Having studied termites for the past 11 years, Brian Forschleris constantly making new discoveries about them. His most recentresearch shows how deceptive termite control can be.Forschler, an entomologist with the University of Georgia Collegeof Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is studying the useof control populations. One group of termites remains untouchedthroughout the research project.Do-nothing Approach”If you look at one of our control groups and use thecriteria the industry uses to claim success, we can successfullycontrol termites by doing nothing,” he said.How can that be?”They see termites. They put out a bait,” he said.”And if the termites aren’t there two to three months later,they claim they’ve eliminated them.”Forschler’s research shows that not all termites in home lawnsare eliminated when baits are used.”Sure, the baits will kill termites if they’re placedwhere termites are,” he said. “But we’ve found thattermites move around a lot naturally. If you do nothing, they’llmove and come back.”Industry Uses Zero-Tolerance LevelOn farms, entomologists monitor row crops for pests, Forschlersaid. And when the population count gets to a certain level, theymake control decisions. This method isn’t used when controllingurban pests.”The pest control industry sticks baits in the groundand records the presence or absence of termites,” he said.”They have a zero tolerance level when it comes to termites.They’re treating wherever they find termites.”Forschler says killing termites at the site of the termitebait doesn’t control termites that may be found just a few feetaway or termites that may arrive later.”There’s no doubt the baits kill termites. But do theyimpact the termites in your yard that aren’t in your house?”he said.”I can find termites in every yard in Georgia becauseI know where to look,” he said. “But what is the valueof killing these yard termites? Does this make a difference asto whether your house is going to be infested?”Forschler is working to answer these and many more questionscentered around controlling termites.Termite Control is an On-going Process”People think you can control termites by calling someoneto come out, treat your house and go away,” he said. “Termitecontrol is an ongoing process. Not an event. The mind-set hasto change.”Termite control should be centered around a home inspection,he said.”The pest control operator should come out, look reallyhard — using all of his experience and tools — and find allthe areas of the house that are vulnerable to termites,”he said.”Then when the termites show up,” he said, “differenttreatments should be used for the conditions present. It’s justlike a doctor prescribing medicine. The same medicine doesn’twork in every case.”Forschler and other UGA CAES entomologists share their researchfindings with the pest control industry through training programsat the Georgia Household and Structural Pest Control TrainingCenter in Griffin, Ga.