INDIANAPOLIS, April 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Termites love wood, so discovering a bait they love even more has pest control experts across the country excited. In side-by-side tests where termites could choose between wood or the new revolutionary bait, termites readily preferred the bait. Surprisingly, termites like the bait even more if it ages, cracks or gets moldy.
"You could say that termites think bait that looks disgusting is delicious," says Lindsay Farley, a product marketing manager with Dow AgroSciences. "In fact, we have to help train service technicians to make sure they don't remove aged bait if it looks gross."
The idea behind the new bait technology was to create a long-lasting bait material that could stand up to the elements in the underground bait stations where termites will feed on it. Researchers at Dow AgroSciences developed a patent-pending cellulose-based bait formulation that in real-world tests has remained effective for multiple years. The bait performs even better than researchers hoped, standing up to heat, cold, wet and dry conditions. If mold forms on the bait, so much the better. And if the bait cracks, termites use the crevices as good places to start feeding.
The new bait, a part of the new Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System with Always Active™ technology, protects homes when it is placed inside Sentricon stations placed around the perimeter of the home. Termites discover the bait, feed on it and then deliver its slow-acting chemistry to the colony. The active ingredient in the bait, noviflumuron, disrupts termite molting, which then eliminates the colony. After reviewing bait performance, federal regulatory officials granted an industry-first termite bait label that allows servicing at up to an annual interval, and acceptance of the label by state regulatory agencies followed.
Consumer research shows that homeowners see extra value in having bait constantly in the ground where it is always available to protect against subterranean termite attack. Homeowners also like the environmentally responsible(1) aspects of termite bait protection. Authorized service companies say the Sentricon System with Always Active technology lets them offer proven colony elimination(2) to homeowners while giving their companies maximum flexibility on scheduling service.
Easy home protection
Research to improve termite protection is necessary. Even after decades of research subterranean termites still cost American homeowners an estimated $5 billion annually. Termites are found in every state but Alaska. Colonies can number from the thousands into the millions. Termites feed 24/7 and are undetected unless an expert inspector finds them, physical damage becomes self-evident or the termite colony becomes large enough to produce winged "swarmer" termites, which fly out from the colony seasonally to create new colonies.
Routine termite control attempts a blocking method -- applying hundreds of gallons of insecticide into soil to create a barrier around and beneath the home to either repel termites or kill them as they try to get to the wood in the home. The easier way to protect a home is to simply eliminate the termite problem altogether by using an advanced bait material. Used by trained and authorized service companies, the Sentricon System enlists the foraging "worker" termites to carry the bait material back to feed it to the colony, which is hidden underground, sometimes hundreds of feet away. A series of Sentricon stations, usually placed about 10 feet apart, contain enough bait to control multiple colonies. Sentricon® stations are then serviced once or more per year, and any bait device that is more than one-third consumed is replaced with a new one.
"Our research has proven that the Sentricon System with Always Active technology eliminates termite colonies," says Michelle Smith, a researcher with Dow AgroSciences. "To do this, we tested the bait in university studies and real-world use on homes in all regions and against multiple species of subterranean termites.
"Our research involved use of DNA fingerprinting to identify specific termite colonies feeding on the bait so that we could document elimination of those colonies. It was common to find multiple colonies around a home, and DNA fingerprinting showed that 18 different termite colonies were active around one home. Homes can be attacked by multiple colonies at once, and they can be attacked by successive colonies. The research shows that having continuously baited stations around a home can be a real advantage to protect it."
About Dow AgroSciences
Dow AgroSciences, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, is a top-tier agricultural company providing innovative agrochemical and biotechnology solutions globally. The company, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, has sales of $4.9 billion. Learn more at www.dowagro.com. Follow Dow AgroSciences on Facebook and YouTube or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.
Interesting Facts about Subterranean Termites
- In the United States alone, an estimated $5 billion in termite-related property damage occurs annually(3)
- More than 5 million homes in the United States have some type of termite problem each year(4)
- Termites are found in every state except Alaska(4)
- Termite damage is more common than damage caused by fires, storms and earthquakes
- Termite damage is rarely covered by homeowner's insurance
- Worker termites work and eat around the clock
- Termites live in underground colonies and tunnel to wood sources — trees, buildings or any source of cellulose
- A termite colony can number from the thousands to millions
- The hard, saw-toothed jaws of termites work like shears to bite bits of wood constantly
- Worker termites feed on wood and then feed the rest of the colony by regurgitating
- Protozoa in the termite gut actually digest the cellulose
- The termites on Earth outweigh the humans on Earth
- Worker termites forage randomly and continuously for food, sometimes traveling up to 350 feet from the colony, and can thoroughly cover a territory up to 1/2 acre in size
- Termites are the second-largest natural source of methane, a greenhouse gas
- Termites have survived since the days of the dinosaurs
Facts about the New Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System with Always Active™ Technology
- Patented active ingredient: noviflumuron
- Patent-pending Recruit® HD termite bait
- The Sentricon System was the first product registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under its Reduced Risk Pesticide Initiative
- The Sentricon System was the recipient of the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award
- Colony elimination is proven by 30 independent university studies, 70 published scientific articles and more than 15 years of real-life success
- The No. 1 brand in termite protection(5)
- Preferred by homeowners 3 to 1 over the next leading bait(5)
Facts About Dow AgroSciences LLC
- Dow AgroSciences is a wholly owned division of The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Mich.
- Dow AgroSciences is headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind.
- The company has been a leader in subterranean termite control in the United States for more than 30 years
- The mission of Dow AgroSciences is to constantly improve what is essential to human progress by mastering science and technology
(1) The Sentricon System is designed to prevent environmental exposure, and can be removed if desired.
(2) As shown by 30 independent university studies and 70 published scientific articles.
(3) National Pest Management Association
(4) Ipsos-Insight 2005
(5) Jefferson Davis Associates, Inc. 2008
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SOURCE Dow AgroSciences