TERMITES - HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM
Termites are a destructive pest. It's important to have regular and thorough inspections of your home to detect the early signs of termite activity and infestation. However, finding a reliable and experienced pest manager can be hard to come by, and promising credentials don't always guarantee they are reliable. Here we'll tell you what to ask and what to look for when it comes to termite management.
There are around 300 species of termite in Australia, but only a handful cause problems. Subterranean termites (also called white ants) cause most of the damage around the country. They feed off cellulose-containing materials like timber.
Termites can cause major structural and economic damage to homes and commercial buildings by eating the inside of the structure and leaving only a thin shell for protection from the outside environment.
HOW TO IDENTIFY TERMITES
Here are a few signs that termites might be causing chaos at your home:
Mud tubes are built for protection (figure 1 above). These can sometimes be seen in brick foundations, concrete stumps or in architraves.
Hollow sounding timber (meaning the timber has been eaten away)
Sagging floors or doors.
Damaged skirting boards, door jams or architraves (because termites take away the structural reliability of timber, a slight knock to these areas can cause damage).
Power failures (termites are attracted to the warmth of electrical fittings behind walls)
Temperature and rainfall seem to have the largest impact on termite activity, followed by the house's age. If you come across a termite nest on your property, DON'T DISTURB IT until you've contacted a professional pest control company such as RIP Termite & Pest Control Services to establish an appropriate termite management plan. Once disturbed, termites will most likely abandon the area, move elsewhere, cause more damage to your property and can remain undetected. Termites don't just eat away at structural timbers, they can also gnaw their way through furniture, paper products and even non-cellulose materials like soft plastics, building sealants.
How to decrease the risk of termites
- Fix any moisture build up like poor drainage, leaking pipes or inadequate ventilation.
Check your home’s environment – shrubs or garden beds should be well clear of the building edge and all weep holes or vents need to be cleared of anything that may cover them.
- Keep subfloor areas at your house clear of items – don't store items that can decrease the ventilation space under the house.
- Remove any wood that's in contact with the ground and close to the house, especially any loose timbers or off cuts in subfloor area.
- If you're building a new home, certain construction methods and materials can reduce the termite risk considerably.RIP Termite & Pest Control Services can carry out regular inspection and put forward recommendations to reduce your termite risk.
The different approaches to termite management
The Building Code of Australia requires that all new homes and extensions have a termite management system in all areas (except Tasmania, where the termite risk is minor). Homes built after July 1995 must have a 'durable notice' Termite Management Notice Sticker fixed to a well-known position in the building (either in the electrical meter box or the entrance to the subfloor area), listing the following:
- method of termite management carried out
- date of installation of termite management
- life expectancy (for chemical barriers), and
- recommendations of future inspections.
- If you're planning on building a new home or doing an extension, be sure to put in place the appropriate termite management plan, physical barrier (Kordon), replenishment system (TermX). These should be install during construction.
Don't require much, if any, maintenance or renewal
Won't kill termites, but will discourage them from gaining entry to your home
TYPES OF PHYSICAL BARRIERS
Ant Caps don't prevent termite activity but bring it into the open, as it's easier to detect their mud tubes on the metal caps.
Finely graded stone particles is used in specific situations as a perimeter cavity barrier, penetrations in set concrete slabs, construction cavities, expansion joints, pipe removal, conduit void.
Fused systems such as chemically treated plastic or fabric sheets contain chemicals that'll degrade over time, unlike true physical barriers.
Reticulation or Replenishment systems involve piping fitted under slabs and around the edges of a building with access points for refilling termite system with termiticide.
Chemical barriers are applied under and around a concrete slab or around the building piers or footings.
Require maintenance and renewal
Create a zone of treated soil that may be effective for several years before it needs retreatment
Might require trenching and concrete drilling if applied after construction
CHEMICALS USED IN TERMITE MANAGEMENT
Synthetic pyrethroids like permethrin or bifenthrin are generally less toxic than many of the earlier termiticides which were banned in most parts of Australia in the mid 1990s.
Termidor & Termidor HE (active ingredient Fipronil) is the ultimate and most effective against termites as it is a non-repellant, with a success rate of 100%. This means the termites will travel through the treated zone without detecting the chemical and transfer it back to the colony, therefore contaminating other termites. RIP Termite & Pest Control Services only utilises Termidor & Termidor HE for any active termite infestation, termite eradication, termite protection and termite control.
Backed with an 8 year written warranty and a $2 Million Assurance Warranty.
