Termite baiting apparatus and what is really important ?
Termite baiting apparatus
(Summary of an international patent on termite baiting)
Subterranean Termites in the main live in a closed environment sealed with earthen based walls, they seek food and mine and transport water. Termites are ‘cold-blooded’, with a thin cuticle susceptible to desiccation. The nest and the surrounding earthen corridors known as earthen shelter tubes maintain temperature and humidity in their warm nest systems. To maintain a moist environment workers continually carry moist ‘mud’ for use in constructing mud tubes. Termite baiting apparatus has traditionally not considered these characteristics.
Once termite baiting has occurred within the bait apparatus, it can be interrupted or terminated relatively easily. Under the conditions of the baiting apparatus, foraging termites encounter many environmental influences including variations in available temperature, relative humidity, moisture, light and potential predator’s .There is a hierarchy of stimuli that affect the termites’ feeding activity. These stimuli can be listed as the following;
1. Correct temperature is required to enable termites to enter and remain in housing. Termites do adapt to their environment but maintain a preferential range of temperature. There is a published paper backed theory that termites are attracted to a thermal shadow of a couple of degrees lower or higher than surrounding temperature.
2. Adequate relative humidity (above 95%) to enable termites to enter apparatus and begin to consume cellulose bait. Termites will not stay in a low relative humidity chamber irrespective of other factors. In studies that give chamber options with low to high Relative Humidity, termites moved to the highest Relative Humidity chamber (95%), with approximately 97% of the termites aggregated in this chamber. However at anything less than 100% relative humidity, termites require soil moisture to prevent drying out.
3. Uniform Moisture within cellulose matrix.
4. Light will inhibit any termite feeding of cellulose bait with either abandonment or mudding screen to block light formed. Anything Greater than 0.6 Lux (moonlight) will cause reaction.
5. Housing must offer protection from predators, in particular ants.
Traditionally the above ground baiting apparatus and the below ground baiting apparatus were designed with the ease of use of the operator doing the termite baiting as the primary concern. In rare cases the apparatus previously designed controlled one of the above environmental stimuli causing abandonment but never the important combination required for long term consumption.
As explained Termite Baiting and the associated apparatus to hold the cellulose bait matrix is used in two different situations by two different apparatus. Firstly it is used when termites are discovered in a timber structure such as a fence or timber frame in a house (the Queen Killer sachet). Secondly termites are intercepted in a monitor/ station with timber inserts placed into the ground (the Termite Mansion).
The improved termite baiting apparatus for holding the cellulose bait matrix controls two environmental influences which determine the success of the apparatus in keeping the termites until enough bait has been passed through the colony for elimination of the Queen/s and the whole colony.
By maintaining Relative Humidity above 95% by in the above ground baiting apparatus completely sealing the apparatus (an airtight, light resistant to greater than 0.6 lux, flexible sachet with a zip lock opening closure and a termite entry opening) to the active timber structure, the termites will maintain the apparatus as if it was part of their workings. In the below ground baiting apparatus (a rigid, durable plastic container with a second independent covering to block light above 0.6 lux) has an air tight lid and is buried into ground and once termites discover timber within, the termites will maintain the relative humidity. In both situations more cellulose matrix can be added via their air-tight opening closures and then resealed to maintain 95% Relative Humidity.
This invention is directly related to subterranean termite behavior characteristics, and the stimuli that control this behavior.
The apparatus for holding the cellulose bait matrix controls these two environmental stimuli and also helps control many of the other environmental stimuli to benefit termite baiting.
By controlling the two environmental stimuli, termites are able to maintain feeding within the apparatus without the impulses which would normally cause interruption or permanent abandonment of termite baiting prior to enough consumption of bait for Queen and Colony Elimination.