Termite Fumigation

Article by Bruce Gow

Dusting, Baiting or Barrier Treatment?

Are you considering termite fumigation for your home? Getting rid of termites once they’ve established themselves in your home can be a costly exercise. There are different methods of termite control available, including baiting, dusting, physical and chemical barriers, and fumigation. But not all of these methods are appropriate for all species of termite.

The cost involved in fumigation and other treatments can be up to several thousand dollars so it’s absolutely vital that the method of termite extermination chosen is appropriate for the species of termite in your home – lest you find yourself paying for a second treatment.

Using fumigants such as Methyl bromide to dispose of termites is still relatively rare in most parts Australia. That’s largely because it’s most appropriately used to treat infestations of Drywood or Dampwood termite species in Northern Australia – and the most widespread and problematic termite species are the subterranean termites.

Why isn’t termite fumigation suitable for subterranean termites?

Subterranean termites build colonies in the ground and tunnel their way into your home from a colony some distance away. While gassing with Methyl bromide may kill the termites that are already in your home, it won’t affect the underground colony. These colonies can be heavily populated so to prevent repeat infestations, choosing a treatment that aims to destroy the colony is vital.

Conversely, Drywood and Dampwood termites build smaller colonies inside the wood they’re feeding on, rather than in the ground. That means that termite fumigation may be effective for these species as it is able to destroy the colonies established in your home or furniture.

Termite fumigation is less popular as a termite treatment method in NSW at this time because Drywood and Dampwood termites have a preference for natural wood structures and most termite damage to homes is caused by the subterranean termites.
However, The West Indian Drywood termite species has reached our shores, most likely via imported wooden furniture. Particularly destructive, these termites colonise in roof and floor structures, as well as wooden furniture. Fortunately, they’re a rare find in NSW. Gassing by “tenting” buildings by wrapping in impervious plastic is an appropriate way of exterminating these Drywood termites.

What Exactly is Termite Fumigation?

“Fumigation might sound like an extensive and expensive process but it is one of the most effective methods of exterminating termites and keeping your home safe!” – Bruce Gow

DCF 1.0
DCF 1.0

 

Termite fumigation is undertaken using toxic chemicals. When an entire home is to undergo this type of treatment, the home is ‘tented’ and the chemicals pumped into the home. If Drywood termites are found only in furniture, the particular item can be placed in a chamber and subjected to a gas treatment.

If you’re considering termite protection, ensure that you have discussed the other options with your termite control expert.
Fumigation is expensive and it’s unwise to opt for this type of termite management for subterranean termites – termite fumigation won’t kill a subterranean termite colony, or prevent subterranean termites from entering your home.
If you suspect you have termites, or you’re considering termite fumigation, contact a termite expert who can inspect the home, identify the termite species, and advise you on appropriate treatments.