If you think you have a problem with Termites
call Redback Pest Control Sydney now on 1800 733 222 for expert advice
Q. 1 What do termites look like?
A. Termites are similar in size to ordinary black ants. They are generally pale , some with darkened heads (soldiers). You are more likely though, to see their mud tracks or timber damage first. Termites like to stay hidden inside timber or their mud leads. The damage done to timber is typically in channels, or fluted.
Q. 2 How do I know if termites are in my house?
A. A thorough inspection by a trained expert with termite accreditation is the best answer to this question. There is no single method to prevent termite attack. There are plenty of ways to minimise termite risk. We look first for any areas around the property (and beyond) that may be conducive for termite infestation. What we are looking for are:
Timbers which have ground contact or are close to the ground
Moist areas or places with poor drainage/ventilation. Termites are a soft-bodied creature, and therefore need a constant source of moisture in order to survive
Hidden or inaccessible areas such as bricked in verandahs and subfloors. A darkened environment suits termites because it harbours moisture and is less likely to be disturbed
Q. 3 What is the best way to stop termites once they gain entry to my property?
A. A thorough termite inspection is paramount to good termite control. This should be done with the aid of a moisture meter, strong torch, termite donger, and a screwdriver. A fibre-optic borescope can be helpful when looking inside wall cavities. Some companies use a stethoscope to listen for termite activity. I have used these, though I prefer using the “thump” method. This method involves methodically thumping walls and timber, pausing to listen for termite activity at every square metre of internal gyprock and plaster walls.
Termites communicate by a faintly audible tapping noise made with their mandibles. When they sense danger to the nest, this noise is greatly increased in volume. By moderately thumping and listening, it is possible to locate areas of termite activity.
A moisture meter is an electronic tool which is used to determine if high levels of moisture are retained throughout wall linings or timber. This may indicate areas where large numbers of termites have gathered in a wall nest. The meter is less able to pick up smaller numbers of termites and occasionally gives false readings. It is however, a valuable tool which should be used in conjunction with other methods.
Termite dongers are thin lengths of fibre-glass with a plastic ball stuck on the end. They are used for rapping skirting boards, timber frames and the like for signs of hollowness, indicating termite attack. They may also reach high up in a room where a step ladder was once used.
Screw drivers are used to “sound out” timbers as well as testing their soundness by probing and prising up slivers of timber for Arsenic dusting.
Expert Arsenic dusting of active infestation is the next step in this process. As much activity as possible should be dusted using very fine amounts of Arsenic dust. Once the termites are dusted, they take the poison back to the nest, hopefully destroying the whole colony.
Colony detection and subsequent destruction is strangely the second last step in this process. We leave it near the end because we need to monitor the colony to ascertain whether the Arsenic dusting is being successful.
Termite baiting is used when only small number of termites are present inside structures, where termites have been disturbed or if entry points are hidden or unclear.
If we are absolutely positive that this and other colonies within 100 metres of the property are stopped, we can rest assured that the treatment to the property has successfully controlled termites. Regular inspections from this point might be satisfactory for some people.
The installation of termite barriers is the last step . Barriers are chemically treated soil that is in place around termite entry points. The dimensions must be of a height and width that complies with the Standards for termite control.
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