Sherwood Chemicals launches its new fipronil-based termite and insect product, Fipforce.

Many experienced and knowledgeable termite professionals recognise the benefits of non-repellent transferable termiticides. In dealing with active termite infestations, they also appreciate the flexibility and ease of use associated with a modern dust formulation. Ho­wever, early dust formulations weren’t quite as user friendly.

The practice of using termiticide dusts to treat subterranean termite activity in buildings started in 1916, when Bill Flick began dusting termites in timber fences, farm sheds and houses in the mid-north coastal area of NSW. He used arsenic trioxide/pentoxide, a practice that continued for decades up until the early 2000s.

Applying arsenic dust efficaciously required skill, and when done correctly, it was effective at eradicating termites in buildings and timber structures. However, it wasn’t as successful at eliminating termite colonies when the treatment was applied to termites some distance away from the nest.

As an inorganic Schedule 7 poison, arsenic gradually fell out of favour due to health and environmental concerns. It wasn’t until the arrival of fipronil that the potential for an effective dust formulation was realised.

Sherwood Chemicals is extremely proud and excited to announce the launch of its new fipronil-based product: Fipforce Lightweight Dustable Powder Termiticide and Insecticide. Fipforce can be used to eliminate active termites from structures and has the potential to remotely eradicated the termite colony responsible for the activity (although this usually more difficult). Fipforce non-repellent dust is effective against all economically damaging Australian termite species and is also registered for ants (inside and out).

The combination of lightweight dustable powder and fipronil delivers excellent performance. Internal testing has shown that when applied to termite nests in trees, mounds and structures, termite activity ceased and colony control was achieved.

In cases where a termite nest cannot be located, Fipforce can be applied liberally to termite workings – the more termites dusted, the better the results. The dust can be picked up by individual termites through ingestion (feeding on treated timber or potentially other poisoned, dead termites) or via the insect cuticle (exoskeleton). The dust is then progressively passed from one termite to the next during social grooming and trophallaxis, resulting in a gradual decline in termite activity and potential eradication of the colony responsible for the infestation.

In order to be fully effective, Fipforce Lightweight Dustable Powder must be applied correctly and professionally in the first instance. A successful dusting involves applying the product to excavations in the timber where termites are still actively feeding, being sure to disturb their activity as little as possible (pest managers should only dust termite leads and galleries as a last resort). As part of its product support program, Sherwood will be offering training in the correct use of Fipforce Dust for its valued pest manager clients.

Once control has been achieved with Fipforce, a fipronil protection zone must always be installed to intercept any future foraging termites. A liquid soil treatment such as FipForce Aqua can be applied via trenching and conventional spraying, or alternatively an in-ground baiting system, such as Termatrix, can be installed.

Gary Stephenson, Technical Adviser, Sherwood Chemicals

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