The following articles are condensed from three research studies by Michael F. Potter, Extension Entomologist at the University of Kentucky.
Kentucky has thousands of wooden tobacco barns spread across the state. UK is very involved in termite research because of the economic impact of termite’s in this agricultural economy.
Consumer Update: Termite Baits
The New Termite Killers
Thinking “Outside” the Box
By: Michael F. Potter, Extension Entomologist University of Kentucky.
To Bait or Not to Bait… The biggest complaint, common to all of the current systems, is that baiting is a slow, prolonged process; several months may pass before the termites find the untreated, below ground monitoring stations and begin to feed on the bait. Consequently, it is not uncommon for the elimination procedure to take more than a full year to complete. Although usually minimal, some degree of termite feeding and damage may occur before the slow-acting bait takes effect.
Baiting programs often are more expensive that conventional treatments. This is because the process requires multiple visits to the structure to monitor for termites, and to add or replenish baits as needed. Homeowners should consider both the initial treatment price and the annual renewal fee in making their purchasing decision. Failure to maintain their 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. Ongoing structural protection depends upon diligent monitoring for new evidence of termites in the future.
Sentricon – The most widely used termite bait is the Sentricon Colony Elimination System. While there is still much to learn about Sentricon, dozens of independent research trials have confirmed its effectiveness when properly installed and diligently serviced by an authorized pest control firm.
Firstline – some pest control firms are using this product as an alternative to Sentricon. Most are using the bait in combination with other forms of treatment, rather than as a “stand alone, “ as is often done with Sentricon. Research trials with Firstline have been inconclusive, and it has been difficult to determine what impact the bait, alone, is having on active termite infestations.
Spectracide Terminate – (This is the do-it-yourself product sold at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe’s etc.) The Federal Trade Commission and eight state Attorneys General (including Kentucky) filed a complaint in U.S. District Court alleging that the advertising claims about the product are deceptive and unsubstantiated. This do-it-yourself termite bait is discussed at length in our entomology extension publication Entfact-642. DO-IT-Yourself Termite Baits: Do They Work? (Visit http:www.UKY.edu for more information.)
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