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Termite Baits

Termite baiting systems are the most promising alternative to barrier treatments and liquid termite chemicals. Using termite baits requires the baits to be found by foraging termites and brought back to the colony to kill the queen. This is a slow method of control but over time it can be very effective.

The use of termite baits rather than traditional chemical treatments is part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach. IPM methods are generally safer and less impactful on the environment.

You can use termite baits by themselves or in combination with liquid and barrier treatments. This combination approach will allow for a reduction in the amount of pesticides used.

No termite control method can guarantee you will never get termites, but a multi-pronged termite control strategy using a combination of baiting, liquid termiticides, and structural modification, usually works best.

Termite baiting is a simple process and can be used as a preventive measure to detect termites where they are not yet a problem.

How to Bait For Termites

1. Establish Your Bait Stations As A Food Source For the Termites

Establish your bait stations as a food source for termites by "prebaiting", placing monitoring stations in the soil that include a wood monitor or inspection cartridge. This allows the foraging termites to find and eat from the bait stations and identify them as a food source. If you were to put our the "active" or "toxicant" at this point you would kill off the very workers that you need to establish the cycle. Once the termites start eating on that wood or the inspection cartridge, introduce the toxicant or active bait.

2 Place Bait or Toxicant in the Monitoring Stations

Once the termites have been attracted to the monitoring stations, replace the wood or inspection cartridge with a toxicant or bait provided in the system. Termites eat the particular bait, feeding it to the entire colony,and in THEORY the colony dies and the complete colony is eliminated.

3. Results of Termite Control/Baiting

Currently, there is no way to substantiate claims of "complete" colony elimination. Laboratory tests do suggest that colony elimination is possible, but in reality they may have multiple food sources, the poisoned bait not being the only food source.

Population reduction and not population elimination is more likely an attainable goal. In laboratory tests, termites are confined to a test site and given bait as their only food source. This is not realistic given the many food sources available to termites, such as mulch, fallen tree limbs, buried tree stumps, etc. However, with proper monitoring and bait placement the termites will consume the bait, resulting in a population reduction. Because of the lower population levels you would be less likely to find termites entering your home in search of food. So, while termite baiting is not a "magic bullet," it can be a valuable tool for homeowners.

Termite baits are an added measure of security and are best used in conjunction with the new non repellent termiticides such as Taurus SC, Termidor SC, or other non repellent soil treatments especially if you have a current infestation .

What about infested structures?

In infested structures, it is best to treat the area where termites are found with a non repellent soil treatment. The goal is to force the termites to travel through the treated soil to get to their food source (your home.) You may use a non repellent termiticide with a bait system. We recommend the Advance Termite Bait System with Taurus SC or Termidor SC.

What are Termite Baits?

Termite baits consist of paper, cardboard, or other acceptable termite food, combined with a slow-acting substance lethal to termites. The bait must be good enough to compete with other food sources such as tree roots, stumps, woodpiles and structural wood. If the bait kills too quickly, sick or dead termites may accumulate in the vicinity of the bait stations, increasing the chance of avoidance by other termites in the area. Delayed-action or slow acting bait enhances transmission of the lethal agent to other termites, including those that never fed on the bait.

Some bait stations are installed below ground out in the yard and others are positioned within the structure in the vicinity of active termite mud tubes or feeding sites. Below-ground stations initially contain untreated wood or some other form of cellulose which is attractive to termites. Once termite activity is detected inside the stations the wood is replaced with active ingredient treated material-the bait itself.

Understanding Termite Behavior in Baiting

Termites frequently exchange food and bodily secretions as part of their normal activity. This food/secretion exchange is called trophallaxis. Trophallaxis also transfers microbes in the gut that aid in breaking down cellulose. The termite queen secretes specific chemicals that are used to communicate and "direct" the activities of all members of her colony. The chemical secretions eventually pass through all members of a colony. Trophallaxis allows slow-acting baits to be transferred throughout the entire colony. Eventually worker termites within the colony are reduced to such a low level that it can't survive and termite activity will stop.

A key characteristic of termites in dealing with termite baiting systems is the fact that termites cannot be attracted, so placement of the bait stations is important. Termites are predictable. We know enough about their behavior to know where they are most likely to travel.

As of yet there is not a bait on the market that actually "attracts" termites. Yes, you will find roach, ant,and even rodent bait that is designed to attract the target pest to the bait, but not for termites. However, because termites randomly forage in the soil around their colony in search of food, they will eventually forage at almost every point in the soil around their colony. The first thing done in the installation is putting out stations in the ground that contain wood or an inspection cartridge that serve as monitoring tools.

