Termite control using termite bait stations, such as the Advance Termite Bait Stations or Firstline Termite bait, are one of the most effective tools to get complete termite colony elimination. Termite bait stations are a fabulous example of “green” pest control, and one that fits perfectly with an overall program of termite prevention. Termite bait has been studied tremendously, and has been designed to mimic the termites main food source, wood, and in particular cellulose. The stations do not pollute in any way unless we worry about the plastic they are made from, and do not affect any other living organisms when used correctly. There is no chemical residual placed around the structure, and therefore no non-target organisms killed.
Termite control baits, and in particular the Advance Termite bait, offer a means for eliminating a colony of termites that may be threatening a structure, but at the moment the best we can hope for is that foraging termites accidentally bump into them as they search for food resources. Once a bait station is found, and essentially marked by the worker termites as a food resource, these stations then do become attractive to more termites. The first ones will lay down a trail that guides others to the station, so in that sense they may “attract” termites, but only after they are found with the random movements of the termites.
The termites give off a pheromone, which is a chemical that they secrete, and encourages other termites to come feed off of the station. There is no guarantee that the termites will ever find the bait stations. They find them randomly, and there is a chance they might just wander by the bait station and enter the structure right next to it. For this reason, we put the termite bait stations about every 10 feet around the entire structure. The more termite bait stations you put out, the more likely the termites are to find them.
Controlling termites through termite baiting is one technique for offering a highly selective way of killing termites, and possibly eliminating the entire underground colony. The toxins inside the station are often IGRs as in the Advance Termite Bait system or stomach poisons such as Firstline, and have little or no effect on any other biological organisms in the area, but only on the termites that feed directly on them.
Termite control baits have the ability to get something into a colony that may be hidden deep in the ground. Liquid termiticides, applied to the soil surface, really don’t go any farther than the water that they are mixed in does, which is usually only an inch or so into the soil. The active ingredients tie up tightly to soil particles and remain in that thin top layer, and if applied thoroughly enough provide a consistent barrier that foraging termites must contact on their way to the structure. The repellent termiticides, in particular, had no means for getting into the underground colony, but pretty much rely on either killing or repelling only the termites that moved into the treated zone.
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