Sentricon is a termite control system that is manufactured by Dow Agrosciences. You can only buy it through pest control companies - Terminix is the main one that sells this.
The system involves staking little green cylinders into the ground
around your house. Each has a couple of pieces of wood, designed
to figure out if there are termites.
They'll be attracted to the wood as food, so if you've got them you'll find them feeding on it. The pest control company will inspect your property and look for places where termites are likely to enter, and put monitors there as well as around the perimeter of your home.
When termites are detected, a little tube is used that has a termite growth inhibitor in it. The pest control company will also take some of the termites that were in the wood and put them in the tube to make things go faster. Termites will enter the tube, eat the bait, and then go back to the colony, attracting more termites because of a chemical trail. The growth inhibitor takes a while to act - that might seem like a negative, but it's actually important, because otherwise the termites would die before spreading it around. It gradually kills off the colony, preventing young termites from developing properly. It can take between two and eight months to kill off a termite colony. Once the colonies die off, the pest control company will go back to monitoring and will check back every few months to make sure you're still termite-free.
The chemical it uses is called hexaflumuron, which makes it impossible for termites to molt correctly. Termites have an exoskeleton, and to grow larger they have to shed it by molting. Termites who come into contact with hexaflumuron do not die immediately. They live for awhile, spreading it to other termites, and the next time they try to molt they die during the process. That allows the chemical to be spread throughout the colony.
Does Sentricon work?
There is some dispute about whether it is effective or not. It's one of the most popular and widely used termite control products. The University of Kentucky did a study showing that it was effective. However, you can go here to read some complaints about it from consumers (although a lot seem to be from other pest control competitors).
One thing to keep in mind is that effectiveness can vary widely depending on both you and your local pest control company. To work well, termite baits need to be the only source of food around. Removing wood, stumps, and other sources of food for the colony will make it work a lot better, because the termites will be forced to go for the bait. If your local pest control company doesn't follow the guidelines or do their job properly, the system can also have problems. So keep that in mind and choose a company you trust.
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