Once termites start eating the wood or an inspection cartridge in the monitoring stations , you replace the wood or an inspection cartridge with the termite bait (toxicant). Termite baits use small amounts of insecticide to knock out populations of termites foraging around the structure. The toxicant-laced bait should be installed after termites have been detected in an untreated monitoring device.

For this reason, monitoring and inspecting your bait stations or having them monitored is critical. It is possible for a homeowner to install and maintain an in-ground bait system. However you should understand that you will need to commit yourself to regular monitoring throughout the first year and at least every 3 months after that. In research conducted in the southern states it sometimes took 1-5 months for termites to find the bait stations. In the northern states, the bait stations may not be found for a year or more. Bait stations may be more likely to be found in the spring when foraging is most active.

After the termite bait (toxicant) has been placed, you continue to inspect the bait stations on the recommended schedule. After no more evidence of feeding is seen, it is assumed that the colony has been eliminated and the bait is once again replaced with the untreated monitoring devices.

Scheduled inspections should continue to insure that your house is protected. These systems then serve as a long-term monitoring program and the bait can easily be added to the monitoring stations at the first signs of termite feeding.

It is also important to note that termites will leave an area if they are disturbed. Because they have no natural defenses against disturbances, they simply leave the area they have been feeding. So, it is important to minimize disturbance of termites feeding in the stations. Don't inspect the stations more frequently than recommended. More in is not better.

Installation of Termite Baits

Termite baits can be installed in the soil around the home or nearby buildings. Some homes may have only baits as a "stand alone treatment", others may be integrated with liquid or barrier treatments.

Installation below ground:

Baits stations are put below ground by enticing termites to feed on wooden stakes, cardboard, or some other cellulose-based material. The toxicant-laced bait can be substituted after termite activity has been found in an untreated monitoring device (the preferred way).

Termites are not lured to the baits or bait monitors; they encounter them by "chance" during their random foraging activities. To increase the odds of discovery, the stations are installed at fixed intervals around the perimeter of the structure, and/or in suspected areas of termite activity (e.g., around woodpiles, stumps, moist areas, and adjacent to previous termite damage). With persistence and patience you will find the termites eventually foraging and feeding upon one or more of the bait installations.

Perhaps the greatest difficulty in termite baiting is getting termites to find the bait monitors or baits in the first place. This discovery is called a "hit" (attacked by termites). This will vary from property to property, depending on such factors as termite foraging intensity, time of year, moisture, and food availability. It can be within 2 weeks or could take a year. In temperate climates bait discovery usually will be greatest during peak foraging periods in the spring and summer. Baiting during late-fall and winter is generally less fruitful, although termites are occasionally found in below ground stations when air temperatures are in the 30 F range.

The more below ground baits installed, the better the chances of locating termites. Installing more stations increases the odds of encountering multiple colonies, or weakly associated "satellite nests" of the same colony -- any of which could be of potential risk to the structure. Planning, patience and persistence are requisites for successfully using below-ground termite baits.

Regardless of which product is used, the homeowner must be prepared and willing to accept the possibility of a lengthy baiting process.

Termite Bait Products on the market


Advance Termite Bait System (Recommended), Hex Pro and Firstline Termite Bait Systems

We carry a couple different termite bait systems.

Difference between the Advance Termite Bait System, Hex Pro Termite Bait System and Firstline Termite Bait Systems

The Firstline System is a stomach poison and is not labeled for pre treats(pre construction)and the Advance and Hex Pro Bait System is labeled for pretreats. Check labels for current state regulations.

Advance Termite Bait uses a chitin inhibitor, diflubenzuron. Chitin inhibitors are slower acting, and are designed not to kill the adult foraging termites. It only kills the immature termites. HexPro's Shatter termite bait uses another chitin inhibitor called Hexaflumuronn similar to noviflumuron as Recruit's Sentricon System) will also fit in Sentricon's System. Shatter's loose pelleted bait matrix provides for easy termite tunneling.

Diflubenzuron (Advance) and Hexaflumuron (Shatter) is slower acting than Sulfluramid (Firstline ), allowing time for distribution of termite bait through the entire colony. This results in complete colony elimination.

Stomach poisons such as Sulfluramid (Firstline ) kill too quickly often resulting in incomplete extermination of the termite colony.

