PEST CONTROL – FAQS
We are asked all sorts of questions relating to pest control. To assist you with your enquiries we have listed some of these frequently asked questions below:
I am buying a new house and my contract requires I get a Pest Inspection. Which type of inspection would you recommend?
This is a very interesting question given the amount of money being invested by you, on your potential new home. The answer is “the best Termite inspection you can possibly get, which includes enough time to complete a thorough termite inspection.” Why would you risk a cheap termite inspection, that does not provide adequate time for the Pest Control Technician to complete a thorough termite inspection – given the amount of money that you are about to invest?
The Termite King Pest Control offer 3 types of Termite inspections that allow you to choose the level of inspection you require.
- The Visual Termite inspection – (approximately 45 – 60 minutes duration) that inspects the vital areas of your potential new home and investment, for termite activity including inspection to:
- the roof void;
- the internal wet areas;
- the subfloor;
- sheds on the property; and
- the garden and yards surrounding the property, from fence line to fence line.
- The Visual, Thermal, Radar and Moisture Termite inspection – (approximately 60 – 75 minutes duration) that inspects the vital areas (as above) of your potential new investment for termite activity. Utilising not only the visual Termite inspection but Termatrac’s T3i radar, thermal and moisture tool for meticulous inspection of any suspicious termite activity in un-sighted areas of your potential investment – without the need to damage walls or flooring to achieve a thorough Termite inspection.
- The Risk Assessment Termite Inspection – (approximately 75 – 120 minutes duration) that inspects all areas for termite activity using visual, thermal, radar and moisture tools.
The risk assessment inspection is exclusive to The Termite King Pest Control and checks the known risks including those specified above and other risk areas in addition to those specified in the Australian Standards termite inspection. This inspection utilises 30+ years of experience and exclusively checks and reports on all known termite entry points and high-risk areas – including areas not itemised in the Australian Standards.
Ultimately, as the potential purchaser, the type of Termite inspection is your choice, but a key consideration should ALWAYS be the time the Pest Control inspector will spend inspecting your potential new purchase.
At my last termite inspection, the Pest Control Inspector did not check my roof, I am concerned there maybe Termites in the roof – What should I do?
You have several options:
- call your pest control company and advise them their pest control inspector did not check your roof and request a no cost service call to complete the roof inspection; OR
- contact another pest control company for another termite inspection. If the new Pest Control technician does not inspect the roof, demand them to enter and inspect the roof before they leave.
As the Customer, there is no reason you shouldn’t watch to ensure your pest control technician physically enters the roof space and to ensure they do not just stand on the ladder gazing into the roof. A roof inspection necessitates entering the roof cavity.
The Termite King Pest Control will always start any Termite inspection of your home in the roof void!
Checking the roof void is an integral part of the termite inspection process. Unfortunately, it has become common practice by some operators to neglect inspecting the roof void area to save themselves time in the Termite inspection process.
The roof void may be overlooked as a time-saving measure or resulting from the pest control technician’s inexperience. Inexperienced operators may not understand that termites can move up cavity walls, into the roof – which contains the majority of the home’s structural integrity -without leaving any other signs of their presence within the home or external areas.
Failure to detect termites in a roof space – could, in the worst-case scenario – result in a roof collapsing which could injure the residents living below.
The roof space (roof void) should always be inspected!
I had a pest control company recently knock on my door, they told me I had termites and that I needed a treatment. They then sold me an expensive treatment that I had not expected. Did I make a mistake?Some Pest Control companies do – use the Door to Door approach for sales.
Obviously, without seeing the property, we would be unable to judge whether you made a mistake or not. However, we would strongly suggest that if you are being told that you have termites from an unsolicited or unqualified source, you should ask them to sight their Pest Control licence.
Unfortunately, most Pest Control Sales people are not licenced to inspect for Termite activity – this is easy to determine – their licence should state ‘Termites and Timber Pests’ in the Endorsement area.
