Subterranean termite infestations are the most destructive pest infestations in the US because their colonies can grow to enormous sizes, with millions of members that all need to be fed. Luckily, their voracious nature can be used against them with the termite baiting system.
The baiting system
The baiting system consists of multiple receptacles installed on the property. These receptacles are conical in shape and have a lid on top. They are partially submerged in the ground so the lid can be opened and the bait can be checked on or replaced as needed. The bait itself is a solution made of cellulose and insecticide.
The baiting system works by drawing in termite foragers that find the laced cellulose and take it back to the colony. The scouting termite leaves a pheromone trail to the container, and more workers join in to collect the cellulose. The cellulose is then shared throughout the colony, and more and more workers are poisoned.
How the colony is destroyed depends on the type of insecticide used. Some insecticides are meant to spread until they reach the queen and kill it, while others are more clever. For example, there is a chitin inhibitor that kills workers when they are molting. Since workers molt in the royal chamber, they die near the queen, triggering an alarm in the colony and forcing the queen to move to a new royal chamber. However, workers will try to molt in the new chamber after the move, putting so much stress on the queen that it dies.
Some alternative control methods
The big problem with the baiting system is that it can take a while (up to a few months) to kill a colony. To address this issue, there is the alternative of the chemical barrier, which will stop an infestation in its tracks, but will leave the colony intact. The two control methods are often used together because they complement each other.
The baiting system is also only effective against subterranean termites. If you have a drywood or dampwood termite infestation, localized treatments or fumigation will have to be used, with localized treatments being used against small infestations and fumigation being used against large ones.
If you have questions about the baiting system, or if you suspect that you have an infestation in the home, contact us today.