The Sentricon System Of Eliminating Termite

by Nate on April 13, 2011

The Sentricon System Of Eliminating Termite

The Sentricon system is marketed as a termite colony elimination system. In order for a colony elimination system to work, the bait must affect every termite in the colony. Worker termites do all of the foraging, so how does the bait get from the worker termites to the rest of the colony?

Remember that the worker termites are responsible for feeding all of their nestmates. They do this by consuming food themselves then regurgitating part of it into the mouths of the other colony members. This same natural behavior is exploited by the Sentricon system to disperse the bait toxicant throughout the termite nest.

It is important to note that the bait cannot work too fast. If the active ingredient killed the termites too rapidly, the worker termites would die before they could pass the bait to other colony members.

The active ingredient in the Sentricon bait is hexaflumuron, a slow acting toxicant. Hexaflumuron is an insect growth regulator (IGR). IGRs interfere with the insect’s physical development. This particular IGR interferes with the insect’s ability to molt. Insects have their skeleton on the outside of their bodies, an exoskeleton.

In order to grow larger they must periodically shed this exoskeleton in a process called molting. Hexaflumuron does not allow the termite to molt properly so it dies in the process.

When hexaflumuron is passed from one termite to another the affected termites die during their next molt. In time, there are too few termites left to take care of the colony and feed the queen. When the queen dies the colony is eliminated.

The Sentricon system also supplies above ground stations that the pest control operator (PCO) can place directly on termite mud tubes or infested wood. Hexaflumuron is the active ingredient in the above ground stations as well.

Another very popular termite baiting system now being used is the First Line System marketed by the FMC Corporation of Philadelphia. The First Line bait system was developed for use in combination with spot treatments of liquid termiticide.

The bait system resembles the Sentricon system in that the stations are inspected monthly and the untreated wood monitors inside the stations are replaced with bait if there is a termite hit.

The active ingredient in the FirstLine system is sulfluramid. Sulfluramid is a stomach toxicant that interferes with the termite’s ability to produce energy. Sulfluramid is faster acting than either hexaflumuron or diflubenzuron. However, in the First Line system the concentration of sulfluramid is so low that exposed termites survive for approximately 3 weeks.

This allows them enough time to pass the toxicant to other members of the colony. However, the First Line system does not eliminate termite colonies but is a colony suppression system only.

Therefore, remediation of an active infestation comes from the combined treatment of baiting the termite colony and applying liquid termiticide at the site of infestation. FMC also provides above ground bait stations as part of the First Line system.

Want to find out about termite identification and termite swarm? Get tips from the About Animals website.

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