Arsenic trioxide dust is a very toxic substance. It was commonly used in the past in termite dusting procedures but has been replaced with less toxic dust like Termidor Dust.
This unique powder is very effective, but may take a little longer than arsenic dust to wipe out a colony.
MONITORING AND BAIT STATIONS
This is a less toxic but more costly alternative that'll require regular maintenance. Monitoring and bait stations use very small amounts of a low-toxic IGR that affects the termite's exoskeleton and kills them without harming other animals or humans.
How they work:
The pest manager places a baiting station (or several) in the vicinity of the house, usually in-ground.
The station is checked regularly, repositioned if needed and when termites are found, bait is added to replenish the station.
The termites take the bait back to their nest and spread it through grooming, till the colony is eventually wiped out.
There's no guarantee that the termites will actually find the bait, so it's generally not a good idea to use a monitoring and bait station as your only approach to termite management.
GETTING QUOTES ON TERMITE TREATMENT
The cost of a termite treatment varies depending on the size of the home – plus potentially several thousand dollars for repairing damage to the building cause by termites. If you need termite treatment:
- Compare the quotes and professionalism of the various pest control companies and choose the company you're most comfortable with.
- Consider the type of resolution the treatment will offer – the cheapest quote will only relieve you of termites in the short term while a more expensive integrated termite management plan will provide better protection from future termite attacks.
- Call RIP Termite & Pest Control Services termite specialist. The experts in termite control, termite eradication, termite protection, termite treatment, termite/pest inspections and preconstruction termite applications for a free no obligation quote. All treatments come with a 100% guarantee.
- Testimonials and word of mouth advertisement see our Facebook and Google reviews from 100’s of happy clients.
QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN GETTING QUOTES
How long has the company been established?
Are they a member of the Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association (AEPMA)?
Do they have a current pest control licence and up-to-date professional indemnity and public liability insurance certificates?
What are the skills, qualifications and experience of the pest inspector?
Has the pest inspector done any ongoing training since gaining the qualification?
Will the pest inspector carry out the termite treatment, if required? If not, who and how experienced is the person carrying out the termite treatment?
Will they meet, or exceed, the requirements of the Australian Standard? (AS4349.3 for inspecting buildings for timber pests; AS3660.2-2017 termite management in and around existing buildings and structures).
How long will the inspection take? (An average house should take one - two hours to inspect, including the time the pest inspector spends discussing the termite management proposal with you.)
Should the inspection also cover other pests such borers and wood-decay fungi?
Will they provide a written report? (This is extremely essential.)
If termites are found, what termite management plan, termite treatment methods do they propose?
Will they explain the products to be use?
A termite inspection of an average-sized home can cost you around $350 - $495, depending on the size, style and ease of access.
It's recommended you have a thorough pest inspection at least once a year, or 6 monthly if you live in areas with high risk of termites.
It's important that you're in attendance during the inspection.
The pest inspector should check:
All accessible timbers under the house
All accessible timbers under the roof
Inside and outside the building and its surrounds
Trees and stumps
Other timber structures on the property, mainly up to 50 meters from your home
The presence and effectiveness of visible and accessible termite barriers
Vulnerability of the property to termite infestation (ventilation to subfloor area and drainage if applicable, dampness, leaking guttering and downpipes, etc.)
The pest inspection report should include the following details:
The areas which were inspected (pointing out any areas that were inaccessible)
Termite activity, and
A termite management plan if termite activity is found, detailing the methods to tackle the infestation, costs and all options and the expected outcomes and limitations.
LICENSING REQUIREMENTS FOR PEST INSPECTORS AND PEST CONTROLLERS
Licensing requirements for timber pest inspectors vary from state to state with each having similar minimum requirements. Ask the pest inspector their expertise in timber pest management instead of just checking their pest licence.
The Australian standards require a pest inspector to possess a certain amount of technical knowledge and experience. They should be aware of the local building practices also the habits of termites, where they're likely to be found and any signs of infestation. To obtain a level of competency, a timber pest inspector should have the following:
Completed at least 40 timber pest inspections and reports under appropriate direct supervision,
Completed a timber pest inspection course, and
Accomplished competence in units 8 and 10 (specifically with inspecting, reporting and controlling timber pests) of the National Pest Management Competency Standards.
ACCREDITATION PROGRAMS AND INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS
The Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association (AEPMA) is the key industry association. It sets out standards for the pest management industry, represents pest managers and administers PestCert resting assured a pest management company meets the highest possible accreditation standards.
