Subterranean termites or more commonly called white ants are social insects that live in colonies comprising of a few adults (king and queen) with the majority of the population being made-up of immature forms. Their colonies may contain several thousands to millions of termites, exhibiting a caste system of organization having distinct individuals performing different tasks. Three castes generally recognized are worker, soldier and reproductive.
In nature, subterranean termites are closely associated with the soil habitat where they tunnel to locate water and food (e.g., wood, fallen logs, and other cellulose-containing materials). Worker termites destroy wood by excavating galleries throughout the wood as they consume it. When foraging for food above ground, they construct earthen runways or mud-shelter tubes that protect them from the drying effects of air as well as from natural enemies, such as ants. They are very susceptible to desiccation, and thus are dependent on moisture sources.
Subterranean termites are important components of our natural forest ecosystems, where they break down cellulose. Unfortunately, when land is cleared for human habitation, they pose a threat to the wood used in construction because their natural food resources have been removed.
In Singapore, the most common subterranean termite species responsible for most of the attack and damage done to man-made structures isCoptotermes gestroi.
Methods of Control
Traditional methods of control rely heavily on the use of large volumes of site-prepared liquid insecticides (termed as termiticides if used for termite control) and targeted application of poison dusts. Treatments are executed at the beginning of construction of buildings (Pre-Construction Soil Treatments) or after construction of buildings (Post-Construction Soil Treatments). The latter which is essentially a remedial treatment is normally accomplished through drilling on perimeter slabs at regular intervals surrounding buildings, followed by Sub-slab termiticidal injection to treat the soil, and/or by trenching and rodding.
We advocate and practice termite baiting – a more environmental-friendly approach to subterranean termite control.
Benefits of Termite Baiting:
- No harmful poison liquid pesticide application (spraying and pumping) is involved
- Bait application is highly target pest (termite) specific
- Very safe on non-target organism, pets, homeowners and the environment
- Easy, clean and fuss-free installation with no noise and drilling
- Very minute quantities of chemical in solid bait formulation used in a safe manner
- Complete termite colony eradication is achieved
- Formation of new colonies intercepted and eradicated at early stage before infestation sets-in by a continuous monitoring process using in-ground bait stations.
Benefits of Xterm™ Termite Baiting compared to other baiting systems:
- Faster action
- Unobtrusive bait station design
- Active ingredient is an IGR (insect growth regulator) / CSI (chitin synthesis inhibitor)
- Unique, highly termite attractive compressed cellulose formulation