Termidor is a liquid termiticide that just came on the market in the last five or six years. It is one of only a couple of liquid treatments for termites that are still commonly used, because it is a vast improvement over the last generation of pesticides used against termites.
The active ingredient in it is an insect growth
regulator called fipronil.
Fipronil is a generally safe chemical that is the active ingredient in many flea control medications (where it is applied directly to pets).
It excites the nervous system of insects, including termites, and kills them.
It's transferred from termite to termite through grooming and feeding.
This is a big difference from other liquid treatments - most of them would just kill any termites that walked into it, but this one can spread to others through social interaction. It acts slowly enough that a termite can wander around for awhile, exposing others to the chemicals.
One of the big benefits of this treatment is that it is extremely long lasting. Looking around online I saw several pest control companies providing warranties that it would work after application for seven years - which is about the longest it has been in use at any site so far. They claimed it was still working at all the test sites they'd tried it at. It also works much faster than bait systems - bait can take a few months to a year to kill a colony, because the termites have to go out and forage for it, whereas Termidor starts working right away.
As compared to other liquid treatments, it is a lot more environmentally safe, using ounces of chemicals vs. hundreds of gallons for the old kind. That's not really a factor in comparing it to bait systems, though, which are the bigger competitor. It is also odorless, whereas many other liquid treatments smell pretty badly.
The big downside is that it is generally more expensive. In the long run this might not be the case, given that it lasts a lot longer than other treatments - but in the short run it is probably going to be pricier.
Study by University of California - Riverside Professors
In terms of whether Termidor works or not, there was a study by two professors at the University of California that evaluated a number of products, including Termidor (you can read it here). They found that deposits of it were easily transmitted from exposed termites to other members of the colony, and that it was lethal to them even with brief exposures. They listed it in the top three products out of a number that they tested, saying it performed "very well." It has a 100% kill rate within 30 days. It also didn't require as thorough an application as most of the other products (i.e., you could miss some spots and it would still work).
Finding a Termidor Professional
You can find a pest control service in your area that will apply it here or here - you can't do it yourself. You can't use it in New York state, but every other state allows it (in New York, there is an alternate version by the same company called Phantom).
Sources and Useful Links:
Return to Termites Guide Home Page
Text copyright 2007-2010 Killthetermites.com and may not be reproduced without consent. This is not the official web page of any of the products listed on this site, this is a review page created by an individual.