A typical bait for termites includes cardboard, paper or any other suitable food for them combined with a substance which acts slowly and is lethal to these pests. It is important for the bait to be efficient enough to attract their attention just like other easy and available food sources such as tree stumps, roots, woodpiles, and other structural wood items, because these wood-eating pests usually do not get lured to baits. If the lethal substance used in the bait acts too quickly, chances are high that termites falling prey to the bait will die in close proximity of the station which will alert others in the colony. A slow-acting bait will ensure that the noxious substance gets transmitted from the affected termites to the non-affected ones.
Some termite baits are placed outside in the lawn, while others are installed near the activity grounds of termites inside the structure. Outdoor bait stations are initially placed with untreated wood material, and when any activity of these pests is noticed in them, the untreated wood is replaced with wooden materials containing the toxic agent.
Termite baits are better than barrier treatments:
Slow-acting termite baits have gained more preference over conventional barrier treatments in the recent times, not only for termite control in Melbourne, but also in other parts of the world. The barrier treatments use toxic chemicals in large quantities and can be dangerous for pets and children. But termite baits follow an entirely different approach and are highly competent in destroying large groups of termites using a small amount of toxic substance.
Process of installation:
As mentioned earlier, termites do not get specifically attracted to baits, but come across them by chance. Therefore termite stations should be set up all around the structure at regular intervals and at places of high activity within the place. Once installed, regular inspection and monitoring of the baits is important to discover the presence of termites. The untreated wood that is placed at first acts as the bait monitor and it should be checked once or twice in every 3 months after installation of the bait stations. The bait monitor is substituted with the slow-acting lethal agent if the monitor shows signs of termite activity. After the bait stations show no more indications of feeding, it is speculated that all the termites have been eliminated and again the bait monitors are placed back in the stations. The entire process of installation and inspection should be carried out with minimal disturbance because termites usually tend to leave an area when disturbed due to lack of natural defenses.