To achieve a PestCert accreditation, pest managers must:
Show they have advanced knowledge, skills and expertise with the latest pest management tools, technologies and practices
Abide to the code of conduct, and
Commit to retaining on-going professional development.
Keep in mind that adherence to the Australian Standard is not mandatory and the various certificates and associations with industry don't absolutely guarantee that the pest manager is reliable. In the case of experiencing unsatisfactory treatment, you may even experience resistance from governing bodies to help in the matter, as experienced by one of our members.
Look for professional indemnity and public liability insurance when getting quotes and ask to see certificates of currency.
Professional indemnity protects the pest manager against negligence claims arising from termite inspections, quotations and termite treatments performed.
Public liability insurance protects against injuries and property damage caused as a consequence of the work carried out.
Ask about the warranty provided for the work and read the fine print.
RIP Termite & Pest Control Services offers all clients with active termite infestations on their properties with the use of Termidor SC or Termidor HE residual termiticide treatments, an 8 Year Written Warranty and a $2 Million Assurance Warranty.
RIP Termite & Pest Control Services has over 20 years of experience, specialist in termite control, termite eradication and termite protection, RIP has NEVER had a recall on any active termite treatments. Rest assured you’re in good hands, at RIP Termite & Pest Control Services “WE SAVE HOMES” from termite destruction.
CALL THE TERMITE SPECIALIST MELBOURNE WIDE
RIP Termite & Pest Control Services offers safe, environmentally friendly and efficient services with no hidden costs, providing a more affordable solution for your Melbourne wide home or office. Contact us today on 1300 371 708 for more information or to book a pest inspection at your property.
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Tottenham 3012 - West Footscray 3012 - Yarraville 3013 - 15 - MELBOURNE - Carlton 3053 - Carlton North 3054 - East Melbourne 3002 - Jolimont 3002 - Flemington 3031 - Kensington 3031 - Melbourne 3000 CBD - Melbourne 3004 St Kilda Road - North Melbourne 3051 - Parkville 3052 - Southbank 3006 - South Yarra 3141 - West Melbourne 3003 - 16 - MELTON - Brookfield 3338 - Burnside 3023 - Burnside heights 3023 - Caroline Springs 3023 - Hillside 3037 - Melton 3337 - Melton South 3338 - Melton West 3337 - Rockbank 3335 - Taylors Hill 3037 - Truganina 3029 - 17 - MONASH - Ashwood 3147 - Chadstone 3148 - Clayton 3168 - Glen Waverley 3150 - Hughesdale 3166 - Huntingdale 3166 - Monash University 3800 - Mount Waverley 3149 - Mulgrave 3170 - Notting Hill 3168 - Oakleigh 3166 - Oakleigh East 3166 - Oakleigh South 3167 - Wheelers Hill 3150 - 18 - MOONEE VALLEY - Airport West 3042 - Ascot Vale 3032 - Ascot Vale West - Avondale Heights 3034 - Essendon 3040 - Essendon North 3041 - Essendon West 3040 - Newmarket 3031 - Keilor East 3033 - Kensington 3031 - Moonee Ponds 3039 - Niddrie 3042 - Strathmore 3041 - Strathmore Heights 3041 - 19 - MORELAND - Brunswick 3056 - Brunswick East 3057 - Brunswick West 3055 - Moonee Vale 3055 - Coburg 3058 - Coburg North 3058 - Merlynston 3058 - Newlands 3875 - Fawkner 3060 - Glenroy 3046 - Hadfield 3046 - Oak Park 3046 - Pascoe Vale 3044 - Pascoe Vale South 3044- Tullamarine 3043 - 20 - PORT PHILLIP - Albert Park 3206 - Balaclava 3183 - Elwood 3184 - Melbourne 3004 - Middle Park 3206 - Port Melbourne 3207 - Beacon Cove 3207 - Garden City 3207 - Ripponlea 3185 - St Kilda 3182 - St Kilda East 3183 - St Kilda West 3182 - South Melbourne 3205 - 21 - STONNINGHAM - Armadale 3143 - Glen Iris 3146 - Kooyong 3144 - Malvern 3144 - Malvern East 3145 - Prahran 3181 - South Yarra 3141 - Toorak 3142 - Windsor 3181 - 22 - WHITEHORSE - Bellbird 3130 - Bennettswood 3125 - Blackburn 3130 - Blackburn North 3130 - Blackburn South 3130 - Box Hill 3128 - Box Hill North 3129 - Box Hill South 3128 - 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5 TERMITE SIGNS TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR HOME
Found throughout Melbourne & Regional Victoria, termites are a national problem. It’s estimated that 1 in 3 Melbourne homes will have termites. Protecting your home before signs of termites arise is one of the best ways to save money and keep your family safe when it comes to these destructive insects.
