Greenpest Charakter

Termites don`t play fair...

...neither should you!

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Our Research

Our Ongoing Research and Development.

Ever since 1996 we have constantly strived to improve the effectiveness of the Green Termite Bait System.

This has led us to some very interesting results and findings about termites that you won't find in any textbooks.

We will share some of our results here with all our visitors and we welcome questions from the many scientists and researchers studying termites that visit this site.

Our theories and conclusions are our own.  Others may draw their own conclusions or duplicate our experiments to confirm our results.

Copyright: Green Pest Control and Green Termite Baits 1996 - 2007.

Experiment 1.

The following sequence of photos shows the way subterranean termites (schedorhinotermes intermedius) approach and feed on Green Termite Baits which were installed around a suburban home in Robina on the Gold Coast - Australia.

Bait
1. Termites start nibbling on all the underground surfaces of the bait.

Bait
2. Slowly they start to develop tubular galleries along the grain of the timber.

Bait
3. Soon there are extensive galleries that are perfect for dusting with Intrigue® termiticide.

Bait
4. Photo shows Intrigue® lightly and effectively coating the active termite bait.

Bait
5. Termites continue feeding on the bait; unwittingly taking the Intrigue® back to their nest and sharing it around.  The nest begins to die.

Bait
6. All that is left of a bait after termite activity ceases. A new bait replaces this bait in a nearby location to double check and ensure that all the termite activity has ceased.

If there is no further activity on the replacement bait in the following few months, then it is most probable that the termite nest was destroyed.

Green Pest Control has proven the above sequence to be accurate and effective in hundreds of cases with our existing clients throughout the Gold Coast. 

Note: The six baits used in this sequence are not the same bait as that would be impossible to achieve without disturbing the termites. However the baits were all taken from the one location.

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Experiment 2.

We took several of our Green Termite Baits and hammered them directly into termite nests in bushland around Southport.

The baits were checked fortnightly for 3 months and it appeared that nothing happened.  Other baits were placed in the ground a few metres from the same nests and were quickly found and attacked by the termites.

The two photos below show front and back shots of the only marks found on one of the baits in the nests that we tested.  The majority of our baits had absolutely no marks whatsoever even though they were plunged deep into an active termite nest and surrounded by thousands of termites.  Were we surprised!

Bait
1. Termites start nibbling on all the underground surfaces of the bait.

Bait
2. Slowly they start to develop tubular galleries along the grain of the timber.

Conclusion:

Not all termites in a nest eat timber.  It is already known that soldier termites don't eat timber.  It would also appear that the worker termites in a nest do not actually eat timber directly either.

Foraging termite workers eat the timber and return it to the nest where other workers distribute the food. This is just another reason why Intrigue® termiticide is so powerfully effective at controlling termite colonies.

It is estimated that only 10% of the population of termites in a nest actually leave the nest and forage for food. The other 90% busy themselves with the many other nest activities.

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Additional Comments.

Intrigue® will always work if a sufficient amount is returned effectively to a termite colony.  The Green Termite Bait System gives you that golden opportunity.

The key point is "effective application".  Many other termite bait systems fail because they do not offer an effective means to apply sufficient termiticide to a large enough population of foraging workers.

Notes.

Although termite workers all look the same, there is no doubt that they have a diversity of functions with-in a nest.  (Not including the Queen, Alates, Soldiers or Nymphs/Juveniles).  We would suggest the following functions for workers:

  • Foraging scouts.
  • Foraging feeders (the ones that do the damage).
  • Gallery (tunnel) builders.
  • Grooming workers.
  • Nursery workers.
  • Food distribution workers.
  • Workers that attend the Queen(s) (A nest may contain more than one queen!)
  • Workers that build and extend the nest.
  • Workers that recycle dead termites.
  • Workers that feed other workers.

Some scientists believe that only 10% of workers in a nest actually forage for food and damage property.  We believe this could well be true.  Plainly workers are programmed with set tasks, and even when a perfect source of food is placed directly into a nest, it will remain untouched because the workers in the nest do not have the capacity to actually feed on it.

Hypothesis 1 is that foraging feeders do not return to the heart of the nest to disgorge their bounty of cellulose, but rather disgorge their load at the 'gates' to the nest. 

Hypothesis 2 is that maybe when they have returned to the nest their programming is to only share the food around. They load up again once they get back to the bait.