When checking their Pest Control Licence you should see Termites noted in the Endorsements section on the bottom of the licence. A Sales licence does not qualify the salesperson to locate or identify Termites. If they are unable to provide their pest control licence with Termites specified on the Licence, it is probable that this person is only a sales representative of the company and not licensed or qualified to detect termites.
In this case you should certainly request that they show you the termite activity they are referring to. We would also suggest that as they have potentially misled you regarding their qualifications, you should ask them to leave your premises immediately.
If you are confident that they have shown you termite activity, contact your own pest control company or give The Termite King Pest Control a call, to arrange an independent termite inspection.
Salespeople that knock on your door uninvited get paid a commission on what they sell and can be more vigorous in their attempts to secure your purchase, however, they,are subject to the Door to Door Sales Act and should advise you that anything you agree to is subject to a 10-day cooling off period. This cooling off period allows you to change your mind and to cancel before the expiration of that 10 days without penalty. It also mandates, that if you ask them to leave your premises. They must do so immediately.
The Termite King offer 3 Termite inspection options but 2 include radar, thermal and moisture. Why is that? Isn’t a Visual Termite inspection enough?The visual termite inspection reports on what is identified with the naked eye. It can’t identify termite activity in areas that are un-sighted or obstructed. So, a Visual termite inspection is somewhat limited.
Whereas, the Thermal Termite inspection allows a thermal image (or heat signature) of pests hiding in obstructed or un-sighted areas to be identified. These un-sighted areas include behind the walls in the cavity, under a concrete floor, in a bathroom (behind the bath area) and behind vanities – none of which can be seen with the naked eye.
The radar detects movement of pests in these un-sighted or obstructed areas, which are unable to be detected with the naked eye.
Moisture around the home is commonly accepted as an enticement for termites. Ignoring moisture around the home such as leaking taps or showers, bathtubs, air-conditioners or water heaters increases the likelihood of termite activity in the immediate vicinity of your home’s external perimeter or inside your home.
As the primary goal of The Termite King Pest Control is to assist homeowners in their termite risk mitigation, providing options other than the basic visual termite inspection is just common business sense to us, having these options available for you, provides you, the homeowner and major investor – risk mitigation options that are superior to the average options available in the pest control market.
Repellent versus Non-Repellent chemicals. What is the major difference and what impact does it have on my property?Repellent chemicals repel termites from the treated area. Termites can detect the chemically treated area of a repellent chemical and they do not cross the treated area therefore, being “deterred” from all repellent chemically treated areas.
However, non-repellent chemicals have been designed to ensure that the termites are unable to detect the chemical, allowing them to cross the non-repellent treated area and infect themselves. Once infected with a non-repellent chemical, the termites eventually return to the nest and infect the nest and its co-inhabitants with the non-repellent chemical during the feeding and grooming process, ultimately, destroying themselves and the termite nest.
Both chemical options are widely used and considered acceptable practice in the pest control treatment of termites. However, if my home had an internal termite infestation, I would have greater confidence in a non-repellent treatment. Based on the premise that termites are unable to cross a repellent termite barrier around the external perimeter of my home, what happens to any termites that may have been left undetected inside my home?
My friend told me that The Termite King Pest Control don’t treat her house in the wet weather, why is that?The Termite King Pest Control prefers to delay any proposed Pest Control treatment, in the event of wet weather, until the weather event has passed, to ensure that the Pest Control treatment you receive conforms to the Manufacturer’s recommended application ratios, thereby ensuring that your treatment is the quality standard you expect and have paid for, rather than the treatment that has been diluted by rain.
The chemicals used today – unlike the chemicals of the past – are water-based, and the chemical is combined with water to achieve the Manufacturer’s recommended application ratios, prior to being applied around your home.
Wet weather can further dilute the applied chemical, resulting in a dilution ratio that is less than the
Manufacturer’s recommendations. Wet weather can result in you the customer, not receiving the treatment that you have paid for but rather, a diluted chemical application that is impacted by the amount of rain. This wet weather chemical dilution can apply to any external treatment including; Termite Treatments and any general pest treatments.
