Termite Interceptors

 Making Termite Control Easier, More Efficient, and Safer

Choosing the Right Approach...

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Summary: Integrated Reduced Impact Methods (IRIM), focused on termite control,  are capable of disrupting and eventually eliminating all the termite colonies within a given locale using natural termiticides and biological products and agents. Complete termite control is accomplished without resorting to toxicant chemicals.  Termite interceptors, optimized for biological inoculations, are a key to this process but, under IRIM, they do not operate as stand-alone devices. Maintenance of the treatment site, to interdict termite incursions into structures, followed by intercepting and inoculating termite colonies in the soil at the treatment site, insure that a full circle of termite control takes place that is as effective as any termite control program on the market today. Scroll down to read full text of article.  Next...   Home...

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The EntomoBiotic Termite Interceptor, Annunciator, & Inoculator (TIAI), Max E. Badgley Memorial Edition, attracts and concentrates termite workers, allows fast inspections to determine if termite feeding is taking place, and enables users to inoculate termite colonies with biological agents to control them.

Please note that this device, though successfully tested throughout Texas, has not been placed into commercial production. We have no plans to market the device. The information provided here is for educational purposes only.

The History of Termite Detection

For many years, a family of remarkably effective but highly toxic chemicals, the chlorinated hydrocarbons (or organochlorines), were used as soil drench termiticides and had an all-encompassing grip on the U.S. termite control industry.  They were so effective that a single treatment all but eliminated termite incursions into the structures where they were applied for decades.  In those days, termite control specialists applied chlordane as a panacea, often in places where other, less toxic and less persistent products were more appropriate. Chlordane's low price and brute-force effectiveness kept competitors at bay.

Then, concerns about the toxic effects of organochlorines on mammals led to a phased ban on their usage.  This culminated in a total ban in the United States in 1987.  Less toxic methods of termite control were needed to fill the resulting vacuum.  As the variety of  new termiticide formulations increased, application techniques changed in subtle ways.  Instead of applying a single chemical everywhere, one was applied for soil drench purposes, another for wood preservation, and a third for treatments of active infestations inside structural walls.

In parallel with this minor revolution, termite detection, using specialized devices, emerged as a viable adjunct to termite control.  Deemed unnecessary before, such devices suddenly found widespread appeal. Using such aids, termite specialists found themselves better able to perform measured treatments that were based on qualitative and quantitative analyses of the threats termites posed to specific portions of structures at the treatment site. 

As termite detection devices evolved, they became more specialized.  Their designs corresponded to where they were intended to be used or placed. Passive detectors (hand-held devices that sniffed out exotic gasses, listened for acoustic signatures, or located termite excavation voids in wood) competed with active detectors (stationary devices placed where termites could infest them and signal their presence) for a share of the market. 

Inventors of a few of the active detectors claim their devices need to be used in wall placements as well as in the soil. With the introduction of toxicant-laced termite bait in the 1990's this idea gained traction.  Most toxic-bait manufacturers sold both in-ground and in-wall detection and baiting devices for their bait products, at least for awhile.

I began designing and testing termite detectors in 1987, focusing on active, manually operated devices placed in the soil around structures and landscapes. That focus produced a series of designs that simplified the interface between humans and termite interceptors.  Over time the designs of my devices expanded to include faculties for treating the termites that were detected.  Those patented features were further modified and refined until, today, they enable termite specialists to perform effective termite colony nullification without resorting to the use of toxic chemicals.

Integrated Reduced Impact Methods (IRIM)

EntomoBiotics Inc. emphasizes rational, integrated approaches that reduce dependency on toxic chemical interventions.  I pioneered the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques in sensitive places like schools, nursing homes, hospitals, medical clinics, and scientific laboratories.  In time, our methodology--which I now call Integrated Reduced Impact Methods (IRIM)--evolved into an all-encompassing program that manages all the pests at a customer's site, including a specialized interdiction, interception, and inoculation program for termite control called i3. 

The combination of termite colony interdiction, interception, and inoculation (i3) is inseparable from its parent IRIM program. IRIM i3 is a simple, logical, full-circle approach that is cost-effective and assures both immediate and long-term customer satisfaction. 

