Paul Hardy celebrated his 50th year in the pest management industry in 2011. If there is anyone who can guide us through the evolution of termite control it’s Paul. That’s why Bug Off Pest Control Center asked him to speak at the 2011 New York Pest Expo on November 11, 2011.

First and foremost, Paul reminded us that termites are still a problem. Even though they have not been swarming as much as in past decades, they are still active and are still causing damage. We need to stay on top of the newest treatment options when clients start to call again.

Fifty years ago, chlorinated hydrocarbons were the primary termiticides. Later, we saw the emergence of organophosphates and pyrethroids. Sub-slab and soil treatments were the most common techniques. In the 1990s, we saw the introduction of baits and non-repellents and a greater emphasis on foaming.

Along with the introduction of new technologies, we have also seen a shift in treatment protocols. Where treatments were once almost exclusively sub-surface, we now focus more on directed applications: the targeted use of more environmentally-conscious termiticides; baits as a primary choice; direct application of borates to wood; and foaming in voids. As with any IPM program, optimum termite control is best accomplished through combined arms, not in one exclusive technique.

The best approach to termite work is and always will be early detection through proper inspection skills. The newest tools are focusing more on detecting rather than treating. We are seeing more and more inspectors using cameras, meters, scopes and gas readers. As we said earlier, termites are becoming less visible due to reduced swarms. However, we know they’re present and active, so we need better skills and tools to get in there and find them.

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