With the baiting systems, termites obviously must find and eat the bait in order for the chemical to be effective. The acceptability of this "food" in the station results in more termites coming to feed on it. There is no way to predict how soon termites will find and feed in a bait station so an important part of the baiting strategy is to install the stations completely around the structure and to target known or suspected sites of termite activity |
One of the biggest challenges in baiting is getting termites to find the baits in the first place. The timetable for discovery will vary from property to property, depending on such factors as termite foraging intensity, time of year, moisture, and food availability.
Unlike most conventional insecticides, the impact of termite baits is not immediate. By design, the baits contain chemicals that may take several days, weeks, or even months to kill individual termites depending upon the age of the termite and the type of chemical in the bait. This delayed effect is important. You want the termites to carry the bait back to the colony and feed it to other termites within the nest. As a result, it may take several months before the entire colony is substantially reduced. The time of year will also affect how quickly termite activity is eliminated. The key to a successful termite baiting program is proper monitoring and maintenance of the stations. Make sure you understand the monitoring/inspection schedule followed by the company and that you receive regular updates after every inspection, which may occur monthly or quarterly.
Baiting during late-fall and winter is generally less fruitful. Termites may be found in below ground stations at sub-freezing temperatures, but their feeding activity and effects of the bait are greatly reduced. At times of the year when the ground is frozen, snow covered , or saturated, inspection of bait stations can often be curtailed until conditions once again become favorable for termite foraging and feeding.
The more bait stations 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.
Various methods of termite baiting are employed by pest control firms. Some baits are inserted below ground out in the yard, while others are installed inside the building in the vicinity of active termite mud tubes. On some properties, baits may constitute the only form of treatment; on others, they may be supplemented with a partial or complete liquid application. Above-Ground Installation
Baits can also be installed above ground, in known areas of termite activity. Typically, the stations are installed directly in the path of active termite tunnels after the mud tubes have been broken. Other times, they can be mounted directly over termite-infested wood, drywall, or other surfaces. Effects tend to be more rapid with above-ground baiting, since the procedure does not require waiting for termites to find the below-ground installations. They are normally used in conjunction with below ground baiting, rather than as a stand alone.
Success will require thoughtful installation and diligent monitoring by an experienced technician, backed by a responsible pest control firm.
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