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Question DetailsAsked on 4/26/2016


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Yes in proper circumstances, but it has several inherent problems that make it generally less effective or reliable than chemical treatments:

1) it requires deep and widespread penetration of the radar into the wood, which means places behind metal plates or metal insulation facing or tight behind metal pipes (especially larger sewer pipes) and behind/under metal siding or roofing commonly get missed unless approached from the back side. It also requires that the aiming be adequate to hit every insect and egg - very difficult to do in tight quarters and having to avoid aiming it at the operator. Also, penetration distance tends to be reduced in damp wood - and more through drywall, so reliable killing in framing members is very limited and may be unreliable.

2) cannot penetrate many hard-to-access areas - and commonly the places it cannot get to are the ones mosst likely to be termite infested.

3) has no residual effect - can kill what it directly hits, but zero prevention against recurrence in short order.

4) also has the disadvantage that there have been several reports of electronic devices like computers and entertainment electronics and household appliances being scrambled by the radar hitting them. Saw one report on a high-end tankless water heater that was immediately on the back side of a wall being treated that had its brain fried, another notation about a home security system main control panel being fried, so care needs to be taken with it in habitated houses.

5) with the larger, higher-powered units there have been a few cases reported of fires, because of the microwaves heating or arcing at metal that it contacts.

Generally, you find major corporations and government agencies that have evaluated it as a treatment method reject it as unreliable or insufficient - I would never recommend it for treatment for the primary reason that it does not have 100% kill rate even in areas where it can be accessed to utilize it.


However - that being said, radar/microwave DETECTION of termites and termite tunnels in the wood with a hand-held unit (the one I have seen in use is actually microwave, not traditional "radar" frequency) is a fairly effective (about 85-90% effective where accessible) way to non-destructively locate termites, especially dry-wood termites which tend to have less surface evidence of their presence. There are also, rarely seen in residential jobs, commercial x-ray detection equipment that can "see" infestations as well as the tunnels in the wood. A good pest control contractor will use devices like those, moisture meter, stethoscope or acoustic emission detector, etc to detect the insects - then determine the best treatment method depending on type, location, and extent of the infestation.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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