FMC claims that Firstline results in colony suppression, not colony elimination.

Advance Termite Bait System (Recommended)

The latest advancement in termite bait technology via a dual-stage process
that features an ultra low disturbance design to pattern termite’s natural feeding
behavior, leading to enhanced colony elimination.

  • A unique second food source (Puri-Cell™) preferred in studies by termites over the wood used in most homes and alternative bait systems.
  • A very large containerized bait load, which allows for maximum bait to be fed
    to the colony in a shorter time to eliminate termite colonies faster, giving you
    peace of mind.
  • A sturdy station designed to minimize tampering/damage from lawnmowers,
    children and pets.

Sentricon® System

For more information:

Sentricon® Colony Elimination System
Mode of Action
Uses a chitin inhibitor, IGR (Insect Growth Regulator) , with use of monitoring stations.

  • This is the first and most widely used termite bait. Hundreds of thousands of structures have been baited with Sentricon since its introduction several years ago.
  • Sufficient independent research trials have been conducted to confirm its effectiveness when properly installed and diligently serviced by an authorized pest control firm.
  • Sentricon is a monitoring-baiting system. The bait, Recruit® II contains laminated textured cellulose that is impregnated with an IGR, noviflumuron. This chemical interferes with termite molting. Inground stations are deployed around a structure at specific intervals.
  • Termite control with the Sentricon System ® is a 3-step process: (1) initial monitoring to "pinpoint" termite activity, (2) delivery of the bait, and (3) subsequent monitoring to provide on-going protection .
  • Sentricon is labeled for "pre-treats" in place of a conventional liquid treatment.



  • Hex Pro ® System

    HexPro® Termite Baiting System
    The Hex-ProT Termite Baiting System uses minimal termite bait to control the termite colony. This system includes an active ingredient that's been proven reliable through 10 years of in-field testing.
    The active ingredient is hexaflumuron, an insect growth regulator (IGR) that stops the termites' vital molting process so they are unable to grow. As a result, they die. Hexaflumuron has demonstrated 10 years of in-field success killing, controlling and eliminating termites.

  • Hex Pro is labeled for "pre-treats" in place of a conventional liquid treatment.


    Advantages and Disadvantages of Termite Baits


    Advantages:

  • Reduction in termite population is an advantage.
  • Even where soil treatments have been effective, baiting provides an additional measure of prevention and monitoring.
  • Baiting requires fewer disruptions than does conventional barrier treatment, since the bait stations are generally outside.
  • Baiting is environmentally-friendly compared with soil trenching with liquid termiticides.
  • Termite colony monitoring and baiting can be used as a preventive measure in early detection of termites.
  • There is an advantage where there is concern about pesticide use the chemical itself or a possible runoff into a body of water.
  • The ability to monitor the perimeter of the house can save you thousands of dollars in damage repair.
  • It will allow termite control in those situations where the structure is untreatable or very difficult to treat with traditional barrier termite insecticides:
    1. Placement in places such as:
    2. Buildings with hard-to-treat construction or chronic retreatment histories are work well with termite baits.
    3. Foundation drains are drainage systems that are difficult to treat with conventional termite chemicals
    4. Heating/air conditioning ductwork is embedded in a slab floor,making it difficult
    5. The barrier/ liquid treatment that requires extensive drilling of slabs through wooden, tiled or carpeted floors.
    6. In the event that a liquid treatment is illegal, such as a cistern or well under the house.

    Disadvantages:

    • The major disadvantage in the use of baits is the length of time it takes to eliminate a colony.
    • Several months may pass before the termites find the untreated, below-ground monitoring stations and begin to feed on the bait. Although usually minimal, some degree of termite feeding and damage may occur before the slow-acting bait takes effect. With liquid barrier termite chemicals, control is immediate. If you use baits, control could take several months to a year.
    • Baiting programs are generally more expensive than conventional treatments. The complete baiting process requires several visits to monitor for termites, and to add or replenish baits as needed. This would add to the cost, if you choose a pest control company to put out your bait stations. The service fee for the initial treatment and annual renewal fee is justified in baiting systems, due to the monitoring required. Failure to maintain the annual service agreement is a prescription for disaster with baits, since there is no residual pesticide left in the soil after the termites have been eliminated. Also, you do not own the bait stations with the Sentricon system. Canceling the service permits the pest control company to remove the bait stations. Monitoring the bait stations for new evidences of termites is what protects your structure on an ongoing basis.

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