Q and A with Field Scientists for the Sentricon® System, Part 2

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

Our field scientists are a great resource for information for every Certified Sentricon Specialist®. In turn, they provide answers to the questions their customers frequently ask. It’s the basis of our commitment to providing up-to-date technology that keeps your residence safe from termite colony invasion.

Q: Will freezing temperatures and snow affect the Sentricon® System with Always Active™ technology?

A: Recruit® HD termite bait, a component of the Sentricon System with Always Active technology, stays viable regardless of the weather and seasonal changes. The active ingredient, noviflumuron, is contained in a special bait matrix that extends durability, which is why even cracked and moldy bait should only be replaced when one-third has been consumed. The termite bait will crack due to cold temperatures and water absorption, but termites like to crawl into the cracks and crevices. It does not affect the longevity or the efficacy of the termite bait. So even if you’re in the South and experiencing above-normal snowfall or cold weather, your Sentricon bait stations will still maintain their viability.

Q: How large is an average Eastern subterranean termite colony, and how can you determine its size?


A: Experts differ on this question, because subterranean termite colony sizes vary by factors that include species, location and the age of the colony. As a rule of thumb, a desert subterranean termite colony (Heterotermes aureus) might number around 80,000 termites; an Eastern subterranean colony (Reticulitermes flavipes) might number 250,000; and a Formosan subterranean colony (Coptotermes formosanus) might number 1 million.

Research for Sentricon®, dating back more than 15 years, has focused on the amount of bait required to eliminate a typical colony. For example, the Eastern subterranean termite is the most common species in the United States. Research has shown that 65 grams of Recruit® IV termite bait is sufficient to eliminate a typical Eastern subterranean termite colony. One Recruit HD termite bait device contains 150 grams of bait and therefore contains enough bait to eliminate at least two typical Eastern subterranean termite colonies. The most important point for a homeowner to know is that Sentricon provides proven termite colony elimination and ongoing preventive protection when installed and maintained according to the label.

Q: How often can multiple termite colonies hit a single home?

A: It is common for sites to be hit by multiple termite colonies, especially in the South and in the West. In a Termiticide Scientific Review Panel (TSRP) study conducted by Dow AgroSciences  from 2007 to 2011, 112 sites installed with Recruit® HD termite bait across the United States were inspected for multiple termite colony activity by using DNA analysis. Sentricon® stations were inspected at each site and termites (R. flavipes, C. formosanus, H. aureus and R. hesperus) were collected from active stations. An average of four termite colonies was found at each site. Here are some of the results:

  • 37 percent of the sites had one colony
  • 25 percent of the sites had two colonies
  • 13 percent of the sites had three colonies
  • 13 percent of the sites had four colonies
  • 13 percent of the sites had five or more colonies


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One site had 18 colonies! As colonies were being eliminated, new colonies were moving in. Termite colonies can move in and out quickly, and even if colonies have been eliminated, it doesn’t prevent termites from recurring. With Sentricon with Always Active™ technology, Recruit HD termite bait is installed immediately, so termites can begin feeding on it as soon as they find a station. This starts the colony elimination process sooner and keeps property protection continuous if new colonies move in.

Do you have any questions about termites or the Sentricon® System? Ask us here, or join in the conversations on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

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