There is no doubt that termite societies are interesting and highly developed.  We welcome all feedback and additional information about this communal insect.

Other research indicates that the termites that actually chew off the timber at a food source have the sharpest teeth (mouth parts). They stay at the source of food chewing off the timber and making little balls of it for other workers to gather up. Once their teeth are blunt they become little dump trucks and transfer the little balls of timber back to the nest inside their gut. It is then regurgitated up and workers in the nest then divide it up to feed all the other workers, soldiers, juvenile termites and of course the Queen. This process is known as 'Trophallaxis'.

The Queen needs to lay her quota of a 1000 eggs per day, just to keep up a steady supply of new workers with sharp teeth. The co-operative work and goings-on with a termite colony is truly amazing. They don't have unions! Ha...

We can learn a lot from termites. Apart form dreading them for the damage they cause to our homes, we should also respect them. Or at least respect the creator or evolution for the amazing way insects with such a tiny brain each, can co-operate and achieve such amazing ends. Each termite doing it's job like clockwork.

Fortunately for us, we can rely on their very own clockwork nature to carry back a non-detectable termiticide to the nest. This principle is the heart and soul of a quality termite bait system that makes it such a powerful tool to destroy the entire nest.

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Experiment 3.

Green Termite Baits were placed around a home in Upper Coomera and monitored monthly.  Ten metres downhill from the home was a retaining wall that had extensive termite activity (Schedorhinotermes Intermedius).

After two months a single active Green Termite Bait was dusted with Intrigue®.  This bait was located between the house and the retaining wall.

Activity ceased in the bait after six weeks.

The retaining wall was checked for termite activity four months after the bait was originally dusted and there was no longer evidence of active termites.

Conclusion:

The nest that was feeding on the retaining wall and approaching the house was destroyed.

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Termite Activity in S.E. Queensland - Australia.

Since 1990 we have noticed a change in the balance of termite populations in the S.E. QLD region.

It appears that Coptotermes spp is on the decline (from 50% to 20%) and that Schedorhinotermes spp is on the rise.  Our records show that Schedorhinotermes now account for about 80% of all termite damage to homes.  We suspect that the reason for this is because of the proliferation of garden mulch which is highly attractive to Schedorhinotermes.  The mulch retains water in the soil and is a food source for termites.  To learn more about mulch click here.

Termidor® is known to be much more effective on Schedorhinotermes than the old arsenic trioxide dust.  Another good reason to insist on Green Termite Baits to reduce the risk of termites finding their way into your home.

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Future Developments.

The Green Termite Bait System is constantly being re-evaluated and improved. Many of these improvements come from both customer feedback and suggestions from pest control companies that market the system.

The baits have evolved from the rubber plugs we used in 1996 to the simple but sophisticated Ec2c Termite Windows utilised today.

We've made them easier to use, child and pet proof, safer and more attractive when installed.

Here is a chronology for those of you who are interested:

  • 1996 First bait made from 4" x 4" with 2 rubber plugs.
  • 1996 Design changed to 70 x 70mm.
  • 1998 A bright coat of yellow paint was applied so they could be sighted more easily in lush gardens.
  • 1999 The colour was changed to red.
  • 2001 Three coats were applied to waterproof the bait top and limit the amount of splitting.
  • 2003 The colour of the top was changed to bright lime green, and the bait was treated with an oil based undercoat, then 4 more coats of Dulux exterior gloss.
  • 2004 We replaced all the plugs with windows glued to the top of the bait.
  • 2004 The window was developed in a full surface window held in place by a tough UV resistant sticker and 8 staples. The need to paint the top surface was eliminated.
  • 2006 We designed the first dual purpose Ec2c Termite Window and tough full surface bait top that is secured by a single screw.
  • 2006 The bait size was reduced to 68 x 68mm.
  • 2007 We designed a new puffer tip for use with Termidor when treating a Green Termite Bait.
  • 2008 Launched a new single piece top with larger viewing windows, and a multicolour choice for the top. The unique top also features a special moisture and ant seal under the cap and special raised windows to keep the window free from dirt build-up.

The bait concept is basically the same as our original 1996 design. It is still very simple to use, but now it is stronger, more secure, more attractive and much easier to inspect. Termites simply don't have a chance.

We will always be looking for ways to improve it, so....

Stay tuned!

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