Dow AgroSciences entomologist Rob Annetts shares his thoughts on why the Sentricon AlwaysActive system is a sound choice of termite protection. 

Dr Rob Annetts is an entomologist and research scientist with Dow AgroSciences, based in Queensland. He has been involved in the trials and recent registration of Sentricon IG Termiticide Rods in Australia.

As Sentricon AlwaysActive is very different to every other termite management system on the market, Dr Annetts explains how Sentricon works and how best to use it.

Why should I choose Sentricon AlwaysActive?

Sentricon AlwaysActive provides both professional pest managers and homeowners with significant benefits over currently available termite treatments. Like a chemical barrier, Sentricon AlwaysActive protects the premises from day one, but unlike a chemical barrier there is no drilling of slabs, digging of trenches or chemicals sprayed around the premises. Like a baiting system, Sentricon AlwaysActive consists of stations placed around the perimeter at three-metre intervals. Unlike conventional baiting systems Sentricon AlwaysActive is not a bait, it is a termiticide in a rod and the rods are placed in every station at the time of installation, so it’s working 24/7.

How does Sentricon AlwaysActive eliminate termites?

The termiticide in Sentricon AlwaysActive is known as an IGR (insect growth regulator). This kills termites by interfering with the complex moulting process that happens in termites as part of their normal development. Termites are very social insects and within the colony they groom and feed each other. This makes them particularly susceptible to the IGR in Sentricon AlwaysActive. Once feeding has started on the termiticide rod the IGR is transferred throughout the colony and the demise of the colony has begun.

How safe is Sentricon AlwaysActive?

The IGR in Sentricon AlwaysActive specifically targets termites and insects – after all humans do not moult as we get bigger! As a result, it is safe to the homeowner, their family, pets and the environment.

How does Sentricon AlwaysActive compare to chemical barriers?

Some chemical barriers act by repelling termites rather than killing them. Such treatments continue to provide protection only as long as the chemical is effective and the barrier is not compromised. Once the barrier treatment has been breached by activities such as the digging of a dog or new garden bed, the property is open for attack. Sentricon AlwaysActive eliminates termites rather than just repelling them, keeping the structure safe all day, every day.

How do I install Sentricon AlwaysActive?

Sentricon IG Termiticide Rods arrive in ready-to-install Sentricon Stations, forming the Sentricon AlwaysActive system. As with current station systems, Sentricon stations should be placed every 3m around the perimeter of a premises and approximately 30 cm out from the structure, well away from any prior chemical treatments. After drawing up a site plan, all you have to do is auger a hole, take out a station from the box and place it in the hole. It’s really as easy as that.

Dr Annetts installing Sentricon AlwaysActive

What do I do where we already have stations installed?

Upgrading to Sentricon AlwaysActive is as simple as removing the station cap, extracting the wooden monitors and replacing them with the Sentricon IG Termiticide Rod and securing the cap. Sentricon IG Termiticide Rods can be purchased separately precisely for this purpose.

Does Sentricon AlwaysActive require monitoring visits?

Monitoring visits are still required to ensure that the rods have not been fully consumed. Sentricon IG Termiticide Rods actually become more attractive to termites as they age and become gnarlier! They should be replaced when half or more of the rod has been consumed. We recommend monitoring intervals of 3-6 months or more frequently in higher risk areas. Monitoring simply involves removing the cap and inspecting the rod, replacing if necessary and then securing the station.

What are you working on now?

We already know from Australian trials that the Sentricon IG Termiticide Rods remain attractive and effective for at least five years in the ground. New trials have been established to increase our learnings in this area by testing the rods on an even wider range of conditions – all part of our ongoing research and development.