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Sentricon for Termites - safe?

Posted by jmzms z7 atlanta (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 29, 08 at 7:51

We have a Sentricon system for termites around our house. And the guy placed one of the stations in my raised herb bed, which is conveniently placed right outside my back door off of the kitchen.

I've been looking for information regarding contamination to plants, etc. and can only find vague statements like this:
"The Sentricon System had the first termite treatment bait active ingredient accepted for registration by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the strict requirements of the Reduced Risk Pesticide Initiative. This distinction is based on its low impact on human health, low toxicity to nontarget organisms (birds, fish, and plants) and low potential for groundwater contamination when compared to other commercially available termite treatments."

So the questions are:
1. Would you leave it alone and continue on with life?
2. Would you move the station, and if so, would you toss everything including the dirt and start over in the bed (I'll admit my stupidity - the Sentricon has been there over a year and it never dawned on me that it could be a bad thing)?
3. Or would you move the herbs and make yet another flower bed?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Sentricon for Termites - safe?

I wouldn't grow food that close to the house, but I'm a little overcautious, perhaps. The ground has almost certainly been poisoned with insecticides -- which ones depends on how old the house is. There may also be lead paint flakes in the soil, arsenic from treated lumber, and other construction stuff. They may have degraded, be inert, or other harmless, but I'd rather plant my garden 10 or 20 feet away, than take a risk.

The old Sentricon used little pine blocks for bait. The new one uses a cellulose product. If it's pure cellulose, then it's ok, but they've probably put chemicals in to make it more attractive to termites. I don't know what those chemicals are, but they'd probably be synthetic versions of ones occurring in nature. It's probably safe, but I wish they had stuck with the wood.

If the station in your herb garden has never been "active," then they've never put poison in it. But probably they will sometime. I don't know whether the poison is safe in an herb garden.

Sounds like from the vague statement you quote that it's not actually safe, but less dangerous than the poisons used before Sentricon.

- Mike

RE: Sentricon for Termites - safe?

I thought the way it worked was that they put something tasty in the stations and only if the termites start to eat it THEN they switch it out for poison. I don't think that termites need chemicals to make it attractive, wood/cellulose is tasty enough!

I'd check out the Sentricon site for official information (someone may have already asked that question) or call your pesticide company.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sentricon

RE: Sentricon for Termites - safe?

  • Posted by jmzms z7 atlanta (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 29, 08 at 12:33

Mike~ Thanks for the feedback. I guess I don't worry about it being that close to the house and all the other things you mentioned because it is a raised bed that only meets corner-to-corner, not along side of the house. Along the sides of the house, I only grow ornamentals. But the sentricon thing has me worrying.

Esh~ that's what I thought too. I even thought I remembered the guy telling us that when he installed them a couple of years ago. But then someone got to talking and I got to thinking (and worrying). Of course, the issue still remains that *if* there's activity in that station someday, then there will be poison put in it. It's pretty much guaranteed that we'll have some termite activity somewhere around the house...just depends on which station "catches" them. I'm pretty sure they're in some other raised beds in my garden. When I tilled one of them this year, I could see the wood deteriorated in one corner. It didn't look like rotted out wood looks, it looked like it had been eaten.

Gotta love the south. We've got more bugs and crazy critters down here than I ever imagined existed until I moved here. :-)

RE: Sentricon for Termites - safe?

Thanks for the link esh. I guess the new system we have is not Sentricon, but Terminix's own bait/poison system. Anyway, the Terminix salesperson who tried to sell it to us wouldn't tell us exactly what was in the bait. If it was pure cellulose, I think they would have told us. They seemed to want us to think it was improved in some way. They tried repeatedly to get us to change. We said no. Then they just sent someone twice to change out the old Sentricon for the new one. The first time we were home; the second time we weren't. I didn't think it was worth fighting about...even though they augered a hole right into a new daylily and killed it.

Anyway, Michelle, you might ask them if they or you could move the station out of the herb garden. Whenever I talk to the guy who shows up, he's always real cooperative and wants to make me happy.

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