As long as there are termites, there’s a market for termite control. Termites can be found in 49 states, with thriving populations in warmer climates. Only Alaska is safe. There are approximately 50 termite species in the U.S. and 20 of them are structural pests. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), they can cause up to $5 billion in damage annually.
Termites damage hundreds of thousands of existing homes and their food source is ever growing. “Termite control is a growth market, because more and more homes and properties are being built. There are more opportunities for PMPs to treat. It’s an attractive industry for service providers,” said Robert “Dr. Bob” Davis, Ph.D., Technical Services Representative, BASF Professional & Specialty Solutions, Research Triangle Park, N.C.
TRENCH AND TREAT. The industry was overdue for a more advanced method for providing termite treatments until a new, technologically advanced system for termite treatment was introduced by BASF in 2014: Termidor HP High Precision Injection System and Termidor HP termiticide.
TRADING TRENCHING FOR TECHNOLOGY. “Now, with the Termidor HP injection system, the treatments are extremely accurate and precise. That’s a huge change compared to how termite work has been done for decades,” said Davis.
“Termite work was a very labor intensive process for PMPs, including loading and mixing in a conventional rig and then preparing the site for treatment. With the Termidor HP injection system, much of this process is now replaced by technology, which saves valuable time and money for PMPs,” said Antonia Chan, Termite Product Manager, BASF Professional & Specialty Solutions.
“Any structure that can be treated with a conventional termite rig can be treated with the Termidor HP injection system as long as we have a pressurized water source,” said Davis.
“The Termidor HP injection system eliminates technical error when it comes to mixing and applying the right amount of termiticide,” explained Steve Okros, chief operating officer, Heron Home and Outdoor, Apopka, Fla. In the past, they “had to rely on using a stopwatch to determine how much product actually made it into the trench, and we had to make sure the backfill was also being treated.”
Added Dayton Hylton, president of Dayton’s Pest Control, Knoxville, Tenn. “I think the system is very useful and needed in the industry. It’s definitely the highest-tech equipment in the industry for termite treatments. Nothing doses the termiticide like the Termidor HP. And it eliminates 99 percent of trenching.”
INSPIRED BY GREEN INDUSTRY TECHNOLOGY. BASF looked to other industries when product development began in 2008. “We looked at other technologies, such as those used in the green industry, and how they may be used to help our PMPs,” said Davis.
Hydraulic jets are used in one type of turf aeration equipment, which breaks up compressed soil to get air to grass roots. Golf-course and athletic-field turf can be quickly aerated without disturbing the turf. The challenge was finding a way to adapt the large hydraulic equipment used in wide-open spaces for use around the often confined perimeter of a home.
“It wasn’t easy taking a technology that wasn’t made for this type of application and innovate to a point where better Termidor termite treatments were the result,” said Davis. “Through innovation, we’re able to help our customers provide a better treatment in less time, spending less money, and using exacting amounts of Termidor.”
The Termidor HP High Precision Injection System, exclusively using Termidor HP termiticide, is a powerful termiticide delivery system that’s highly precise and accurate. Compared to traditional application practices, it creates a more uniform treatment zone with minimal disruption to landscape and uses up to 75 percent less water. “We’re creating a hydraulically treated trench,” said Davis.
The integrated system injects termiticide dilution pressurized to approximately 4,000 psi to a depth of 12 inches, the primary termite activity zone, and it’s all done in one step. Water and Termidor HP termiticide are mixed inline, which guarantees treatment accuracy of 1/10th of an ounce. This injection system eliminates trenching under most circumstances, provides a uniform perimeter treatment and leaves landscaping virtually undisturbed.
TWO-UNIT SYSTEM. There are two parts to the Termidor HP injection system: the Precision Injection Device (PID) and the base unit. The larger base unit pressurizes the water. The PID, equipped with a small tank to hold the termiticide and tethered by a 300-foot hose to the base unit, enables PMPs to conveniently move the portable unit around the perimeter of a building.
“The actual treatment happens directly at the interface of the PID and the soil adjacent to the foundation,” explained Davis. The water and Termidor HP termiticide are mixed and injected when the PMP activates the PID by pressing down on the handheld unit. “I think it’s definitely better than trenching, having to bend over using a pick axe or shovel. Here you’re holding a 30-pound machine and moving it (6 inches at a time),” said Okros.
