How do the Term-Mite Monitoring and Treatment Stations work?
Using Nature to Capture and Eliminate Termites!
The Termi-Mite monitoring and treatment stations are designed to use the very nature of the termites against themselves by amassing large numbers of worker termites in one spot to enable the effective use of modern treatments which the termites themselves spread throughout the colony and back to the nest to kill the queen.
To understand how this works you need to know how termites operate.
A termite colony consists of 5 members, the king who mates with the queen; the queen who can live for up to 25 years, is the only egg producer and who rules the colony deciding how many eggs to lay each day and what each baby will be; the soldiers who are responsible for defending the nest and all other members of the colony; the a-lates (flying termites) who are kept and fed in the nest all year and then released in summer to become future kings and queens, starting their own new nest and the workers who do everything else.
The workers are the only member of the colony who can gather food, build or repair the nest and groom (clean) the others shells. They forage for food then they must return to the nest to feed the rest of the colony.
Termites live and travel in moist soil. They build their nests and the mud tubes they travel in by glueing the mud and digested timber together. This provides insulation from the elements and protection from predator attack.
Termites have quite delicate constitutions and immune systems. They must have constant moisture, humidity and temperature. If termites are exposed to the air or sun they will very quickly dehydrate and die.
The workers leave the nest in search of food by following moisture trails in the soil. Interestingly they are sterile and can't see, smell or hear. They communicate by tapping their super sensitive antennae like morse code or jungle telegraph and lay pheremones to warn of danger or pinpoint a food source.
The worker termites bond the moist soil and digested timber into 2-3 mm wide mud tubes and blindly zig-zag through the earth. They keep following the moisture trail until they detect cellulose and carbon di-oxide in the soil by recognising the chemical signiature it gives off when timber is decaying. They will then swing the mud tube towards the food source until they hit it. Then they lay a pheremone to guide the others to the food source and send out the message that "dinners on". The cellulose is digested and taken back to the nest.
Why do Termites attack my house?
As the colony grows the workers forage further afield in search of food until they finally reach your back yard, if the nest wasn't there already.
In the bush there are always branches lying around or stumps to attack, but once the termites get under our concrete and paving driveways, patios and paths there is no food. However, there are moisture trails aplenty, all leading to the house. Water in gardens, condensation on hot and cold water pipes, sewerage and stormwater pipes, air conditioners, water tanks, areas that pool water after heavy rain .... the list is endless.
As the termites keep following water until they find food, they eventually follow the water into the house they didn't even know was there. They only need a 1mm gap. There they find an abundance of food, lay pheremones to guide the others, send out the message, and thousands of worker termites attack your most valuable possession.
How do the Termites find the stations?
As the Termite Coffins and WAM stations are placed strategically alongside the moisture trails the termites will be following, the termites can't help but detect the food source in the stations. As in the bush they will divert away from the moisture trail leading to the house, into the stations where they will lay the guiding pheremones and send out the morse code message to the other workers to "come and get it".
How do you know when there are enough termites to treat?
First the termites have to establish a pattern of taking untainted food back to the nest. Then more and more will start coming. By the time the termites have eaten through the outer core and find their way into the centre chamber where the pine stick is, the outer chamber will be full of termites.
When you are monitoring and see mud in the central chamber or termites on the stick you know there is enough to treat! That's what makes the Termi-Mite Termite Coffins unique. Only the twin chambered system can tell you when you have enough termites to treat but also does it without disturbing them. Remember these two things are paramount to successfully eradicating the nest.
To find out how easy DIY monitoring of the Termi-Mite Stations is, follow the link to "Easy DIY Monitoring"
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