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TERMITE PROTECTION IN THE TOUGHEST CONDITIONS

Termites in north-western WA regularly put Ultrathor termiticide to the test, according to local pest manager Ian Bright of Allrid Pest Management.

When dealing with termites in the hottest places in Australia, with dry, alkaline soils, you really need a robust termiticidal formulation.

This is the challenge that is regularly faced by the team from Allrid Pest Management working in places like Marble Bar in the Pilbara region of north-western WA. Marble Bar holds the world record for consecutive days of temperatures above 100°F (37.8°C), at 160 days. The average maximum temperature exceeds normal human body temperature for six months each year with temperatures above 45 degrees being common! Rainfall is sparse and erratic, though the monsoon season can dump over 400mm of rain in a month. These are not favourable conditions for termiticides and it takes a special formulation to work in these extremes.

Ian Bright and the Allrid Pest Management team have been protecting families and their homes in WA since 1976. “We have branches in Perth, Karratha, Port Hedland, Tom Price, Newman and Kalgoorlie,” said Mr Bright. “With over 40 years of experience, we certainly recognise the extra challenges the climate and the environment present to us in the north of the state, especially through the Pilbara.”

Allrid offers a complete range of pest management solutions. As a supplier of choice for multinational companies such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, it is necessary for the company to keep abreast of new advancements in pest control to ensure its clients receive expert advice and the latest and safest pest treatment methods.

“Termites are a big part of our business and we recognise how important it is to select the best formulation. The soaring temperatures, high soil alkalinity, and rocky soils break down termiticides more rapidly. The Allrid team believes that if it works up there, it will work anywhere!” said Mr Bright.

The protection of the historic Marble Bar Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety Building is an example of a typical high profile and high termite pressure job the Allrid team deal with. Built in 1895, the building is in the centre of the largest local council shire in the world. Allrid has been securely protecting this building since 2012 using Ultrathor Termiticide.

The Allrid team: (L-R) John Gibson, Shane Hicks and Chris Traynor, in front of the historic Department of Mines building

Mr Bright said, “We’ve had no termite problems to date. That’s a fine record in itself! So, when the council workshop nearby presented recently with a heavy termite infestation of Coptotermes acinaciformis in most parts of the building, we were asked in and we used Ultrathor again – problem solved!”

Branch manager, John Gibson, remarked, “It is of course important to use the product in accordance with the registered label, so this meant creating a complete ’defence zone’ around the workshop. We were dealing with Coptotermes acinaciformis, and they had attacked pretty well every batten in the workshop, with many thick leads heading up into the old timbers.

“Since there was very high termite activity in these large leads, we were able to knock the leads down and flood into the workings at the soil level, to directly treat the termites while establishing the Ultrathor defence zone.”

Ensystex area manager, William Killen, explained that Ultrathor works so effectively for two key reasons.

“We have the long-term field trial data to show that Ultrathor performs due to both the low-repellence Ensystex technical-grade fipronil used as the active constituent – which is protected by ten international patents – plus its unique formulation.

“The formulation makes a real difference. The inert ingredients are in many ways as important as the active constituent, which is particularly the case with termiticides. The rheology (flow) of the product affects its spread through the soil, how it binds to the soil particles (so it is not leached out when the torrential monsoon rains hit), and its longevity as a termite defence zone.

“Ensystex holds a very large data folder on Ultrathor. It comprises detailed chemistry data, efficacy studies from around the world, toxicology studies on the actual product and soil stability/mobility studies in a range of soil types. Our ongoing, independent field trials show Ultrathor has not been breached by termites for eight years,” said Mr Killen.

For the team at Allrid Pest Management, they will continue to use Ultrathor not only for its product performance but for the support offered by Ensystex. Mr Bright concluded, ”Our team really appreciates the technical advice that Ensystex provides together with the on-the-ground support offered by their area manager. We will continue to use Ultrathor with confidence.”