John Ralph, Managing Director of Sherwood Chemicals Australasia, outlines a number of termite control solutions offered by Sherwood. 


Sherwood Chemicals is a niche formulation and manufacturing specialist focused on the development and supply of innovative high quality product formulations for the professional pest markets in Australia and south east Asia. Over the past 23 years, Sherwood has developed, trialled and registered one of the largest portfolios of termite control formulations, including non-repellent and repellent liquid formulations, non-repellent dustable powders, aerosol foams and termite baiting systems, providing pest managers with a wide range of tools to solve most termite problems encountered on the job.


Formulation chemistry

Sherwood Chemicals has invested in formulation chemistry for over 20 years, with the investment and development of formulations including SC, EC, MC, ME, ZW, DP, WDG, aerosols, and baits, most of which comprise less than 20% active ingredient. This leaves the balance of 80% inerts that determine the physiochemical properties of the product and play an important role in a product’s efficacy and performance.

As Sherwood has no allegiance to any particular active or formulation, we have the freedom to utilise bias-free trial data to develop and support a range of solutions, ensuring the best outcome for our customers. To identify the most effective product, active and formulation, several factors need to be taken into consideration. These include the environment, the insect type and the surface.

Sherwood Chemicals delivers three different formulations to treat active termites and achieve elimination. These include dust, foam and bait.


Termite dusting – FipForce Dust

Rhône-Poulenc discovered and developed Fipronil between 1985 and 1987. Fipronil is most effective when it comes into direct contact with the insect or via ingestion. It works by disturbing the termite’s nervous system, by blocking GABA-gated chloride channels and glutamate-gated chloride (GluCI) channels. It’s vital to consider the particle size and carrier type when designing an effective dust, to ensure it flows properly and doesn’t clog.

FipForce Dust Termiticide and Insecticide incorporates fipronil and is most suited to structures that are elevated on piers or have accessible subfloors. It works well in dark areas protected from the elements, with fipronil formulated as a dustable powder able to achieve termite elimination within one to four weeks.


FipForce Dust


Termite dusting requires a greater level of skill when compared to foaming and baiting, however in situations where there are sufficient numbers of termites to dust, in our opinion dusting achieves a quicker elimination and a greater level of success in termite control in structures. The key to effective dusting is understanding the behaviour of each species and location of the termites. When you have located the termites, use small light puffs of dust across multiple areas directly on to termites.

As a dustable powder formulation, the particles will remain effective on the treated surface, where foraging termites will pick up dust particles which adhere to the cuticles and tarses of termites. This facilitates outstanding transfer of the active fipronil from affected to unaffected termites when compared to spot treatments using liquid and foam formations.


With FipForce Dust, small light puffs over multiple areas is the key to success


We don’t recommend dusting a lead, however it can still be effective at times. To be thorough, treat the effective timbers starting from the bottom and work your way up. Always check the treated areas after 14 days and reapply if need be.


Termite foaming – Shieldrite Foam

Imidacloprid was invented by Nihon Tokushu Noyaku Seizo K.K. of Tokyo, Japan in 1986. Later, it was commercialised by Bayer and it continues to be the most used chemical in the world for treating insects. Imidacloprid kills insects on contact and ingestion. It blocks nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and prevents acetylcholine from transmitting impulses between nerves, causing paralysis and eventually death.

Understanding how foam consistency impacts termite performance will ensure better outcomes when treating termites with Shieldrite Crawling Insect Foam. A thick dry foam which remains in a foam state for longer than 20 minutes, tends to displace and suffocate termites resulting in greater product failures as termites avoid the treated areas.


Shieldrite Crawling Insect Foam


Shieldrite Foam, developed by Sherwood Chemicals, has been designed as a wet fast breaking foam that rapidly breaks down when applied, to leave a residual on the surface. This results in less disturbance to termites and aids in the transfer of the toxicant from infected to uninfected termites.

To maximise effectiveness, Shieldrite Crawling Insect Foam should be applied:

  • in small, one-second bursts
  • in multiple locations
  • to affected timbers using your moisture meter and termite tracking equipment
  • to entry points.

Observe the entry point and check the treated areas after 14 days and reapply if need be.


Termite baiting – Termatrix

When baiting to control termites, there are several actives available that deliver good results. The active ingredient (AI) loading in termite bait formulations is between 1-5g/kg. Termatrix Termite Bait incorporates the most widely used and proven insect growth regulator in chlorfluazuron 1g/kg. The second part of the formulation is the cellulose which is the key ingredient of all termite baits and determines the baits consistent palatability and feeding.


Termatrix Termite Bait


Termatrix is formulated using a proprietary formulation process including small batches of less than 15 kg to ensure there is an even distribution of the active ingredient throughout the cellulose in each batch. Since the launch of the Above Ground (AG) Termatrix Bait in 2012, Sherwood Chemicals has heavily invested over the years in perfecting the bait matrix through the establishment of a product performance testing laboratory. This has enabled us to benchmark our bait matrix against other leading products and continually improve the palatability and consistency of the bait to make it the one of the most reliable termite baits on the market.

In October 2020, Sherwood Chemicals launched a new ready to install AG station incorporating 100 grams of bait without the price penalty. Due to its performance and cost, this new ready to install station has been a huge success.

When baiting for termites, it’s important to position the bait in the affected area, monitor the feeding every two weeks and install several above ground stations to affected areas in case there are multiple nests present.


Termites feeding on Termatrix bait placed in a fireplace


It’s also important to note the visual changes of termites present in the bait stations. As termites become affected by the bait, the colour of the workers changes to a cream colour and the percentage of soldier termites present increases. A typical ratio of soldiers to workers is around 10:1 as the bait starts to impact the colony (killing the workers as they moult), the number of workers in the bait station drops. The death of the colony is imminent when there is mostly soldiers in the bait station and fungi starts growing on the bait.


Why choose Sherwood Chemicals?

The last decade has seen significant mergers within the agrichemical market, resulting in four major players: Bayer, BASF, Corteva and Chem China (Syngenta).

As a result of these mergers, we believe that the next 30 years will see the rise of smaller formulation development specialists that can utilise proven off-patent active ingredients tailored to small niche markets to deliver improved efficacy and value. With our experienced team that can work with industry users to solve their most pressing issues, Sherwood Chemicals is well positioned to deliver these products.

At Sherwood Chemicals, we are continuously improving and updating our formulations. Our core insecticide products are manufactured at a single formulation facility in accordance with ISO9001 (Quality), ISO14001 (Environment) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

With more than 500+ employees worldwide, Sherwood Chemicals is rapidly emerging as a genuine supplier of quality products, trusted and supported by in-house research and development chemists, chemical engineers and with proven independent efficacy results.


John Ralph, Managing Director, Sherwood Chemicals Australasia