Termites

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“I wish people had a better understanding of termites and how to identify a termite problem,” Bruce Gow said to me,”Because so many costly treatments would’ve been avoided by having a regular inspection.”
How to Identify Termite Sounds Video

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Thermal Termite Imaging process follow this link Thermal Termite Inspection.

What’s the Difference?

A building inspection is conducted by a qualified building inspector, a pest report is usually carried out by a pest inspector when a buyer engages to purchases a new home and a termite treatment is the type of termite control method used to control termites.

Termites have a 200 million year evolutionary history closely related to cockroaches. They can be found right throughout Sydney. A knowledge of their biology is crucial for building and home inspections.

Termites forage for food over a large area (approximately 100 metres) in search of timber and operate and live in a central nest or colony. The worker termites partially digest the timber before returning to the nest to feed the colony. This can cause considerable damage to our homes and bank accounts, as many Sydneysiders will attest, and can happen in a matter of months.

Termites are social insects, and there are multiple castes within the colony.

Alates
On a warm, humid evening, large numbers of winged male and female termites, the “alates” or “primary reproductives”, are released by the colony. A small number survive the flight, drop their two pairs of distinctive, equal sized wings, pair off, mate and, if they can, find a suitable locations and start a new colony.

Queen
As the other castes take over the running of the colony the young queen of most species becomes “physogastric”. Her abdomen distends to many times its original size and she becomes and egg laying machine, laying up to 1000 eggs a day. She is confined to her royal chamber, tended and fed by the workers and regularly fertilised by the king.

Nursery
The eggs are removed from the royal chamber and transferred to a nursery by the workers. Here the brood (the eggs and nymphs) develops into the other castes that the colony requires for development and survival; workers, soldiers and primary or secondary reproductives.

Soldiers and Workers
Soldiers and workers are blind and sterile termites. The workers carry out the work of the colony and are responsible for gathering the food the colony needs. In most species, the heads of the soldiers are uniquely armoured and equipped to allow them to defend the colony against attack, notably from ants.

Termidor Termite Treatments
Until Termidor was released, protecting those homes involved chemicals that are repellent to householders as well as termites – and which have to be applied in a perfect, unbroken barrier.

Termidor has quickly established itself as the most effective and convenient protection for homes with no built-in barrier.

This type of termite protection doesn’t depend on a repellent barrier and actually eliminates termites rather than just repelling them. This is because termites cannot detect Termidor. It has the added advantages of low toxicity and no odour. In fact, Termidor is a soil termiticide that does not require occupants to leave the house while the treatment is carried out.

Termidor supersedes those barriers with an extremely efficient in-ground trap that termites can’t detect the Treated Zone.

Far from being repelled by a barrier, termites forage into the Treated Zone and are killed in one of three ways:

Termites that ingest or contact enough Termidor can be killed outright.

Those that only receive a low dose of Termidor become dysfunctional. The stop feeding and grooming each other, neglect their environment, become diseased and die. Many affected termites then find their way back to the colony. Other termites then receive a lethal dose through normal social interaction or cannibalism.

Long-lasting protection
Since the launch of Termidor in 1998, over 100,000 homes have been successfully treated in Australia. Pest Managers using Termidor have found local call backs to be almost nonexistent, and there has not been a single product failure.

Termites infested houses which were treated in pre-release trials from 1995 onwards, remained termite-free for at least seven years.

Minimal environmental impact
We all want to protect our most valuable assets and eliminate termites from our homes, and we want to do it with as little environmental impact as possible. Whereas the termiticides used as barriers are rated Schedule 6 POISON, Termidor is in the Schedule 5 CAUTION and is the only soil treatment that is not classified as hazardous according to the criteria of WorkSafe Australia.

Although Termidor is lethal to termites, its specific mode of action is much less hazardous for humans, pets and wildlife. Termidor has the same active ingredient as a market-leading veterinary product applied to cats and does to control fleas. The active ingredient is also widely used on food crops.

As well as being highly effective, it is also easier to live with during and straight after treatment. Studies have shown that it produces no airborne residues so it is possible to remain in the house while it is treated. With other soil treatments you must leave your home for a few hours.

The Termidor Termite Elimination Program
When it comes to protecting your home from termites, you have too much to lose to rely on any one other than an experienced Pest Manager using this proven step by step approach:

  • A thorough inspection to find out whether termites are present, locate and treat their nest if possible, and identify likely trouble spots.
  • A check of the drainage and ventilation under and around your home and any other structures, with remedial action if necessary.
  • Application of Termidor to create a Treated Zone.
  • A follow-up inspection of the area within three months after treatment to make sure it has been successful.
  • Regular inspections at least annually as recommended by Australian Standard 3660.

A Building Inspection has found Termites

This is what needs to be done:

  • Trench around all piers and treat
  • Trench around sub floor foundations and treat
  • Lift pavers and treat

Subterranean termite treatment
Once termite activity has been detected a decision has to be made whether to use barriers, baits or both. Termite bait is recommended when there is not sufficient soil to carry out a white ant treatment. Bait stations are also often used to monitor existing termite activity as a front line defence against further attack.

Bait traps are placed around the perimeters of buildings and away from the barrier. Some companies use baiting systems as stand alone treatments, but we do not consider this sufficient protection. This is because baiting can take a considerable amount of time to kill off the colonies and further damage can occur in the meantime.

We prefer to use a Termidor termite dust for eradication of current activity which only takes 2 or 3 weeks to start working during Summer. We estimate that it takes around 3-6 weeks in Winter for eradication as termite activity slows down during these months.

If there is still evidence of termites activity after dusting, the termite expert will estimate how many more dustings need to occur before colony elimination. Any evidence of termite damage will be noted after extermination is complete. Methods of termite control must conform to Australian Standards.

Call Bruce on 0417 251 911 or send us a message if you have a problem with termites.

Article by Bruce Gow