In our professional opinion, this is unacceptable, with a general pests treatment and absolutely abhorrent for any termite treatment. Any dilution application that is less than the Manufacturer’s recommendations potentially leaves the home, still at some risk of further termite damage.
NOTE: wet weather does not mean light showers but, a significant rain event.
We have found new termite workings inside the house or within 5 metres from our home, what should we do?Termites inside any home will cause damage. This damage may be to your floorboards, it may be to your door frames or in the worst-case scenario, the damage may occur to the structural areas of your home including your roof.
Locating termites inside your home requires urgent attention by a qualified Pest Control Technician. You need to be certain that the termites have not moved to the roof, which will enable them to start feeding on and weakening your roof structure.
It is for the same reason; you would want to ensure that the termites have not entered your wall cavities.
Termites within 5 metres of your home, in a garage, a gate or fence post – is in The Termite King’s professional opinion, too close and should not be ignored. Your property requires urgent attention by a qualified Pest Technician, to ensure that the termites have not already entered your home OR to install a termite barrier to prevent the termites from entering your home.
Locating termites within your property boundary is not uncommon as, they live in the ground we build on. Termites are as common as birds and bees on a property. You need to be concerned when the Termite activity is within 5 metres of any structure including your home. Although, leaving active termites:
- in an old tree stump; or
- termite workings in an old shed;
is ill-advised irrespective of the proximity to your home.
Can termites “really” cause structural damage to my home?Yes, they can! We have the photos and clients who can unfortunately prove it!
When termites have penetrated the inner cavities of your home, in a relatively short period of time they can move up the interior recesses of the building structure, feeding on wood supports, eating through the structural timbers of your home, often leaving only a thin timber veneer (no support) in a matter of months if left unhindered or untreated.
Is a termite treatment a “one off” job or do I have to have it completed often?The termite treatment (and there are various methods and chemicals that can be used) is a substantial treatment on the external perimeter of your home.
Where the home is built on a Concrete slab, the Termite treatment is the external perimeter treatment that requires the external perimeter of your hometo be drilled (allowing access to the soil areas below any paving).
Once drilled the termiticide chemical is then applied below ground forming a protected chemical barrier against termites – at ground level..
Whereas, a home with a sub floor, requires the subfloor area to be trenched and treated including the trenching and treatment of any subfloor stumps and concrete bathroom supports.
In both instances , depending on the chemical used (and based on the recommended chemicals) it is normally only required once every 10 years – when you have your maintenance program completed at the intervals established at the time of your treatment or in Other Company’s Termite contracts.
The maintenance program is designed to ensure that your home’s physical termite barrier has not been compromised, consequently leaving your home at risk to termite damage. Your pest technician will determine the maintenance intervals that they believe is best for your situation and conditions. In most cases, Annual inspections are enough.
In instances where the Annual Maintenance has been overlooked or not completed, there may be an urgent need to upgrade or re-install your termite barrier – to ensure your home is once again protected.
A termite barrier can be compromised in several ways and can occur:
- with animals digging around the external perimeter of your home;
- as a result of the installation or removal of garden beds against the exterior perimeter of your home;
- as a result of a third-party contractor (such as a plumber or electrician) digging around the external perimeter of your home for repairs or improvement works.
Some companies will void the termite guarantees and warranties when the above conditions occur, so you should always check your termite treatment contract and guarantees.
The Termite King’s maintenance inspections are designed to (with your assistance), at regular intervals identify any possible compromising of your termite barrier and rectify it before it becomes a problem. Although, our Termite warranties do require that your maintenance inspections are completed by The Termite King within the specified timeframe.
I have a concrete slab in my home, termites cannot travel through concrete, can they?Yes, they can! Concrete slabs can develop hairline cracks and fractures over time. Termites can work their way through these hairline cracks and fractures eventually, finding their way inside your property. Termites have an acid saliva which can break down concrete allowing them to navigate through hairline cracks in concrete areas.
So even with a concrete slab you are not automatically protected from termite damage.
