Termite Bait System
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Termites present a perennial nuisance to houses and other buildings all over Australia. They silently attack properties, eating them from the inside out.
It is imperative they are eradicated before they hollow out and destroy all the wood structures within homes or business premises.
One of the most popular and effective ways of keeping the termites out is with termite bait systems.
Basically, these are feeding stations for the insects that contain a toxic bait.
How Do Termite Bait Systems Work?
There are several different bait station manufacturers such as Nemesis, Exterra and Sentricon.
Typical termite bait systems are hollow plastic cylinders with slits on the side to allow the insects to enter.
They are inserted into the ground at regular intervals of around 10 to 15 feet around a home to increase the chances of their discovery by termites.
They can also be placed in suspected areas of insect activity such as around moist areas and tree stumps.
Some systems are installed above the ground directly in the path of termites.
The aim of termite bait stations is to kill off worker termites. When they have been eliminated, there’s no more food and a colony goes into decline.
Other termites such as soldiers and queens are unable to feed themselves.
To effectively lure termites to the bait systems, a pre-baiting strategy is executed.
Scout termites also are known as foragers search for food sources and when they find bait stations containing wood, paper or other cellulose products tag them with a pheromone.
This is a chemical excreted from their bodies.
Worker termites can then easily locate this food source, and a feeding connection is established with the insects returning to the stations to continue feeding on the cellulose material.
Pre-baiting is also a good way of testing an area for the presence of the tiny pests.
Once this connection is established, bait laced with a slow-acting toxicant that the termites cannot detect is added to the stations.
Termites consume these edible smart missiles and share them with their nest mates as part of their mutual feeding and grooming processes.
In this way, the poison is spread.
Within weeks of ingesting the bait termites die. When they do they are cannibalised by other termites which also spreads the poison and eventually an entire colony can be wiped out.
The delayed action of the toxic substance is important because if it was instantaneous dead insects would accumulate near the stations and they wouldn’t pass the poison to others in their colony.
The bait stations are not traps nor do they attract termites. The tiny insects can neither see nor smell the contents.
Termites find them during their normal foraging activities, just as they would discover any source of food.
Once installed, trained technicians can check them periodically and add more bait if needed.
Advantages of Termite Bait Systems
There are many advantages to using bait systems to control your termite problem.
There is no need to dig up a garden or yard to install them and there is no injection of powerful chemicals inside or outside your home.
Furthermore, the bait is of low toxicity to people and animals and the systems are child-proof.
Types of Bait Systems
The Sentricon Termite Colony Elimination System is designed to eliminate entire subterranean colonies of termites, including the queen.
The bait stations are discreet, and installation does not involve drilling or trenching.
This termite bait system can be installed in the ground or above ground.
The bait is based on Chlorfluazuron, an insect growth regulator that prevents termites from synthesising chitin.
The insects shed their exoskeletons and because they can’t produce chitin are unable to grow them back. Consequently, they die.
A termite bait station that uses either Termidor or Premise as its termiticide.
Termidor is 100% effective at controlling termites in three months or less, according to its makers BASF.
It eliminates the insects by ingestion and contact and is undetectable by them so it is passed freely through colonies.
Premise is a termite control termiticide from Bayer Environmental Science and also kills through ingestion and contact.