Under the ground… or On the ground…
Termite Monitors as the Termite Baiting System DIY Model
TermiKill’s Ion Staunton is a practical man; he wants to know why things work.
His shaft model termite monitor had secured the lion’s share of the DIY market, and he was looking for a way to take his system to the next level of effectiveness.
Not one to make changes simply for the sake of making them, he set out to compete, in effect, with his own product. Ion, an Australian entomologist, began by thinking in detail about the process of infestation – and found inspiration. The termite species responsible for damage to property forage both above and below ground, but the pace of exploration underground is funeral, compared with the range and pace of foraging on the surface.
“It suddenly occurred to me that without exception, every timber structure that suffers a termite attack is first discovered by one termite coming up to the surface and going for a look, before going back to tell its mates what it has found. Yet we’ve been burying our termite monitors in the ground. What if instead, we sited them at the surface where the handful of scouts is roaming and likely to be attracted to them over significant distances?
‘We’ve always done it by burying them’ didn’t satisfy me.” Ion redesigned the in-ground monitor to sit on pavers, over expansion joints, in concrete or on gardens. The next step was to prove the concept, so Ion built a few prototypes and found an area known to be infested with Schedorhinotermes intermedius, and set 9 of the current in-ground termite monitors together with 9 of the above-ground termitrap prototypes.
After two months, all nine of the termitrap prototype on ground termite monitors had been attacked, while the in-ground termite monitors were untouched. That was a pretty good validation of Ion’s concept, but soon afterwards he came across some research by Santos back in 1979 involving 30 termite monitors that came to similar conclusions.
The brick-shaped TermiTrap was soon in production and proving its worth.
Happily, the advantages of the new product were not confined to its superior “pulling power”. As Ion says, “It has a string of other advantages – with no digging or fighting with roots and rocks, it’s easier to set.” No experience is necessary to use the system, says Ion, “A hole in the lid of the station allows the interchange of temperature and humidity.
Termites will instinctively seal the hole to retain moisture within and defend against ants – providing an easy tell-tale for the householder when termites are active and ready for the Colony Killer Termite Bait to be added.
Being at the surface, the timber can remain undecayed and, if not attacked, last for ten years or more.” Each termite monitor contains enough timber to feed an attack for about 12 weeks, allowing householders “vacation time” between inspections.
Summing up the key advantage of the TermiTrap, Ion says, “For a termite monitor to work, the termites first have to find it. Siting the termite monitor on the surface gives them a far better chance!”
DIY White Ants & Termites Treatments
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