TERMITE PREVENTION AND IMPORTANT FACTS

Termite prevention on your home, can be equated with insuring your home against Fires or Floods!
Homeowners that own properties in a high risk Fire or Flood prone areas, rarely neglect or overlook  having insurance cover in the event of Fire or Flood damage. The 2019 – 2020 bushfire season and subsequent major floods in the Eastern States, highlighted the despair of homeowners who had neglected or overlooked their insurances. Rebuilding a fire or flood ravaged home without   the ability to claim on insurance, has proven, soul destroying for some of these unfortunate homeowners.

As the C.S.I.R.O. have predetermined Perth (Trajstman, June 2002), Western Australia as a High Risk termite zone, failure to install adequate termite prevention around your home can be equated to not insuring your property against fire damage in a high fire prone area. 

Unlike events such as fire and flood, termite damage is rarely covered by Homeowner Building insurance policies. Leaving the only Risk Mitigation strategy available to homeowners –  to install termite prevention around their home.

Termite Risk Mitigation (Integrated Pest Management) solutions:

Physical Termite Barriers

a physical termite barrier is where a chemical barrier is created around the external perimeter of the dwelling, by physically drilling and injecting the Termiticide (chemical) directly into the soil, creating a complete enclosed external barrier treated with Termiticide, designed to protect against Termite entry into the dwelling.

Tunnelling termites within a Non-Repellent  treated zone (near the point injection) are killed outright according to the A.P.C.A. (Australian Pest Control Association).[1]

Termite Baiting Stations

where Termite Baiting stations are placed at strategic intervals around the external perimeter of the home, to entice the termites to feed on the food source contained in the baiting stations rather than the wood areas contained. In or around the property.

The APCA indicate that even in favourable circumstances the elimination of a termite colony using, baiting stations, may take several weeks to a few months. In some cases, the colony elimination is unsuccessful or may take years to achieve the elimination of the colony, depending on the circumstances.[2] whether the termites find and consume the baits. The termite baiting station process is deemed to be labour-intensive and the APCA indicate that the long-term cost of the monitoring of the baiting systems may accumulate out of hand before the chance of success or otherwise, is realised.[3]

The Termite King’s Physical Chemical Termite Barrier or Termite Treatments:
A termite treatment or physical termite barrier will in most cases require 4 – 6 hours to complete. This timeframe depends on:

  1. the size of the house to be treated; and
  2. whether the house has a concrete slab floor or a sub floor.

Concrete slab homes – approximate duration to complete 6.5 hours
Task                                                                                                                               

1. A further internal and external termite inspection including, a roof void               
inspection, prior to the commencement of any Termite treatment
2. Drilling the exterior perimeter of the home including garage and front                  
and/or rear verandahs

3. Injection of chemical into drilled holes around external perimeter                         
4 The trenching and treatment of all soil and garden beds on the                              
external perimeter
5. “pre-lifted” decking around the external perimeter trenching and                          
treatment
6. 
Treatment of any active termites found on the property including                         
inside the home

7. Exterior General Pest treatment completed                                                                 
     a) Interior treatment to all external sheds including pool sheds  
     b) All remaining retaining walls  and garden beds trenched and treated  
     c) All active tree stumps identified and treated  
                                                     

Sub floor homes – approximate duration to complete 8 hours
Task                                                                                                                                    

1. A further internal and external termite inspection including, a roof void                  
inspection, prior to the commencement of any Termite treatment
2. Trenching and treating each individual stump in the sub floor, all wet                      
areas and penetration pipes
3. Drilling and injection of chemical to any front and/or rear verandahs                       
4. The trenching and treatment of all soil and garden beds on the external               
 perimeter
5. “pre-lifted” decking around the external perimeter trenching and treatment          
6. Treatment of any active termites found on the property including inside the         
home
7. Exterior General Pest treatment completed                                                                  

    a) Interior treatment to all external sheds including pool sheds  
    b) All remaining retaining walls  and garden beds trenched and treated  
    c) All active tree stumps identified and treated                                                  

 

 Important facts about Termites:

  1. Perth, Western Australia it is considered a High-Risk termite zone. (Trajstman, June 2002) Perth like Darwin and Brisbane is considered Higher risk of termite hazard than the other Australian state capitals.
  2. The Australian standards for Pest Control recommend that termite inspections in high risk areas such as Perth, WA be completed annually or in some cases more frequently.

