Why is it that pest controllers talk about Eradication Techniques?
Killing a termite is easy! Just squeeze it between your fingers! Why can’t you spray where ever you find them and not to worry about the costly termite eradication techniques? The answer is that subterranean termites are social insects and unless you kill the royal family(s), you can’t guarantee their demise! The queen termite can lay thousands of eggs a day. While you spray hundreds of termites in one hit, she will recover from it in a single day.
To eradicate subterranean termites, we can
1) Bait them
2) Dust them or
3) carry out a chemical treatment against termites
Baiting involves feeding termites with a poison. Baiting and dusting are two of the most applied eradication techniques in the industry. Baiting is a very difficult task. Termites have been around for millions of years. They have evolved an acute sense of smell. Once they smell something repulsive, they will avoid it. If you spray an area with a normal insecticide, they will soon ban that area and move their kitchen somewhere far from that poisonous area. Generally, baits consist of 99 percent cellulose and 1 percent poison. If there is more poison, termites will avoid eating the bait. The poison is slow acting, so it will not kill them straight away. They will have time to feed each other including the queen before the poison kicks in. The great thing about baiting is that once termites decide to eat the baits, they are doomed. They will not stop eating until all the workers are dead. Soldiers are dependent on workers to be fed and once all the workers are dead, the remaining soldiers will starve to death! The disadvantage of baiting is that termites may not eat the bait at all. In my experience as a termite controller I would be very happy if half of my baiting sites were successful in feeding termites. Therefore I usually install a few baiting boxes in different sites where I find termites. Another disadvantage of baiting is that it would only kill one colony at the time. If another colony attacks your home, you will have to start the baiting all over again. Sometimes you may come across a multi-nesting termite species like Schedorhinotermes spp. When the colony gets bigger, it divide itself and the contact between the two divisions may be blocked. In that case you need to bait both colonies to eradicate termites in your home. Baiting takes on average 3-4 months to kick in, depending on the size of the colony, time of the year and the species that you are dealing with. Unfortunately, they will eat your home as well as the bait while still alive. However some bait suppliers whom provide baits like Nemesis or Centricon believe that once termites start eating the baits, they will stop feeding on your timber. There is some truth in that but it is difficult to verify. Termite Baiting is ideal when you only have a minimum number of termites to deal with and you can’t find the nest.
another eradication technique is called dusting. Dusting usually works faster than baiting. It takes on average 6 weeks for it to kick in, depending on the size of the colony and the time of the year. It involves introducing fine poisonous dust to termites. By dusting as many termites as possible, you ensure the whole colony gets infected. Termites will then infect the rest of the colony by rubbing their body against each other and also grooming themselves and other termites. Like baiting, dusting is a delayed acting poison which gives termites enough time to infect each other. I use Termidor dust for this purpose. Termidor is produced by BASF and works very well. The disadvantage of dusting is that you need to infect as many termites as possible otherwise you may not be successful in your eradication technique. Another disadvantage is that if a new colony attacks your home, you need to dust it again. There won’t be a residue poison or dust available for the new colony that attacks your home to get infected.
Finally, Carrying out a termite chemical treatment. This eradication technique involves using liquid or foam like termicide. You will apply it at the vicinity of termites or the area where they may be coming into your property. You will then install a subfloor or the perimeter Chemical barrier in your property. The eradication principal is the same as baiting or dusting. Termites will crawl through the chemicals and then infect each other by rubbing or grooming each other. Once again using expensive non-repellent termiticide or termicide like Termidor or Altriset will ensure that termites will continuously getting infected without realizing it. The biggest disadvantage of chemical treatment is that termites may be able to bridge the chemical zone. For example, I came across a few termite nests in the wall, usually the bathroom.Water proofing was dodgy and every time home owners showered, termites would get their required water for the week. In that case they didn’t need to crawl inside or outside the property in search of water. They were happily eating the timber in between walls while getting their water in the bathroom. therefore perimeter or subfloor chemical treatment wouldn’t affect them. In those cases, I would first treat the nest in the wall and then install the chemical barrier. The biggest advantage of chemical treatment is that the residue stays in soil for years, depending on the chemical used and its mixing ratio. I always recommend installing a chemical barrier to prevent future termite attacks.