A Q&A With Field Scientists for the Sentricon® System: Part 1

Scientist Profile


A compilations of interviews with Sentricon field scientists (past and present:) Michelle Smith, Dr. Joe DeMark, Dr. Joe Eger and Dr. Barb Nead-Nylander.

One of the primary factors in the success of the Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System is the amount of real scientific research that is represented in every bait station installed.  We recently had the opportunity to speak with some of our field scientists, and they answered some questions about our product, termites, and how the Sentricon System utilizes science to be more environmentally friendly.

Q: What is the proof that the Sentricon System eliminates termite colonies?

A: Colony elimination with the Sentricon System is documented in 30 independent university and contract research studies, and more than 60 published scientific articles. Success also is reflected by more than 19 years of real-life success on over two million homes. A bibliography includes references from the top scientific articles concerning field and laboratory testing of Sentricon in relation to termite behavior and efficacy. These published articles provide extensive credibility to support the claims of Sentricon, and no one else in the industry has this kind of scientific support for termite bait.

Published scientific articles undergo anonymous peer review, and the paper must be detailed enough so experiments can be repeated to ensure the conclusions are consistent. Dow AgroSciences employees have authored some of the articles in the bibliography, but many of the articles are written by university and independent researchers. Researchers have been submitting journal articles on aspects of the Sentricon® System since the mid-1990s.

Q: When referring to the Sentricon System, what is the basis for calling it “environmentally responsible?”

A: Noviflumuron, the active ingredient in the Sentricon System, is contained in a tamper- resistant station and can be removed if desired. Rather than saturating the soil with a liquid chemical solution, Recruit® termite bait, used in Sentricon, is contained in the station and doesn’t leach or volatilize. The science behind Recruit termite bait exploits termite biology and behavior. Worker termites readily transfer the bait throughout the termite colony with the end result being total colony elimination.

The premier bait used in the Sentricon® System was the first product registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the strict requirements of the Reduced Risk Pesticide Initiative. This distinction was based on its low impact on human health, low toxicity to non-target organisms (birds, fish and plants) and low potential for groundwater contamination when compared with other commercially available termite treatments.

Green Challenge Award Logo



The Sentricon System also is the only termite control product ever to have earned the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award. The award is one of the federal government’s top environmental honors, and recognizes technical innovation that incorporates environmentally responsible chemistry into its design, manufacture and use.

Q: How long does a queen termite typically live?

A: While it depends heavily on the termite species and location, a queen termite can live a decade or longer, according to the Mallis Handbook of Pest Control. Queens have the longest life span when compared with workers and soldiers. However, a study* conducted on Coptotermes termites in Australia showed that when queens are exposed to Recruit termite bait, egg production declines first and queens can die within the first month. Eggs also stop developing and no longer hatch. Molting of the young larval stages, workers and nymphs are all affected, leading to colony elimination.

Q: What are the known foraging ranges for termites by species?

A: The foraging range can vary significantly based on the geography, soil type and species. Research papers* cited by the Mallis Handbook of Pest Control, available from the publisher of Pest Control Technology (PCT) magazine, state that Eastern subterranean termites can forage in areas up to one-third of an acre and up to 86 linear yards. Formosan subterranean termites had a foraging area of one half acre and foraging distances approaching 110 yards – similar to the length of a football field.

*Lenz M, P.V. Gleason, L.R. Miller and H.M., Abbey. 1996. How predictive are laboratory experiments for assessing the effects of chitin synthesis inhibitors (CSI) on field colonies for termites? – A comparison of laboratory and field data from Australian mound-building species of termite. International Research Group on Wood Preservation. 27th Annual Meeting 1-10.
®Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s