Article posted on February 13, 2020

How Do Termite Bait Stations Work and Are They Safe?

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Termite inspections and treatments are often the most effective way of detecting and removing active termite infestations within a property, however termite baiting systems, can prevent infestations via way of early detection.

Infact, this is how termite baiting stations are designed to work.

Early detection and prevention of internal infestations over longer periods of time. This is why termite traps and baiting stations are an attractive option for many home owners, as they act more as a preventative.

termite bait trap installation imageHow termite baiting stations work

Termite baits do exactly what you’d imagine – their job is to attract and kill off termites. However, unlike other, more traditional forms of pest control and extermination methods – termite baiting stations are cleverly designed to work in conjunction with the natural behaviour of termites.

More importantly, they’re designed to not only kill termites active within the traps, but also to kill off the actual nest too.

This is what makes termite baiting stations really effective. Not only are they an affordable long term solution, but they are incredibly effective at killing off large colonies of termites.

Termite baiting vs chemical/barrier treatments

As most property owners know, there are a number of different methods available for the treatment of termites. Options range from chemical treatments and barriers, through to physical barriers and of course baiting systems.

Aside from cost, typically it’s the property type that determines which type of treatment is most suited. For instance, because termite baits aren’t actually physically connected with a building or structure, they’re more commonly used on split level or pole built homes. This is due to the property being raised above the ground, where traditional barriers would be ineffective.

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What do Termite bait stations look like?

termite bait trap station imageTermite baits themselves are approximately 30cm long in length, and look like vented cylindrical tubing. Each trap is fitted with a lockable cap for safety which contains small ventilation grills at the top. Termite bait stations are buried down into the ground, with the very top of the trap sitting flush with the soil.

Traps are placed this way for the following reasons.

  • Firstly so that they’re not as to not cause any obstructions within the yard or property
  • Secondly, so that they’re not a visual eye sore, and most importantly of all
  • Termites travel underground, just like ants seeking food

How the termite baiting process works

What makes termite baiting systems so highly effective is the fact that they’re actually part of a simple 3 step termite-killing process.

That process is as follows –

Termites are attracted to the baiting stations

termite trap how does it work imageObviously the first part of the process is to attract any nearby termites to the baiting stations. This is achieved by placing Tasmanian Oak timber into the traps which termites consider an attractive food source. Timber has cellulose in it, which termites eat and digest – with the help of protozoa and microbes in their guts. However, some cellulose material is more attractive than others, with termites favoring Tasmanian Oak.

In addition to the timber, our pest control technicians add an attractant called Focus, which has the ability to draw termites in from distances of up to 3 meters away. Enough focus is added to last up to a month, which gives enough time for a large amount of termites to become attracted to the trap. This method allows us to detect any early signs of termite activity around your property and prepare the next step of the process.

Hexaflumuron is added to the baiting stations

Once the traps have attracted a large amount of termites, they are then filled with an insect growth regulator called Hexaflumuron which destroys the termites exo-skeleton. Hexaflumuron takes on a pasty texture, once mixed with water (Hexaflumuron in its raw state is powder like)

Hexaflumuron contains cellulose, which again termites are attracted to as what they believe to be a viable food source.

Hexaflumuron once digested does 2 things –

  • It weakens and softens the exo skeleton, or “outer shell” of the termite, and
  • Softens the termites mandibles, which results in the termite being unable to chew timber

The main colony becomes affected and eventually dies off

Infection of the main colony or nest happens in two ways.

  • Termites that digest the poison, return to the main nest, where their fecal matter is ingested by other termites, rendering the same affect, OR
  • Termites carry the poison back to the nest in an effort to feed infant termites, which again renders the same affect.

The final blow to the colony comes when the termites are unable to moult their exo-skeletons to make way for new growth. This of course means that that not only are existing termites eradicated, but also any future generations as they cannot reproduce.

As you can see, this is a highly effective method that once in place, works extremely well.

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Termite bait inspections and servicing

When it comes to baiting stations, customers typically sign up for 12 month contract. This provides the customer with –

  • Installation of the baits/traps
  • Monthly inspections
  • Ongoing servicing and maintenance

Installation of a typical termite bait system for a standard 3 bedroom home, on a regular sized block can usually be completed within a day by a sole pest control technician. Usually the traps are set beneath the ground every 3 meters apart, strategically placed around the outer edge of the property. As the traps sit flush with the ground surface, they are virtually unnoticeable, which means no ugly boxes or obstructions in the yard.

Each month, customers receive an SMS notification or phone call to remind them that their inspections are due. It’s imperative that each trap is inspected once a month to detect any potential activity.

termite bait imageUpon inspection, we check the baits and fill in a service form, so that we know exactly the state of every trap on the property. In the second and third years, traps are usually checked every eight weeks. Continual vigilance is vital, as termite colonies are constantly moving through the ground, so it’s common for a home with a termite bait system to have three or four different hits a year, from a number of different termite colonies.

Termite bait systems can last for up to 10 years, making them an ideal investment for those who seek a viable long term, more permanent option.

In other words, termite baiting systems act as a long term “alarm system” for termites. If termites are actively feeding in the traps, it’s likely they’ve established a nest nearby, which allows us to take swift and immediate action.

Alternatively, if the baits continue to be clear, customers can rest easy knowing that their property will be safe from any potential infestations.

Termite baits are 100% safe

Termite baiting systems are often the preferred method of termite control for property owners who share concerns about the well being and safety of their family, children and pets. As mentioned above, each station is locked with a secure cap, and buried beneath the ground.

The baiting formula is harmless to animals and children, as well as wildlife, as it is only designed to harm insects with exo-skeletons. This type of controlled extermination is far more effective, and safe than a broad or blanket insect pesticide or deterrent.

pest ex termite removal pest control imageReady to work with us?

For more information about our termite baiting systems, or to schedule a call to have one installed at your property, give us a call at Pest Ex. We’re proud of our track record as a leading pest control company in Queensland, servicing Brisbane, Logan and the Gold Coast regions.

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