Explaining Termite Baiting or Termite Baiting versus Chemical Treatment

With the SafeTNet Termite Management Strategy the above measures can be incorporated as part of our program if required at no extra cost, however baiting avoids all the risks of a chemical application and leaves no chemical residues on site. It also provides on-going monitoring of the grounds around the building to detect and eliminate termites foraging in the grounds. If you rely only on dusting and chemical applications, the first you will know of further activity is when termites are in the building.

Baiting is also one of the quickest ways to get control. Our expertise in baiting now goes back over ten years, during which time we have developed the skills to get termites feeding much quicker. This strategy is simply the safest, most effective, and most cost-efficient available when looking at the long-term management of termites.

Why has Pestforce embraced termite baiting when liquid soil barriers and dusts have been used for so long?

  • A termite barrier is like a fence to keep termites out of a building. If that fence has holes or gaps, then it will not work. When a building is constructed with timber elements in contact with the ground or with filled concrete slabs abutting the foundation walls, the treatment will invariably have gaps and the termites often move from one area to another. Even when highly toxic organochlorine chemicals like chlordane were available, failure rates were high.

  • A chemical barrier carries risks. There is always the risk of a spill or of someone having an adverse reaction to the treatment.

  • When a chemical barrier is created, it relies on whatever material the chemical is applied to. When treating under concrete slabs it relies on the material under the slab to form a barrier. If the material has subsided or contains rubble or timber, the treatment will fail.

  • Another problem is re-application. All the registered products will break down over time and need to be reapplied. The reapplication may need to be done every three to five years, depending on the material being treated. Of course if the treatment has gaps, even if the chemicals lasted a thousand years, termites could re-enter the building the day after treatment was completed.

  • The purpose of the chemical treatment, according to Australian Standard 3660, is to prevent concealed access, so termites could still track around treated soil but would be exposed to inspections. Termite inspections on high-risk structures should be done every three to six months as per Australian Standard 3660. It is false economy to leave inspections at 12 month intervals or longer, because when the termites return they have more time to cause damage.

  • Chemical barrier applications take some time to take effect and termites do not immediately stop attacking the structure. It is very common to still see live termites in a building two or three months after application, and that is assuming that the barrier is complete and will actually work.

  • Dusting strategies can kill termite colonies indirectly, however a large proportion of the termites from the colony must be dusted to achieve this. Normally several treatments are required over a period of time to gain control and regular inspections are still required to detect other termite colonies on the property. We used this strategy at Government House in Sydney and it took over nine months of dusting to achieve colony elimination because of the poor dusting conditions and limited numbers of termites present.

  • Dusting is not nearly as effective or efficient as baiting because the termites are taking the toxicant back to the nest on the exterior of their bodies. It is a far more passive distribution of the dust and if the termites get too much on them they may be rejected altogether. With baiting, the termites are actively distributing the toxicant as food and so are never rejected. Once they consume the bait, elimination of the colony is assured.

  • Often the act of applying the dust will cause termite activity to retreat from the area and where they will reappear is entirely up to them. Often when insufficient termites are dusted, a series of sporadic attacks to different parts of the structure will begin.