With IRIM i3 it is unnecessary, and even counterproductive, to use in-wall termite detection and baiting devices. In place of traditional termite interdiction programs that inundate the soil around structures with toxic chemicals, IRIM i3 interdicts termites inside the structure using least-toxic or non-toxic termiticides. Termites are then intercepted in the soil around the structure, where they are inoculated with harmless (to humans) entomopathogenic nematodes and other biological agents:

           i1-- Interdiction of active and potential termite infestations in wooden components of structures with non-toxic and least-toxic termitical compounds and solutions:

                    Interdiction also includes repairing correctable landscaping and construction issues that may lead to continued or future termite infestations in structures. Further, it requires an inspection and compliance control program, carried out by the user, to insure that such issues remain in good repair at the treatment site.

            i2-- Interception of active subterranean termite colonies in the soil at the treatment site. This involves placing EntomoBiotic Termite Interceptors & Inoculators (TIAI) around the perimeter of each structure and in landscaped areas, to intercept termites foraging in that soil. This is followed by regular inspections so that the user becomes aware as soon as termites are intercepted. 

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           i3--Inoculation of the intercepted termite colonies with non-toxic biological termiticides, such as entomopathogenic nematodes to nullify the ability of  intercepted termite colonies to infest and damage manufactured structures and botanicals such as shrubs and trees.

With IRIM i3, Maintenance is Key

The key to keeping client costs, and service expenses, low is to follow a continuous program of interdiction, interception, and inoculation, in combination with ordinary pest management services.  The result of such a program is a satisfied client, whose site is simultaneously free of termite infestations and chemical toxicants.

IRIM i3, using EntomoBiotic Termite Interceptors & Inoculators (TIAI), was truly a Win/Win Combination

Today's professional termite-control specialist wants sound approaches that make the job easier, safer, and more effective. Homeowners and business owners want the same things. Improving the speed and value of each service visit raises profit margin and customer satisfaction equally, while lowering customer costs and exposures to toxicant chemicals. 

Users could install, inspect, and service the EntomoBiotic Termite Interceptor, Annunciator, & Inoculator (TIAI) with confidence, knowing it was designed and perfected by an experienced, pragmatic, demanding termite specialist who understood their objectives, and continued to work hard to insure that all of them are achieved. Though this device is not planned for commercial production and marketing, it still demonstrates an alternative, and highly effective approach to termite monitoring and control.

More...

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Links to Important Articles related to Termite Control Methods:

Timothy Myles, University of Toronto: http://www.utoronto.ca/forest/termite/newcont.htm Dr. Myles examines and critiques the various approaches to termite control.  Myles is a recognized authority on termite biology and methods used in their control.  He holds several patents on termite detection and treatment methods.

Michael Potter, University of Kentucky: http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Entomology/entfacts/struct/ef604.htm Dr. Potter answers questions homeowners ask about termite control methods

Vernard Lewis, University of California, Berkeley: http://axp.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7415.html  Dr. Lewis discusses how to manage termites in homes using the latest methods available.  Lewis is a recognized authority on alternative methods for termite detection and control, and has performed pioneering research in the field of acoustic detection of termite infestations.

Dini Miller, Virginia Tech University: http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/entomology/444-500/444-500.html  Dr. Miller supplies detailed information on latest termite control methods available.

Roger Gold et al, Texas A&M University:  http://insects.tamu.edu/extension/bulletins/l-1785.html Dr. Gold explains how to select a pest control company to perform termite control.  Gold is devoted to improving the way professional termite control is performed in the United States.  Multitudes of Texas pest management professionals have benefited, over the years, from his advice and mentoring.  He presently serves on the Texas Structural Pest Control Board.

Xing Ping Hu et al, University of Alabama: http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1022/ Dr. Hu explains IPM tactics for subterranean termite control, and evaluates common myths related to termites.

Gary Bennett, Purdue University: http://www.entm.purdue.edu/Entomology/ext/targets/e-series/EseriesPDF/E-4.pdf  Dr. Bennett describes various termite control techniques.

Please send suggested additions to the above list, or corrections to any of the captions provided, to jerry.cates@entomobiotics.com.

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