Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002796/00001
 Material Information
Title: Baits to Control Subterranean Termites: The Sentricon® System
Physical Description: Fact Sheet
Creator: Koehler, Philip G.
Publisher: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008
Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status: Published
General Note: "Publication date October 2000. Revised: February 2008."
General Note: "ENY-2000"
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00002796:00001

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ENY-2000 Baits to Control Subterranean Termites: The Sentricon System1 P. G. Koehler, N.-Y. Su, R. H. Scheffrahn, F. M. Oi and R. M. Pereira2 1. This document is ENY-2000 (IN099), one of a series of the Entomology and Nematology, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication date October 2000. Revised: February 2008. Please visit the EDIS Web site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. 2. P. G. Koehler, professor/extension entomologist, Entomology and Nematology Department; N.-Y. Su, professor, Ft. Lauderdale-REC and R. H. Schreffrahn, professor, Ft. Lauderdale-REC; F. M. Oi, assistant extension scientist, and R. M. Pereira, research associate scientist, Entomology and Nematology Department, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A. & M. University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Larry Arrington, Dean Subterranean termites are social insects that usually live in underground colonies. Colonies consist of a queen who lays eggs, a king who fertilizes the eggs, soldiers who protect the colony, and workers who tend to the immature termites, soldiers, the queen, and search for food. Subterranean termite workers forage through the ground in tunnels they create looking for sources of cellulose (wood and wood products). Cellulose is often found in high concentrations in and around homes and other structures. The traditional method of treating subterranean termites is to place an insecticide barrier in the ground between the structure and the termite colony. Termite workers that tunnel through treated areas either contact the insecticide and are killed, or are repelled by the chemical. As some workers die in the insecticide treated area, others subsequently avoid it and the colony, as a whole, is not greatly harmed by the chemical barrier. Soil insecticides applied to protect structures from subterranean termite damage can fail. Failures can occur when termites find breaks in the chemical barrier, or when the insecticide degrades. Termites can then enter the structure and consume the wood therein. Problems can also arise from changes in building construction and difficulties in properly applying the insecticide. After a structure is built, it becomes difficult to achieve a continuous horizontal chemical barrier beneath it. Thus, treatment in existing structures may require the drilling of holes for injection of toxicant into critical areas. In addition, some people are concerned about the risks involved with potential exposure to insecticides and would like to minimize their use in and around their home. Termite baiting is designed to selectively reduce or eliminate termite colonies without the intensive use of insecticides. Several termite baits have been developed, and are available on the market. This is the first in a series of publications targeting each of the different termite baiting systems available. This publication focuses on the Sentricon System. The Sentricon System was first extensively researched at the University of Florida before it was marketed by DowAgroSciences. It is a low impact


Baits to Control Subterranean Termites: The Sentricon System 2 approach to subterranean termite control, in that it requires no broadcast insecticide application, and requires no drilling into floors or foundations. The Sentricon System utilizes a three-stage approach. First termite activity is monitored, and then baited. After baiting, termite activity is once again monitored. The Sentricon System is available only through authorized pest control companies. Inspection The first step in the use of Sentricon is inspection. Structures are thoroughly inspected for termites and locations where they are likely to enter. Sites such as crawl spaces, fences, sheds, decking, landscape timbers, and landscape plantings are noted as well as areas with active termite infestations, wood on soil contact, and damage. Additional problem areas such as high moisture areas (air conditioning drip lines, gutter downspout discharge areas, and sprinklers) and loose wood sources (stumps, scrap lumber, firewood) are also noted. These areas are likely locations to support foraging termites. Placement of Monitoring Stations The pest control operator installing the Sentricon System first monitors termites before baiting is begun. Generally, monitoring stations are placed about every 10 feet around the perimeter of the structure. Also, critical and termite conducive areas will usually have a monitoring station placed nearby. Monitoring stations are installed by drilling a hole in the soil (2 inches in diameter, about 12 inches deep). Stations are inserted into the soil until the soil cover is flush with the ground (Figure 1). The location and status of each station is recorded in a computerized data management system so data can be recorded during monitoring. Figure 1. Sentricon System monitoring and bait devices. Two untreated monitoring devices are placed in each station and usually inspected at monthly intervals. Monitoring devices are wooden slats placed within a slotted, plastic housing. When inspected, the station lid is removed with a special key, and the monitoring devices are checked for live termites, or signs of feeding. New electronic devices allow the stations to be inspected without being opened. The device will sound an alarm if there is some indication of termite activity in the monitoring station. If no termites are found, the station is inspected at a later date. Occasionally, stations are initially placed in locations, such as water logged areas, that require them to later be relocated. Depending on many factors, it may take a few weeks to several months for termites to enter the stations and begin to feed on the monitoring devices. When termites have been found in a monitoring device it is time to begin baiting. Baiting A bait tube consists of a cylinder that fits within the station housing. It is moistened by the addition of a little water and the termites collected from the monitoring devices are placed within the bait tube. The bait tube is capped and placed in the housing. Termites placed in the bait tube have to feed on the bait to escape and return to the colony. During their return to the colony, they leave a chemically scented trail which leads more termites to the bait. This process was termed "self-recruitment." Greater recruitment results in more rapid consumption of the bait. Additional stations containing monitoring devices may be installed next to baited stations with termites. These are called auxiliary stations. These are regularly inspected and when "hit" by termites, are transferred to baiting mode. If termites are active, bait tubes are inspected monthly. Large, active colonies will consume bait faster and bait tubes will be inspected more


Baits to Control Subterranean Termites: The Sentricon System 3 frequently. Inspection ensures that bait is always available for the termites to consume. If for some reason termites abandon a bait tube, monitoring devices are inserted back into the housing. Bait consumed by termite workers is carried to the colony and fed to other individuals. Therefore, only slow acting bait ingredients are effective for termite control. The bait used in the Sentricon System contains a slow acting compound that is an insect growth regulator, which affects the normal growth and development of termites. Insect growth regulators are effective against many insects in extremely low doses but have very little toxicity to humans, pets, or wildlife. The effect of the bait on termite colonies is slow. As termites develop, more and more members of the colony die, the colony cannot sustain itself and it is eventually eliminated. It may take two to eight months after baiting to eliminate a termite colony. Because baits are slow acting, additional damage may occur before the colony is controlled. In these cases, it may be necessary to protect the structure with traditional insecticide treatment. Baits work best when competing food sources are minimized. Therefore, baits are most effective when used as part of a total integrated pest management program where sanitation (removal of scrap wood, stumps, and other materials containing cellulose) and prevention (proper construction practices to minimize termite access to buildings) are emphasized. After the colony has been controlled, bait tubes are removed and replaced with monitoring devices. Inspection will then continue on a regular basis until new infestations can be detected. This product claims colony elimination after two consecutive months of inactivity.