Applications of heat: More on Heat and Termites
by Tommy Underhill
January 31, 2019
Throughout the 1990s, Dr. Michael K. Rust of UC Riverside conducted experiments on the ability of drywood termites to acclimate to changes in temperature. His clinical research discovered Incisitermes minor prefer temperatures around 80°F. Rust concluded termites do have the ability to cool themselves by evaporating fluids and therefore acclimate in situations where the temperature increases between 5°F and 10°F.
However, when applying extreme heat, the temperature, in a matter of sixty minutes or two hours, is going to soar 30°F to 40°F and this rapid increase would prohibit acclimation... I think we need to temper the idea that these insects are truly going to be able to acclimate to these kinds of temperature exposures.
In a letter to Dr. Walter Ebeling, received January 21, 1994, Douglas Campt, Director of Pesticide Programs for the EPA stressed that
The public must be educated so they can make the most informed choices for pest control... Here is an area where we must all work together to get the facts out... Pesticide use in the United States is changing as the public becomes more attuned to their environment.
While in Hawaii in 1994 for a National Pest Control Association Convention, Linford was contacted by Dr. Ken Grace of the University of Hawaii. Linford met with Dr. Grace who was conducting studies and tests using heat against termites in Hawaii. Dr. Graces’ studies concluded that elevated temperatures of heat were efficacious for the West Indies species of drywood termites (Criptotermes brevis). Later Grace, using one of Linford’s clients in Hawaii, conducted additional field tests for drywoods and for the Formosan termite. While the Formosan termite can be eliminated with Heat, it is only effective for their detached, aerial nests. The Formosan, similar to subterranean termites and unlike drywoods also nests in the ground. Heat has not been perfected to penetrate significant distances, covering a broad enough area to be effective against insects which nest in the ground.
In 1997 a survey was conducted with 100 individuals regarding the alternatives methodologies in termite eradication. The study showed that 9 out of 10 of those surveyed chose heat over any other type of treatment, including fumigation. The study also showed that Heat was not well known.
In 1998 one of the founders of Texas Instrument had a house infested with the powder post beetle. The infestation covered a portion of a mesquite wood floor designed in a herringbone pattern in an eight thousand square foot home in Dallas, Texas. Lawson, the technical director for TPE Associates successfully performed the treatment.
Gilbert Castellanos, who worked for the state of Texas and lived in San Antonio, Texas, made preparations to have Linford’s technology heard by the state agency overseeing all pest control operations in Texas. Linford’s Heat technology was presented and approved as a viable methodology for the extermination of insect pests in Texas in 1998.
We developed the GreenTech Heat technology to be efficacious against all forms of insect pests. Give us a call. We are ready to help or consult with any unique applications.