John Ralph, Managing Director of Sherwood Chemicals Australasia, outlines the three major active ingredients that Sherwood has taken forward to formulate three highly effective termite control products.
Sherwood Chemicals has developed and trialled one of the largest portfolios of termite control formulations in the world. Unlike most multinationals that are restricted in development to the actives they have discovered, at Sherwood the strategy has been to select proven off-patent actives and incorporate these actives into innovative formulations that deliver improved efficacy and value.
An example of this is the range of termite control solutions available from Sherwood. Sherwood has incorporated three proven active ingredients and developed these into three different formulation types for the treatment of active termites as the first vital step in dealing with a termite problem and achieving colony elimination.
Termite dusting – FipForce Dust Termiticide and Insecticide
Fipronil was discovered and developed by Rhône-Poulenc between 1985 and 1987. Fipronil disrupts the insect central nervous system by blocking GABA-gated chloride channels and glutamate-gated chloride (GluCl) channels. Target species are affected by ingestion or contact, meaning particle size and carrier type play a part in designing an effective dust that will flow and not clog. Fipronil also has one of the longest residuals, which makes it effective when placed in dark areas protected from the elements.
Our trial data shows that FipForce Dust kills termites slowly within 4-8 hours, which is a critical factor in achieving a transfer kill.
Termite dusting takes time and patience and is not for everyone, however the benefits are that you get a faster result than with baiting and the disturbance level is far lower than with foaming. Dusting is a skilled art, and best results are achieved when a sufficient number of termites (up to 10,000) can be dusted. Understanding the termites’ movements and locations is key to achieving a good result. If you know someone who dusts termites, we would highly recommend spending some time on a job with them.
Dusting is effective on structures that sit on piers or have accessible sub floors. Small light puffs should be used in multiple areas. Dusting a lead is not recommended however can be effective at times, if no other application points are available. It is recommended to treat the affected timbers starting from the bottom and working upwards, making sure to be thorough. The treatment should be checked after 4-6 weeks.
Termite foaming – Shieldrite Crawling Insect Foam
Imidacloprid was first invented in 1986 by Nihon Tokushu Noyaku Seizo K.K. of Tokyo, Japan. It was later commercialised by Bayer and is still today the world’s most frequently used chemical for treating insects. Blocking nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, imidacloprid prevents acetylcholine from transmitting impulses between nerves, resulting in the insect’s paralysis and eventual death. It is effective on contact and via ingestion. Imidacloprid is used in a number of high performance formulations to control crawling insects namely ants, cockroaches, bed bugs, European wasps and termites.
Sherwood Chemicals has formulated imidacloprid at concentrations ranging from 0.025-0.05% for aerosols and 10-60% for suspension concentrates.
In 2014 we developed Chaindrite (Shieldrite) imidacloprid foam in a can, at the same time that we were developing our fipronil foam. Chaindrite has been used in Thailand and Asia for many years where termite pressure is extremely high.
Understanding the consistency of the foam and the correct application will ensure better outcomes when treating termites. If the foam is stable and dry it can cause failures, as termites are suffocated. Sherwood’s foam formulation has been designed to break down quickly and therefore limit the disturbance whilst leaving a non-repellent residual.
Termite foam is applied in a similar way to dusting. The foam should be applied in small, one-second bursts in multiple locations, which will not suffocate termites but will leave a residual on the surface. Apply the foam to affected timbers identified using a moisture meter and termite tracking equipment – foaming is effective when the entry point can be identified. After foaming the affected structure, the entry point should be observed after 4-6 weeks.
Termite baiting – AG Termatrix Bait
Many chitin synthesis inhibitors (CSIs) are available to formulate into termite baits, however chlorfluazuron at 1 g/kg has been proven to deliver reliable results in difficult conditions around the world. Other actives deliver good results but these have a higher active ingredient (AI) loading of between 1-5 g/kg.
At Sherwood Chemicals we aim to deliver the best value therefore making chlorfluazuron the choice for our termite bait, with its lower AI loading of 1 g/kg. We utilise a proprietary formulation process to ensure each batch has an even distribution of the AI.
The second part of the formulation is the cellulose used to hold the AI. This needs to be palatable and consistent to encourage feeding. Since its launch in 2012, we have invested heavily to perfect our bait matrix through an in-house termite testing lab to benchmark our bait matrix against others in the market. Strict QC ensures our bait formulation is effective, consistent and reliable.
Sherwood has just launched a new Termatrix Above-ground pre-baited (100 g bait) station at a cost-effective price. The station can be purchased individually and is available through all resellers now.
For successful termite baiting, bait stations should be applied to each affected area and feeding monitored every two weeks. It is always a good idea to install a number of above-ground stations to affected areas to ensure a ‘hit’ – this also helps in monitoring activity. Another reason for placing stations at each feeding site is that you never know whether there are multiple nests attacking the property.
Feeding bait to termites can be rewarding and frustrating depending on the client’s expectations and the time of year – during the cooler months the bait will take longer to act, even though the termites often take more bait. All common species of termites will feed on the bait, however baiting is not effective on Mastotermes darwiniensis due to its colony structure and voracious feeding habits nor on Nasutitermes species as the final worker instars will continue to forage long after the central nest has been affected. For these species, dusts or foams should be used.
Although baiting is typically the slowest option in eliminating active termites from a property, it has the benefit of being the only proven technique to deliver consistent colony control, and progress can be assessed through diminishing bait uptake as the workers die off and the ratio of soldiers to workers increases (the soldiers also subsequently die).
Sherwood Chemicals is continuously improving and updating its formulations to offer quality termite control products that give pest managers the best chance of achieving total colony elimination.
John Ralph, Managing Director, Sherwood Chemicals Australasia