Termites that have been nesting in your home for years can cause thousands of dollars in damage. This type of damage is not usually covered by home insurance.
Be proactive about preventing termite damage by searching for termite signs in your home on a periodic basis and maintaining a termite protection plan by RIP Termite & Pest Control Services. This helps remove any concerns of having to repair new termite damage in your home.
Three signs of termite activity below:
1. BLISTERS IN FLOORING
These areas or blisters can indicate termites feeding within or below. Subterranean termites can cause damage to the subfloor, which can make your wood flooring appear as if it has water damage.
2. HOLLOWED OR DAMAGED WOOD
Wood damage can be found below and behind surfaces like walls, floors and more. This can be caused by termites chewing through wood in search of cellulose, leaving behind grooves. Over time, these grooves weaken the wood and create structural damage. Hollowed wood usually inside looks like a honeycomb and sounds empty on the inside.
3. EVIDENCE OF SWARMS
Discarded termite wings can be found near closed windows, doors and other home-access points. This is caused when termites (Alates) swarm out of their nest to mate and find a place start a new colony. When they land, termites intentionally twist their wings off because they will never need them again. Termite wings are all the same size.
4. MUD TUBES
Mud tubes can be found wherever the ground meets your house or any other possible food source like a tree or shed. This is because subterranean termites nest underground and forage up to their food source, which is often a house structure. These termites require certain temperature and humidity levels to survive. Their tunnels help block out cool, dry air, effectively turning your home into an environment where they can thrive. It also helps to protect the termites from their main predator, the Black Ant.
5. DRYWOOD TERMITE DROPPINGS
Drywood termites nest inside of wood. While tunnelling and eating the wood they’re infesting, they create galleries that they like to keep clean. To keep them clean, they create kick out holes where they remove their excrement. Since drywood termites eat wood, their excrement is wood, which essentially creates mounds of pellets. These mounds of pellets, resembling sawdust or coffee grounds, may indicate the presence of drywood termites.
Unfortunately, even if you don’t see signs of termites, that doesn’t mean they’re not there. Termite damage can go unnoticed for a while, and by the time damage is noticed, significant structural damage may already be done. That’s why it’s best to be proactive when it comes to termite control. Help protect your home by contacting RIP Termite & Pest Control Services on 1300 371 708 today to schedule your termite inspection.
Yes, termites are also known as white ants, the term “termites” is more precise. RIP Termite & Pest Control Services white ant treatment is therefore exactly the same as our termite treatments. Have a look at our about termites page for more information.
DIY termite treatment is a very bad idea, as identifying the termites is a very important step towards successfully treating termites. Disrupting termites could mean that they move and attack another area of your home. Our RIP Termite & Pest Control specialists have the experience and skill to eradicate your termite infestation.
RIP’s termite control technicians are equipped with devices which can not only see termites, but can hear termites. The latest equipment is accessible to all our technicians and has moisture meters, knocking rod, FLIR C3 Thermal Imaging so the termites have very little chance of remaining undetected.
You can reduce the risk yourself by obtaining expert advice. Call RIP Termite & Pest Control Services, the termite specialist and request a free advice. You will be advised to have some kind of ‘protective’ treatment, but you will also be given advice about how your home can be re-arranged in order to reduce the risk. This can really make a difference.
Typically, in an average home in Melbourne, we find the following ‘conducive conditions’ which, if attended to, will reduce the risk of termite infestation:
Lowering the ground level around the walls of your home
A high ground level increases the termite risk. You should step UP into your home. For homes on slabs, this usually means that the slab edge is just covered but the weep holes are exposed. For homes on stumps, this means that the air vents are not covered and the sub-floor can get ventilation.
Don’t use red gum sleepers for retaining walls
Sleeper retaining walls provide nesting conditions ideal for termites. If you have retaining wall metres from your home, you should think about removing it.
Badly chosen building extensions and conversions
High proportions of termite infestation we go to are caused by badly chosen add-ons to buildings. New concrete slabs poured against existing timber floors, and garages converted to living areas.
Never join timber floors with concrete slabs and always confirm your plans to a termite specialist before you build.
Reduce the moisture around your home
Termites need water to maintain the high humidity within the nest in addition to wood. By eliminating these needs, the homeowner can do their part to avert these pests from becoming a problem in their home. Improving drainage and fixing leaky plumbing in order to reduce available soil moisture.