bait monitors; they encounter them by "chance" during their random foraging activities. To increase the odds of discovery, the stations are installed at fixed intervals around the perimeter of the structure, and/or in suspected areas of termite activity (e.g., around woodpiles, stumps, moist areas, and adjacent to previous termite damage). With persistence and patience you will find the termites eventually foraging and feeding upon one or more of the bait installations.
Perhaps the greatest difficulty in termite baiting is getting termites to find the bait monitors or baits in the first place. This discovery is called a "hit"(attacked by termites). This will vary from property to property, depending on such factors as termite foraging intensity, time of year, moisture, and food availability. It can be within 2 weeks or could take a year. In temperate climates bait discovery usually will be greatest during peak foraging periods in the spring and summer. Baiting during late-fall and winter is generally less fruitful, although termites are occasionally found in below ground stations when air temperatures are in the 30 F range.
The more below ground baits installed, the better the chances of locating termites. Installing more stations increases the odds of encountering multiple colonies, or weakly associated "satellite nests" of the same colony -- any of which could be of potential risk to the structure. Planning, patience and persistence are requisites for successfully using below-ground termite baits.
Regardless of which product is used, the homeowner must be prepared and willing to accept the possibility of a lengthy baiting process.
Termite Bait Products on the market
Advance Termite Bait System(Recommended) , Hex Pro and Firstline Termite Bait Systems
We carry a couple different termite bait systems.
Difference between the Advance Termite Bait System, Hex Pro Termite Bait System and Firstline Termite Bait Systems
The Firstline system is a stomach poison and is not labeled for pre treats(pre construction)and the Advance and Hex Pro Bait System is labeled for pretreats. Check labels for current state regulations.
Advance Termite Bait uses a chiten inhibitor, diflubenzuron. Chiten inhibitors are slower acting, no chance of killing the adult foraging termites. It only kills the immature termites. HexPro's Shatter termite bait uses another chitin inhibitor called Hexaflumuronn similar to noviflumuron as Recruit's Sentricon System) will also fit in Sentricon's System. Shatter's loose pelleted bait matrix provides for easy termite tunneling.Diflubenzuron (Advance) and Hexaflumuron (Shatter) is slower acting than Sulfluramid(Firstline ) , allowing time for distribution of termite bait through the entire colony. This results in complete colony elimination.
Stomach poisons such as Sulfluramid (Firstline ) kill too quickly often resulting in incomplete extermination of the termite colony.
FMC claims that Firstline results in colony suppression, not colony elimination.
Advance Termite Bait System(Recommended)
The latest advancement in termite bait technology via a dual-stage process
For more information:
Sentricon® Colony Elimination System
Hex Pro ® System
HexPro® Termite Baiting System
Advantages and Disadvantages of Termite Baits