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Does Sentricon Work, Is Sentricon Effective or is Sentricon A Scam ?
Q - My Husband and I are considering purchasing Sentricon for our termite problem. After talking with Several pest controllers and getting quotes, we are amazed at the price difference between Sentricon and regular pesticide treatments. The company that wants to put in Sentricon does not want to use any pesticides to kill the termites but to solely rely on the Sentricon. Another man wants to use Premise with Sentricon. How effective is Sentricon by itself, and if we use Premise, then why do we need Sentricon ? Last of all, why is it so expensive ?
A - When Sentricon was first introduced by Dow Elanco (now Dow Agrosciences) in the mid 1990's, their recommendation was to use a chemical barrier (Dursban TC) and completely treat the structure with pesticides, then use Sentricon as a secondary method to try and eliminate the termite colony. After a couple of years of trial and error with Sentricon, they changed and recommended using Sentricon all by itself without using any chemicals. The sales price was then roughly cut in half by most Sentricon installers. Bear in mind that the cost for Sentricon in the early stages was $12.00 - $14.00 per linear foot - roughly double what it is now. If you think Sentricon is expensive now, it's half the cost of what it used to be ! Sentricon only costs about $450.00 to the pest control company for the average 200 linear foot house. The rest is labor fees, salesman's commissions (15%-25%) and profit (30%-40%). That's why it is so expensive.
The problem with using any bait system by itself is that it takes time for the termites to consume enough bait so that the entire colony is eliminated. During this period of time (it might take 3-5 years) the termites are still very active and can cause a tremendous amount of damage. In the southern parts of Louisiana - Formosan subterranean termites can literally destroy a house in as little as a year and a half. Sentricon would never have time to work in some situations there. The companies that sell Sentricon without using any chemical to stop the termites are saving themselves time and money and doing a "disservice" to the customer. Most of these contracts also state that the warranty starts when the termite colony is "presumed" to have been eliminated - so in essence the warranty may not even begin until 3-5 years down the road. The termite damage that occurs during this time is your responsibility.
Dr. Roger Gold of Texas A&M University says that pest companies that install Sentricon without using any chemical to stop the termite infestation on the structure are "committing suicide". Dr. Gold also indicated in a conference in Dallas that his testing with Sentricon as a "stand alone" treatment has yielded only about a 30% efficacy ratio in 8 test sites in the state of Texas. Similarly, Dr. Nan Yao Sue of the University of Florida indicated that Sentricon (and he's the one that helped develop it) is only 20% effective against subterranean termites. Dr. Gold also went on to say that they have gotten better results with Sulflurimid (Terminate and Firstline) than with the chitin inhibitors (Sentricon and Exterra). Most honest pest companies will use some chemical such as Premise to stop the termites and then rely on a bait system to eliminate the colony.
If you want to read more about Sentricon check out http://www.sentricon.com.
If you want to read more about the growing concern over the effectiveness of Sentricon - especially from some people who have actually bought it - check out "Is the Sentricon System Effective or Is It A Scam" ? http//www.syix.com/emu/html/sentricon_.html.
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