Sentricon Pest Control System
By Chris Cavanagh
Termites are certainly not a new problem for condominiums and homeowners, but over the last few years pest control operators have taken a different approach to termite control with the new technology and treatment methods that have been developed for the control of termites. Leading the way, Dow AgroSciences developed the Sentricon Colony Elimination System approximately 5 years ago and this is still the most widely used of all the new treatment systems. I believe it may still be too soon to state emphatically that these new methods are superior to the older treament methods in all cases. However, the initial results for many structures that have used these different baiting methods for termite control have been very promising. For those in condominium developments that have had a problem with termites or those interested in prevention, I believe the Sentricon System offers many advantages over traditional treatments and may just be your solution to this destructive and all too common insect.
More structural damage is caused each year by termites than fires and storms combined. Even though the damage is not as sudden or violent, it is much more widespread. Approximately one and a half million homes are damaged by termites each year. The subterranen termite is the most destructive, causing nearly a billion dollars in damage annually. The Sentricon System targets the subterranean termite, which lives in colonies in the soil and are built around a king and queen, whose only job is reproduction. Worker termites make up the majority of the colony and are the colony members that cause the damage to the structure. They are working 24 hours a day, feeding on wood from the inside out. Chances are, the evidence will not be noticeable until much of the damage has taken place. These worker termites can enter the structure from utility entry points and cracks only as wide as 1/32 of an inch.
Before There was Sentricon
Prior to the Sentricon System a traditional treatment consisted of applying a chemical barrier around a home or structure. A small trench would be dug around the perimeter and slabs would be drilled at the expansion cracks. The termiticide was then applied to these areas. It was necessary to apply several gallons so the barrier would last and have a residual effect in the soil. These treatments were sometimes messy with drilling that left permanent marks in the slabs and trenching that could tear up landscaping on the property.
If done absolutely correct, the treatment would last five to six years and a barrier would be set up to stop termites from entering a structure and kill termites that are in the structure already ( the termites could not return to the soil to get the moisture they need for their survival ). However, rain and sunlight both work to break down this barrier and weak areas in the barrier allow termites to reenter and cause more damage. Remember, just a one inch gap is more than enough for termites to get through.
The Sentricon System takes advantage of natural termite behavior. Instead of applying a barrier, Sentricon stations are inserted in the soil about every 10 feet. Each station contains a monitoring device. The worker termites are always foraging for wood to feed the colony. When they do find food, like the monitoring device in the Sentricon stations, they will summon all the other worker termites in the colony by leaving a special scent trail. The technician then replaces the monitoring device with a special bait that the termites will continue to feed on. Eventually the bait will affect the entire colony and all the termites will die.
Sentricon - Your Pest Control Security System
Aside from the fact that the Sentricon System offers colony elimination while traditional treatments only set up a temporary barrier, there are other important benefits. Sentricon is similar to a security system. A technician will monitor the stations for activity on a regular basis ( monthly or quarterly normally depending on prior activity ) tracking activity with a scanning device and a computer. This is important as new colonies can always develop. Sentricon is also environmentally more sound than other methods, using a bait on a very limited basis that was approved by the EPA under the Reduced Risk Pesticide Iniative.
Currently both the White House and Statue of Liberty are using the Sentricon System with success. Traditional treatments certainly still have their place in certain situations, but anyone considering termite control for his home or business should first consider a baiting program such as the Sentricon Colony Elimination System.