TWO MODES = COMPLETE COVERAGE. The Termidor HP injection system has two modes to ensure the entire perimeter and/or interior areas of a property are treated. The Hydraulic Trenching (HT) mode is used for the majority of treatments. Standard Application (SA) mode is used in locations where HT can’t be used, such as under a low hanging bay window, inside at bath tub traps, or through drilled holes along a poured patio against a foundation. Traditional treatment methods are used in these areas using the Termidor HP unit. In SA mode, Termidor HP termiticide is mixed inline and PMPs use traditional application tools.
Additionally, the Termidor HP injection system has onboard computers that help to ensure treatment accuracy and precision, and customer satisfaction. It measures the volume of Termidor HP termiticide and water to an exact finished concentration, which prevents over or under usage. The onboard computer also documents treatment details in real time and records to the Termidor HP website for PMPs to access and manage.
“It’s more efficient using the Termidor HP injection system. The active ingredient and water mix is consistent and there’s better soil penetration,” said Bob Kunst, president, Fischer Environmental Services, Mandeville, La. “It gives you a label-correct job each and every time.”
Said Peter Steinmetz, chief operations officer, Turner Pest Control, Jacksonville, Fla., “Termidor HP is better than traditional trenching methods of termite control. You’re guaranteed that the mix of termiticide and water is accurate and the application is precise.”
Mike Litsey, division manager at Turner, likes HP’s reporting capabilities. “It’s incredibly efficient in gathering information. It uploads information to the Termidor HP website, including the amount of chemical used, linear feet treated, the number of injections, how long it took, the customer’s address, even the latitude and longitude. All the information that’s uploaded from the unit is useful for customer verification. It’s more accurate. It’s a secondary report we can show the customer when the treatment is completed and verify that it’s their address.”
TIME IS MONEY. “One of the biggest challenges in this industry is labor and PMPs using their time efficiently,” said Chan. “We created a technology that reduces labor and makes termite treatments more accurate and efficient.”
As Steinmetz noted, “A traditional termite treatment would take anywhere from two to three hours. It only takes 30 to 40 minutes using the Termidor HP.”
How long it takes is relative depending on the house and its surroundings, but generally it takes about one-third of the time of traditional treatments, said Dale Huff, termite supervisor, Dayton’s Pest Control, Knoxville, Tenn. “The Termidor HP system is more time efficient and requires less manual labor.”
Said Okros, “It’s very efficient. We’re able to do four to five jobs a day versus one or two, depending on the type of job.”
Added Steinmetz, “For the type of functions we’re using the Termidor HP injection system for, we’re able to treat three times the number of houses than we normally would. The labor savings we’re seeing is increasing our revenue.”
TECHNICAL SUPPORT. The Termidor HP Injection System is available via a lease. “BASF has a strong team to provide direct support for the equipment. This way PMPs are provided immediate, quality support for use of the HP unit. If there’s something that the PMP can’t fix, our team is available to help,” said Chan. Termidor HP termiticide is available for purchase through distributors.
“I can’t say enough good things about technical service for the guys in the field. They’re great to work with and know their stuff,” said Mike Huff of Dayton’s Pest Control. Huff added that if he or his staff runs into any problems, the BASF technical services team is great as far as offering technical support.
What advice would PCO Dayton Hylton give to others considering leasing the Termidor HP injection system? “I would say, follow the BASF guidelines on how many jobs you need to do per year to make it worthwhile. It may make sense for a medium to large company, but if you’re a small company, it may not be worth it.”
A WINNING COMBINATION. The Termidor HP High Precision Injection System has launched termite treatment into high-tech status. Increased efficiency, greater precision, happy PMPs, and satisfied customers are a winning combination for business success.
“We wouldn’t be using it if we weren’t confident that it was a better way to do business,” said Mike Rottler, president and CEO, Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions, St. Louis, Mo.
“The Termidor HP injection system and Termidor HP termiticide allows progressive PMPs the opportunity to provide the most efficient, accurate termite treatments possible,” said Davis."
Termidor HP has changed our industry. Companies not using it are behind the times. It’s like when cell phones came out. Some people decided to stick with their land lines and rotary phones. That’s old school thinking. This is the future,” said Okros.