I have dedicated my career to obstructing and destroying termites, but I have to confess to a fascination with, and an admiration for their habits. Effective termite control depends on an intimate understanding of termite behaviour, so bear with me while we take a look.
In many ways a termite colony operates like a well-organised corporation. Its purpose is to protect and nourish the queen, to produce succeeding generations of termites. Nourishing the termites that do all the work necessary to this end involves a well-structured pattern of activity outside the nest, as the colony forages for sources of food. The purpose of a trap is to present a more appealing source of food to the termites, such that they designate it a preferable food source. You can then bait it, confident that the termites will carry the bait back to the nest.
Your TermiteTrap monitor might sit on sentry duty for weeks, months or years, before any activity is apparent. Here’s how it works:
Termite scouts come to the surface to forage for food supplies. Many millions of years before men were building houses, termites’ natural food was dead timber, and frankly the deader and rottener and moister, the better. Remember, the termite’s job is not to be a hero, but to bring back to the nest energy-giving nutrition with the least possible expenditure of its own energy. So they love decayed, squishy timber.
When they find a promising source of food, they return to the nest, where they report on the quality of their find – nutritional content, moisture, temperature and so on. A collective decision is made, and if the new source gets the thumbs-up a construction team is despatched to build a secure tunnel to connect it to the nest.
And that’s where your termite traps come in. They contain Tassie oak that is granulated to make it extremely attractive. Once they find your trap, they construct a tunnel to it, making it their Trap.
After they have secured the base against intruders such as ants and lizards, they will quickly move to seal off the hole at the top of the trap. That is the visible signal that they are serious about using your trap as a food supply. So at this point you can introduce Tucker Bags to the trap. Once you have added water to your Tucker Bag, poked the sealing mud into the lid and laid the Bag on top of the existing food, the termites will investigate this new, moist extension to their Trap. Finding it moist, nutritious and easy to masticate, they will avidly consume it, transporting bait back to the nest.
- Termites are comfortable in temperatures up to about 32oC, but many Australian summer days can cause the temperature in the trap to exceed this, whereupon the termites will temporarily quit the trap, giving the misleading impression that your termite [problem is fixed. So always assess your traps in the cooler parts of the day, when maximum activity can be expected.
- It may take several Tucker Bags of bait to destroy the nest. Make sure the Tucker Bags are never exhausted, or the termites may abandon your trap before destruction of the nest is complete.
Read detailed termite control information here.