Termite Baiting Systems, How Do They Work

by Nate on May 5, 2011

Termite Baiting Systems, How Do They Work

There are essentially two distinctly separate parts to all of the commercially available systems, firstly a method of intercepting and aggregating termites and then a method of remotely killing the entire termite colony by feeding the aggregated termites a bait toxicant which they then share with their brothers.


An aggregation device can be very simple or there are quite complex ones available. In essence all that is needed is for the device to contain a food source that is suitable for termites, and that it is installed in an area where termites will find it. Given their subterranean nature it is most probable that termites will find the “bait” when it is dug into the soil. A higher “hit” rate tends to happen when the stations are placed in areas known to be at higher risk e.g. near a leaking tap or pipe.


Once installed the aggregation devices then need to be monitored for termite activity. Regular monitoring is the key, if the stations are not monitored you will not find the termites when they enter the stations. Monitoring should be carried out at least monthly in the warmer months of the year and bi monthly is usually sufficient in the cooler times.


It can take some practice to make the ritual of checking the stations automatic, quick and easy, however over time this can happen. Dependent upon the type of station that you install you may need to remove the bait to check it for activity or with very good systems such as the Nemesis termite monitoring and baiting system, you need only lift the lid, as it is visually apparent if attack has occurred.


The second part of a good system is the bait toxicant. The bait toxicants available vary somewhat in that the active constituents work in similar ways, but are mostly different products. It is very important for the toxicant to be palatable to the termites otherwise uptake is poor. Once the termites start to feed on the bait and share it through the colony they are well on their way to destruction. Most of the toxicants are IGR’s (insect growth regulators) and chitin inhibitors. Chitin is the outer body wrapping or skin of the termites, they shed their skin regularly to permit growth. Once they are affected by the toxicant they lose the ability to grow a new skin so hence when they shed their old skin there is no new skin formed and this causes there death. Once a few termites die, disease and sickness spreads through the colony increasing the speed with which the colony meets its demise.


In a case where termites have already attacked a structure then they are already aggregated and so introducing them to a bait toxicant can be quite simple. All of the systems on the market have what is called an above ground station, this is a plastic box that has a removable lid and openings in the back of it to allow termite entry. The station is fixed with screws to an area where termites are active and the bait is introduced to the termites, the station is filled with bait and the lid replaced. The station is now left undisturbed for 3- 4 weeks.


The time that it takes for the elimination of an entire colony can vary greatly and is dependent on many, often unknown factors. Termite species, time of year, distance from the colony to bait station and the size of the colony all have varying impact upon the time taken to elimination.


It is very important for homeowners to understand that dealing with termites in a DIY fashion is fraught with danger and often ends up with more cost than would have been necessary if only the issue was dealt with by a professional.


The aggregation of termites is a different story because the actual aggregation can be carried out in a variety of ways by the homeowner and to have a regular monitoring regime that you carry out yourself is great. Just remember that once you know where the termites are, call a professional.


A very good system that is commercially available and that allows for the homeowner to monitor, is the Nemesis termite monitoring and baiting system. You may be able to have this professionally installed and then monitor it yourself. The important thing with this system is that the bait toxicant that is a part of the system works extremely well, and is widely available to pest management professionals (you cannot add the bait yourself)


Most importantly, have a full inspection of your home carried out regularly and take the advice of your termite control professional.

I have spent the last twenty five years working in many aspects of the Pest management industry. After starting my career in my families’ pest control business in Central Queensland I have worked on the Sunshine coast, in Perth and have been based in Sydney for 15 years now. I have attained Certificate IV assett maintenance (pest management). Certificate IV Training and assessment. I am a level 1 Thermographer and still actively work in the termite management field. My chief interest is in the detection, identification and long term control of Termites of all species. www.pestec.com.au

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