    Annual inspections allow a pest control company to complete a full termite inspection on your property. The pest inspector should identify any new areas of concern on your property during these inspections allowing them to be rectified and/or treated within a reasonable timeframe, with the aim of preventing any major termite damage on your property or to the structural areas of yourCO home.
    In high risk areas or in properties that have had major previous termite infestation, these inspections may initially be required at shorter intervals to ensure the ongoing protection of the property.

These inspections commonly known as Maintenance Inspections allow the pest inspector to rectify and treat any freshly identified areas of concern or activity, as part of the Maintenance inspection.
The Maintenance inspection would generally include a termite assessment of the following areas:

  1. the roof void;
  2. the wet areas;
  3. any subfloor;
  4. the yards on the property;
  5. all gardens located on the external perimeter of the home; and
  6. any sheets, workshops and garages on the property.

It is commonly accepted within the industry, that termites can travel up to 100 metres from their nest. Therefore, the Maintenance inspection will:

  1. assist in identifying any new nests that did not exist previously on the property
  2. identify (with the homeowner’s assistance) areas within physical termite barrier that may have been compromised since the last inspection or treatment. This could include, but not be limited to the areas such as: new garden beds; areas where a dog may vary their bones; areas around the perimeter disturbed by other trades or professionals (such as plumbers or electricians) needing to dig, disturbing the physical barrier to access piping or electrical cables. 

Termite treatments versus General Pest treatments and applications

Physical termite barriers (termite treatments) require significantly more; in time, effort; and chemical than any General Pest treatment. A General Pest treatment in most cases can be completed in less than 60 – 90 minutes and provide defence against General Pests for up to 12 months. Whereas the completion of any physical termite barrier often requires 4-5 hours or longer to install depending on the size of the home.
The termite barrier, depending on the chemical used, has the potential to remain residual in the soil areas of your home from 5 – 10 years.  In Western Australia treating and identifying Termites requires specific endorsements (Termites must be specified) on the Pest Technicians Licence, which is a different authorisation and certification than General Pests.

Not all Pest Technicians are equal

A Pest Technician licenced for General Pests is not automatically licenced to treat Termites. Technician’s licenced to inspect and treat Termites have their Pest Control licences endorsed and display TERMITES.
 

  1. If you locate active termites (live insects) on your property – you should not REMOVE or DISTURB them or attempt any DIY treatment.
    Disturbance, attempted removal or DIY treatment attempts can result in termites relocating to avoid this disturbance, ensuring that their new location is more difficult to detect and treat. Disturbing termites from unknown area causing them to scurry to an unknown area makes them significantly more difficult to eradicate.
  2. Any discovery of active termites or termite workings inside your home is a reason for concern.
    Termites, once inside a home, can travel of the structural areas of the walls and into the roof space, potentially causing major structural damage to the wood areas of the home in the process. Structural damage to any home can be very expensive to repair and rectify, and is not normally covered by Homeowner building insurance policies.
  3. Termites live in the ground of most Perth suburbs! Stumbling across termites in a yard or under wooden garden apparatus such as wine barrels, is quite common and not always a reason for alarm.
    There is however, reason for alarm, if you have located the termites in the garden beds around the perimeter of the home or within 5 metres of the house. In our professional opinion, it is too close, when termites are located within 5 metres of the house structure. Where this occurs you should contact us promptly to arrange for an inspection and termite treatment to minimise any potential entry of termites inside your home.
  4. The Termite King’s Maintenance Inspection (program) has been designed to minimise the possibility of future termite attack.
    It is a common misconception, that once you have a physical termite barrier installed, the property is then impregnable from future termite attack.
    As termites have been known to travel up to 100 metres from a nest, it is possible that like all pests, Termites can travel onto the property after a physical barrier has been installed.
    A reputable Termite Maintenance program with regular inspections is designed to identify the presence of any new and untreated termite activity.
  5. Repellent vs Non-Repellent chemicals
    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, 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.
  6. The Consequences of the combination of Repellent and Non-Repellent chemicals…
    Some Technicians or sales staff will say there are no consequences to combining a pre-existing repellent treatment with a new Non-Repellent treatment.

