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Steve Broadbent, Regional Director of Ensystex, explains the science behind Magnathor Magnetic Insecticide

There is a new universal force working to eliminate termites, not the mythical force of the Jedi Knights, but the very real force of magnetism.

Several species of social insects have been shown to use the earth’s natural magnetic field to help them orientate and navigate whilst foraging, migrating and building their nests. This appears to be linked to the presence of particles of magnetite — a form of natural iron ore — in their cuticles.

In termites, these particles are reported to be less than 50nm in size, with the magnetic remanence described as being low, in the order of 10-6emu per individual insect.

Numerous studies have shown that there is a clear attraction between ferromagnetic particles and termites, and other insects. Enhanced pick-up by the insect’s cuticle has been demonstrated through the use of powders bearing an electrostatic charge and this force has been exploited by Ensystex in the development of Magnathor Magnetic Insecticide.

Magnathor Magnetic Insecticide is a dry, flowable powder that targets termites. As they approach the Magnathor, the termites quite literally act like a magnet, drawing Magnathor’s magnetic particles to their exoskeletons where they are held securely by the natural magnetic force of the magnetite in the cuticle. The particles are then spread to other members of the colony by Magnathor’s Magnetic ‘Multiple cascade transfer effect’, a unique three-level mortality transfer chain.

Termites contain tiny particles of magnetite in their cuticle

Magnathor enters the termites’ bodies through the soft membranes in the exoskeleton. It delivers superior results in the critical areas of adhesion; and transferability, through a process known as paramagnetism. Since the magnetic moment induced by the applied Magnathor field is linear in the field strength and quite weak, the paramagnetic force of the insect cuticle does not retain any magnetisation in the absence of this externally applied magnetic field, thus enabling the transfer to other colony members.

Magnathor Magnetic is applied directly on to termites or into their active workings, bivouacs or colonies. It can be applied about anywhere termites are present, indoors or outside.

For termite nests in trees, stumps, posts, fences, landscaping timbers, wharves, bridges, mounds and wall cavities, simply drill several holes into the nest and apply using the Accuthor Precision Blower specifically designed for use with Magnathor. Monitor at weekly intervals and watch the termites disappear.

When the nest can’t be located in buildings, you need to treat as many termites as possible. Treat continuous infestations at one metre intervals by drilling small entry points into the workings and using the fine tip of the Accuthor Precision Blower.

Pest managers should concentrate their treatment to infested timbers and wall cavities and avoid damaging shelter tubes. If workings cannot be treated directly, only then should one consider carefully applying shelter tubes.

On completion, it is strongly recommended that an Exterra Termite Colony Interception System is installed or an Ultrathor Termite Defence Zone applied, to provide ongoing protection.

The magnetic powder used in Magnathor Magnetic Insecticide is a non-hazardous oxide powder, protected by patents, and consisting of a unique blend of strontium ferrite, iron oxide, silicon dioxide, aluminium oxide, zinc oxide, and calcium oxide. Magnathor Magnetic Insecticide contains 0.5 g/kg of Ensystex fipronil, with the product’s low toxicity profile reflected through it being exempt from poison scheduling by the APVMA. Ensystex Fipronil is protected by ten different patents and designed to deliver better results due to its high purity and improved non-repellency.

Steve Broadbent, Regional Director, Ensystex Australasia