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Termite Treatments

Posted by James Austin on March 27th, 1999 08:05 PM
In reply to Termites by Joel on January 25th, 1999 06:16 PM [Go to top of thread]

Beware of unsolicted advice concerning pouring
moter oil against an exterior foundation of a
building. This is not only unprooven, it poses a
serious environmental hazzard. In truth most termiticdes
are not as stable in most soils as termiticides which
were manufactured prior to 1989. Chloronated hydrocarbon
insecticdes (termiticdes) like chlordane, aldrin, lindane, etc.
were known to have tremendous stability in soils with dissipation
half-lives exceeding several years. However, the same qualities
which made them good termiticides also made them environmentally
unwise. Currently, there are approximately 12 termiticides registered
for commercial use...most of these are pyrethroids like Demon TC,
Torpedo (permethrin), Dragnet FT (permethrin, Biflex (lambda-cyhalothrin),
etc... Organophosphates like Dursban TC (chlorpyrifos), or chloronicotinyls (Premise 75),
or even newer chemistries like Termidor (Fipronil) or Phantom (chlorphenapyr) are
also alternatives.
In truth the physical and chemical nature of your soil surrounding your home can impact
the effectiveness of the chemicals stability with respect to time.
Soil clay content, pH, Organic matter content, particularly organic carbon content
will greatly influence the rate of dissipation of an insecticide in soil. Temperature and
rain will also play significant roles in this situation.
I recommend you consult your local landgrant university extension entomologist or agronomist
and evaluate your individal circumstances. Many will allow free or very inexpensive soil samples
to be analyzed which can allow you to make a more informed choice. Baiting for termites, although
generally more expensive, may be a better alternative.
I am a university researcher working on the environmental fate of termiticides. I worked for a few
years in the pest control industry before going back to graduate school. I have seen your situation time
and time again, and unfortunately there are not always clear cut determinations to be made. However,
the role of may university researchers like myself is to assist with problems like yours.
I was searching for a related topic when I encountered your site, and felt compelled to drop a line...
although unsolicited, I suggest you first consult with your local extension officer and go from there.

Good Luck,

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