    Common sense implies otherwise…Consider the attributes of the two types of chemicals:

    1. Repellent chemicals are designed to repel termites, the application requires the area treated to be complete and continuous to prevent termites from entering through a crack in the barrier; whereas
    2. Non-Repellent chemicals are designed to secure Termite contamination. It is the cross-contamination of other termites during the grooming and feeding process that naturally occurs within the termite nest, that allows for the eradication of the termite colony and nest.

Repellent and Non-Repellent chemicals by design are mutually exclusive. They are not designed to enhance the attributes of the other.
Applying a Non-Repellent chemical barrier over an unexpired pre-existing or pre-treated Repellent Termite barrier can nullify the properties of the Non-Repellent chemical that you are paying a premium price for, when, the repellent chemical solution remains resident in the soil. Effectively, contaminating the Non-Repellent chemical application!

Conversely, applying a repellent chemical barrier over a pre-existing or pre-treated unexpired Non-Repellent termite barrier can nullify any residual properties of the Non-Repellent chemical, as a repellent chemical is present and ensures the termites do not cross the treated zone. Does this really matter?

Active Termites within a previously treated dwelling…A dwelling with an existing Termite Barrier.

Termite activity can still occur on a treated property in multiple situations including, but notwithstanding:

  • where the existing termite barrier is out of date;
  • where regular maintenance services have not been maintained;
  • where the existing termite barrier has been compromised; and/or
  • where the termite barrier is not continuous.

In any of the above instances, it is possible or probable to find active termites within a dwelling.
It is of paramount importance, where a termite barrier exists that careful deliberation, be applied went identifying the optimal solution to mitigate any additional risk by selecting an inappropriate an inappropriate chemical solution.

Given that

  1. Repellent chemicals are designed to repel termites from entering the home, or crossing a complete enclosed external barrier treatment;
  2. No Pest Technician can ever guarantee with 100% certainty that they have identified and eradicated every single termite from inside a home; and
  3. There are potentially significant consequences of an inexperienced application and combination of Repellent and Non-Repellent chemicals

The Integrated Pest Management Solution requires specialised skill, experience and consideration. It is not as simplistic as just recommending a Repellent or Non-Repellent solution and completing a termite barrier on the dwelling! Details of the previous termite treatment – date, type of chemical applied must be analysed.

The last thing any Property Owner, or reputable pest technician, would want, is for active termites to be stranded untreated inside any home or building structure.
Is Fipronil safe around my family and pets?

APCA’s website states “”Fipronil, has been used in the USA, Australia and other countries, for flea and tick control on millions of cats and dogs”.[4]

They (APCA) confirm that Non-Repellent chemicals are the “safer effective alternative, being water-based, having virtually no smell and are of ultra-low hazard to humans, dogs, cats and other mammals.

Call Vanessa at The Termite King now 9344 5132 to arrange for your Termite treatment – When only the Best will do and quality Pest Control matters!

[1]  https://www.pestcontrol.org.au/termite-control.html dated 12/02/2020
[2]  https://www.pestcontrol.org.au/termite-control.html dated 12/02/2020
[3]  https://www.pestcontrol.org.au/termite-control.html dated 12/02/2020
[4]  https://www.pestcontrol.org.au/termite-control.html dated 12/02/2020