Review of Chlorpyrifos for Termite Control

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Subterranean termite is a real hidden pest. The insect leads an extremely secret way of life, that is why sometimes it is very difficult to identify the presence of termites’ colony nest inside your house.

Slightly but surely, termites destroy all wooden structures of a house including basement, walls and ceilings, making a house unlivable and ramshackle.

In the USA, for example, there are, on average, from 13 to 14 subterranean termite colonies per acre, which means that a typical home may easily have three to four colonies situated under or around it.

There can be as many as 1,000,000 subterranean termites per colony; the threat of infestation becomes a very real one indeed.


Chlorpyrifos termite control

Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate insecticide. Chlorpyrifos was first registered as an insecticide in 1965 and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) re-registered it in 2006. Chlorpyrifos is used to control many different kinds of pests, including termites, mosquitoes, and roundworms.

Photo 2Chlorpyrifos for termites works by blocking an enzyme which controls messages that go through and between nerve cells.

When the enzyme is blocked, the nervous system can’t send normal signals.

This causes the nervous system to incorrect functioning and this is how it actually kills the pest.

Generally, chlorpyrifos will provide up to 5 years’ protection.

Chlorpyrifos is classified as being of medium to high toxicity to humans.

What Pesticides Contain Chlorpyrifos?

One should remember, that Chlorpyrifos is just a name of the active ingredient only. The brand names under which this chemical are sold will usually differ.

The most widely used products containing Chlorpyrifos are:

  1. Dursban® or Lorsban® – a commonly-used termiticide (Dursban® Ortho-Klor (12.6% chlorpyrifos or Dursban® TC (42.8 % chlorpyrifos). Was developed by Dow Chemical Company, and initially registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and by the State of California for foliar use on alfalfa and cotton. Dursban® represented in form of concentrate and is available in 1 lt, 5 lt and 20 lt package (Lorsban®), 5 lt (Dursban®).
  2. Diazinon® – is a potent insecticide approved only for agricultural uses. It’s available in several forms, but the most commonly used variations are liquid Diazinon AG500 and powdered Diazinon 50W.
  3. Malathion – is an organophosphate insecticide of relatively low human toxicity. Available under the brand name of Ortho® MAX® Malathion Insect Spray Concentrate, Spectracide® Malathion Insect Spray Concentrate and others.
Recommendation: since both Dursban®, Lorsban®, Diazinon® and Malathion are represented in forms of liquid concentrate, granules for mixing with water and in form of spray, final product will be a solution all the same that should be filled in tank sprayer.

Before using these products decide whether you are able to work and prepare water-insecticide solutions for termite control.

Here you can learn more information about another effective termite control remedies: Bora-Care, Boric acid, Borate, Fipronil, Chlordane, Borax, Timbor, Termidor and Terminator.

Use of chlorpyrifos for termite control

Photo 3Step 1: Decide, which product you will use.

Read the instruction and check, whether the insecticide is not prohibited for usage in your country.

Also note the possible risk level of selected insecticide.

Step 2: Since all the products based on Chlorpyrifos is rather toxic (3 hazard class) use protective gloves, glasses, respirator or anti-chemical costume. Take away your family members and pets.

Step 3: Prepare a tank sprayer and container for process solution mixing. Prepare process solution according to the instruction. Fill process solution into tank sprayer and add water to get the necessary volume.

Step 4: Since all the products based on Chlorpyrifos is rather toxic, they go only for outdoor usage. Treat infested areas and areas likely to be infested (wood structures, voids and tunnels in damaged wood, behind veneers, in structural voids, along cracks, along crawl spaces and along outside buildings, porches, patios, wooden fences and decks).

Step 5: After you have finished the treatment with Chlorpyrifos, take off your clothes and immediately wash them in a washing machine. Take a shower, wash your face and hands with soap and water, gargle the throat.

Be careful! Never touch the substance with your bare hands. Never eat, drink or smoke during the treatment!

Check out the products of such giants as Bayer – Termite Killer Concentrate and Granules; and Spectracide – Termite Killer concentrate, sprayer, foam and Baiting stakes.

Is Chlorpyrifos Effective? How Fast Does It Kill Subterranean Termites? What Areas One Should Treat?

Chlorpyrifos is a very effective insecticide that kills pests on contact. It means, that Chlorpyrifos kills insects in 3-4 hours. It blocks an enzyme which controls messages that go through and between nerve cells.

When the enzyme is blocked, the nervous system can’t send normal signals. This causes the nervous system to incorrect functioning and this is how it eventually kills the pest. Chlorpyrifos has no effect on eggs, that is why retreatment is highly advisable.

Photo 4All Chlorpyrifos products kill subterranean termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees and, actually, it eliminates all leaf-eating, sucking insects, including mites.

Low effectiveness against Formosan termites.

When treating outdoor against termites, one should pay close attention to the following areas:

  • wood structures;
  • voids and tunnels in damaged wood;
  • behind veneers;
  • in structural voids;
  • along cracks;
  • along crawl spaces;
  • along outside buildings, porches, patios, wooden fences and decks.

Here you can learn more information about effective treatment method called tenting (fumigation): dangers for termites, preparing for fumigation and cleaning after, how long does this procedure last?

Is it Safe for People and Pets? First Aid

Chlorpyrifos can be harmful if it is touched, inhaled, or eaten. People can be exposed to Chlorpyrifos by eating it, breathing in, or getting on the skin or in the eyes.

Chlorpyrifos affects the nervous system of people, pets, and other mammals the same way it affects the target insects. Signs and symptoms can appear within minutes to hours after one has been exposed. These effects can last for days or several weeks.

Exposure to small amounts of chlorpyrifos can cause runny nose, tears, and increased saliva or drooling. People may sweat, and develop headache, nausea, and dizziness.

More serious exposures can cause vomiting, abdominal muscle cramps, muscle twitching, tremors and weakness, and loss of coordination. Sometimes people develop diarrhea or blurred or darkened vision.

In severe poisoning cases, exposure can lead to unconsciousness, loss of bladder and bowel control, convulsions, difficulty in breathing, and paralysis.

Warning! Never touch the substance with your bare hands. Use protective gloves and glasses. Wash the clothes after chlorpyrifos anti termite treatment. Wash your hands and face with soap and water. Never eat, drink or smoke during the treatment!

If Chlorpyrifos gets on skin or clothing: take off contaminating clothing. Immediately rinse skin with soap and water for 15-20 minutes. Visit a doctor or call Poison Control Center.

If Chlorpyrifos gets in eyes: immediately wash eyes with water for 5-10 minutes. Visit a doctor or call Poison Control Center.

If Chlorpyrifos is eaten by accident: immediately call the emergency and try to induce vomiting. Drink water a lot.

Advice: never throw away the instruction. In case of emergency, paramedics will find necessary information there concerning antidotes that block the harmful effect of Chlorpyrifos.

Useful articles

If you interested in more information of termites we recommend you to read the following articles:


Photo 5Products based on Chlorpyrifos will help you to protect your house against wood-eating pests and other disturbing insects.

Never forget about safety measures during treatment because the consequences of safety negligence could be irretrievable.

Remember, that only a specialist from termite control service will help you to choose the best option to get rid of the pests inside your house for a long-time.

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