Home Termite Inspection and Termite Control - Week2

Today marks the end of Week 2 after the Sentricon bait stations were first installed. The same technicians from the termite control company came to carry out a second home inspection, mostly to check on whether the bait stations attracted any termites and to what extent.

First is the Sentricon AG bait station in the storage room. I was expecting the bait to be infested with termites, but after opening the top case, it appears the bait matrix is only 15% consumed (photo below). There were mud tubes everywhere and most of the white bait matrix is still intact. A few worker termites can be seen foraging the bait. The technician decided to leave the station as it is since the bait should last for few more weeks, judging by the current foraging rate. At the door frame to the storage room, we found two new traces of mud tubes. It seems after disturbing the storage area during our first home inspection 2 weeks ago, the termites started exploring further.

Sentricon AG Bait Station Hexaflumuron Storage Room
(Storage room Sentricon AG Bait Station - Week 2)

Termite new mud tube
(Storage room door frame - fresh termite mud tubes)

Next is the Sentricon AG bait station fixed above the front main door.This time the bait matrix was completely consumed by the termites. All that was left were brown mud tubes (photo below) and there were still few termites moving around. You can clearly see that there is no trace left of the previous white bait matrix.

Termite control Sentricon AG Bait Station Before Add Bait
(Front Main Door Sentricon AG Bait Station - Week 2)

The technician added another pack of bait matrix on top of the old one. The old bait package was not to be removed, the logic is that there are traces of hormones secreted by the termites on it that will attract them to return to the same station.

Add Termite Control Sentricon Bait Hexaflumuron
(Front Main Door - Add Sentricon Bait Matrix)

Termite Control Sentricon AG Bait Station After Add Bait
(Front Main Door - Stack New Sentricon Bait Matrix)

The next inspection will be 3 weeks from now. According to the technician, it should take at least another 2 more inspections to see significant results of the Sentricon Colony Elimination System.

How Worker Termites Feed the Colony

Termite Facts, Types of Termite, Termite Bait, Termite Control, Termite Treatment, termites pictures, worker termite, trophallaxis
It's a well known fact that worker termites feed the rest of the colony. Nature made it so that only the worker termite caste can digest timber or (timber products) by the use of symbiotic protozoa in their gut. The worker termites digest and then regurgitate the partly digested timber as a semi-liquid food for the other termite castes. Not only that, even the workers' excrete is eaten by other termite castes as it is high in cellulose content. This feeding by mouth and anus is technically known as trophallaxis.

Termite Facts, Types of Termite, Termite Bait, Termite Control, Termite Treatment, termites pictures, worker termite, trophallaxis
This finding has enabled modern termite control products to take advantage of the mutual feeding and regular grooming habits of termites, as a means to effectively eliminate the entire colony. Worker termites readily ingest the bait and transport it back to the colony nest to feed other termites. If sufficient workers ingest the bait and the queen is killed, then the collapse and death of the colony is highly probable.

The latest termite baiting system also takes advantage of the fact that worker termites cannibalise other dead termites. Therefore if the dead termites carry the bait material in their system, this will further hasten the demise of the colony.

The Tough Little Termite - Huckleberry Hound

While waiting for the Sentricon bait system to work its magic, might as well sit back, relax and watch a cartoon about a happy little house, its happy little owner who hasn't a care in the world, no sir not a worry in the world, except one teensy weensy little one.

Home Termite Inspection and Termite Control - Day1

Last Thursday, the Termite Control Company sent two of their technicians to do a full inspection of my home including the rooftop. They found some traces of mud tubes at the front door frame made of old wood and a pretty tough one too. This type of hard wood used to be basic material in building homes dating back to the 70s. It's still vulnerable to termites, but takes much longer for them to devour it. These days, construction companies use cheap wood which they claim treated with anti-termite chemicals, but these chemicals tend to wear off after few years. We later found the termite infested areas in the house were the same area renovated few years back.

The technician pricked the corner edges of the door frame and later showed me what was a small termite head sticking out and in of the crack. Judging from the dark brown head, it's most probably a soldier termite guarding the entrance. The technician instructed his assistant to fix the first Sentricon 'Above-Ground' bait station there, photo as below. I thought they would use glue or fasteners to put the station in place, but instead they use duct tape. No  points for aesthetics. The bait consist of white pills contained inside a plastic package and in order to "activate" the bait, a small amount of water is added.

Termite Control Sentricon Bait Matrix with Hexaflumuron
(Sentricon Bait Matrix with Hexaflumuron)

Sentricon, Termite Bait, Termite Control, Termite Inspection, Termite Pest Control, Termite Treatment
(Front Main Door Sentricon AG Bait Station)

We then continued to the living room, bedrooms and dining area. All clear. Later it was the kitchen area where few months back we tore apart and disposed the cabinets infested with termites. Now there are several big cracks on the wall where the cabinets used to be. No evident termite activity after thorough inspection. Next the storage room, literally termite heaven. Carton boxes on the floor are being eaten away, with mud mounds connecting the boxes left and right. Definitely far worse than what we've seen in the kitchen before. The technician installed another Sentricon AG bait station on the floor, next to one box with an exposed bottom (photo below). Again duct tape is used to secure the station and also to close the termite foraging path, drawing them to the bait. Upon further inspection, the wall behind the box is where the termites came in. There was this small white mound protruding out from the wall onto the floor. We could see couple of short mud tubes at the other side of the wall too. We left the storage room as it is to avoid disturbing the termite's foraging.

Sentricon, Termite Bait, Termite Control, Termite Inspection, Termite Pest Control, Termite Treatment
(Storage Room Sentricon AG Bait Station)

Sentricon, Termite Bait, Termite Control, Termite Inspection, Termite Pest Control, Termite TreatmentThe roof top attic area  checked out alright, much to our relief. So in all, we had two Sentricon bait stations in the house and the technicians will be back for another round of inspection two weeks later. The next morning I checked the Sentricon bait station at the front door and to my surprise, there were traces of mud tubes between the station and the wall. Should I be amazed or frustrated?

About Termite Control Blog

This blog is created to share my experience with termite infestation. My home was first detected with termites in the kitchen area, below the kitchen sink where water dripped onto a carton box stored there. Later another spot in the storage room nearby got infested as well. The termite was identified as the Formosan Subterranean Coptotermes genus. I hope this blog will benefit you the reader, with valuable information on termites - the different types out there; their behaviour; how to detect, control and protect your property from damage. Equally important perhaps are lessons learned from my experience with Termite Control Companies and how effective their solutions are.

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