Regular termite inspections are advisable even where your home has a concrete floor. New addition concrete joins are extremely susceptible to termite activity, as the termites can travel up the joined concrete area and access the interior of your home.
I have treated timber in my home, I have been told that because it is treated timber it is safe from termite damage?
Whilst it is unusual for termites to attack treated timbers, having treated timbers in your home does not guarantee that you will not be subjected to a termite infestation or subsequent termite damage. This is because whilst the termites may avoid the treated timber, they often detour around the treated timbers locating and attacking the non-treated timber areas of your home.
We keep our firewood against the house, should I be concerned about termites in this area?
We strongly recommend that you relocate your firewood at least 5 metres away from your home immediately, or lift it at least 20 – 30 cms from the ground. We also encourage you to arrange a prompt termite inspection on your property to ensure that termites have not travelled inside your home.
My wife wants to put Wood Mulch around our house, in the gardens, will the mulch increase our risk for termites?Whilst Wood Mulch has a pleasant aesthetic look in the gardens of a home, it is wood and an easy food source for termites. In our professional opinion, any wood mulch in the gardens around the perimeter, is too close. If your wife insists on something in the garden, we strongly recommend using an alternative such as pebbles.
Can I really bring cockroaches into my home?Yes, and people do it often!
The 2 most common ways homeowners take cockroaches into the home, are by:
- stepping on cockroaches to kill them – when you do this – you can dislodge the eggs under the wings, carrying the eggs on the soles of your shoes, back into your own home, where the hatching cycle will begin; and
- recycling from verge clean-ups. When you bring other peoples discarded electrical items or furniture home, you can bring undetected pests such as cockroaches and bed bugs into your own home, not only recycling goods but recycling other people’s Pest problems.
Why am I unsuccessful in eradicating German Cockroaches with DIY products?
German cockroaches are prolific breeders and in most cases DIY products do not destroy the eggs. This means that before you know it, you have a new cycle of freshly laid German Cockroach eggs hatching.
German cockroaches live and breed in the areas of your kitchen and bathroom that are difficult to access. This includes behind fridges (in the fridge motor compartment), behind ovens and microwaves, and other kitchen appliances, also inside electrical power sockets.
Professional Gel Baits destroy the German cockroaches, any egg sacs and any subsequently hatched eggs.
I have heard that Bed Bugs are transportable. Is this the truth?Yes, absolutely!
Bed bugs can be carried home, even when your child sleeps at a friend’s house, or when you are returning from a holiday – within Australia or abroad. A visitor with Bed Bug riddled suitcases can transfer Bed Bugs into your home.
Bed bugs are a worldwide epidemic! They can live in suitcases, mattresses especially in the seams, behind bedheads or in bedroom furniture, in picture rails, behind electrical power switches, in light sockets, in the carpet edges, behind skirting boards and even under torn wallpaper.
When travelling, you should inspect all bags including zips, pockets and clothes. If you locate Bed Bugs on your luggage, replace your luggage immediately and hot wash all clothing prior to repacking.
Bed Bugs are best treated with a treatment approach that combines chemical and steam.
Bed Bugs can remain dormant inside your home or on your luggage for over 12 months before needing to feed prior to breeding, at which time, you will become very aware of their presence, due to the bites on the person in the infected room.
Do I need to remove spiderwebs before or after a spider treatment?Spiderwebs are best left to allow them to be treated with the chemical to prevent the spiders reusing their webs in the future.
They should be left alone until after the treatment, when all signs of spider life has ceased and the web is dry.
Only after all life signs have ceased and the web is dry should you remove spiderwebs from around your home after a spider treatment.
I have had my yards treated for Ants in the past but shortly after the treatment the Ants came inside. What can I do to stop the ants coming inside after an Ant treatment?
Having Ants treated externally without treating the internal areas of your home, can result in the Ants located inside your cavity walls, becoming trapped inside the house and not being able to exit. When having Ants treated on your property, you achieve a more successful result when both the internal and external areas are treated together.Pest