Termites have traditionally been difficult to poison due to the fact that they are very perceptive at detecting any type poison in their food. Dusting involves the introduction of ultra-fine particles of toxicants being blown gently into the termite workings. Dust floats through the termite galleries sticking to the termite’s moist skin. The toxin is absorbed by the termite’s orally and dermally and is then spread through the termite colony facilitated by the feeding and grooming process. Dusting has the ‘potential’ to contaminate the Queen back in the nest and kill the entire colony.
The treatment was popularized back in the 90′s and enlisted the use of arsenic trioxide as an active constituent. Dusting is an acquired skill requiring a great deal of patients with very few termite technicians ever truly mastering the skill and achieving successful colony control. On the whole Termite Dusting as a method of termite control in Australia, generally does not achieve a high degree of success. Only infestations that display a very high volume of activity during the warmer summer periods really lend themselves to this specialized method of control.
Arsenic used as an active in modern day pesticides has largely been replaced with the less toxic, more user friendly Termidor Dust (Fiponil). Dusting is rarely used as a stand-alone method of control in any termite management situation, but more as an adjunct to a more integrated holistic approach.