BUILDING OWNERS who find signs of termite activity inside a building have several options for professional protection from continued termite infestation and timber damage in the building. Initial Inspection & Report to A.S.3660 – a thorough inspection of buildings and surrounds – detailed written report to Australian Standard 3660 re areas inspected – evidence found of termite activity – high risk termite entry areas inaccessible to inspection – termite control options and limitations.
Chemical Soil Treatment around the perimeter and sub-floor of a building – to eradicate termites attempting to gain entry into the building – Termidor or Premise termiticides are recommended.
Termite Baiting – installation – monitoring of termite bait stations – Nemesis – Exterra – Sentricon termite baits – this method relies heavily on the termites “finding” and consuming sufficient bait – recommended in some limited circumstances, particularly in areas where live termite activity is present.
Building Modification Maintenance – termite risk reduction measures – may include improving subfloor ventilation – removal of timber in contact with the soil – improving inspection access areas.
Subsequent Inspections to A.S.3660 – essential – at least at 3 to 6 months intervals where signs of termite activity has been previously located close by susceptible buildings or timber structures.
There are several types of termite control chemicals registered by the relevant Australian Federal Government AVPMA for use in termite control as a soil treatment chemical.WARNING: Several outdated products are solvent based termite control pesticides which may cause health problems to asthmatics during the drying process.
Termidor and Premise are the safer effective alternatives. Both are water based, have virtually no smell and of ultra-low hazard to humans, dogs, cats and other mammals. Termidor is manufactured by BASF, and Premise by Bayer Environmental Science – two of the worlds largest chemical companies.
Termidor and Premise do NOT have an obnoxious odour or emit airborne residues or fumes. Both are registered as a low hazard insecticide with a CAUTION notation on the registered label.
Fipronil is the active ingredient in Termidor. Fipronil is also in the Frontline flea and tick control product used on millions of cats and dogs in Australia and the USA. Termidor and Premise represent modern technology and are NOT in the older style organo-chlorine or organo-phosphate pesticide group.
Avoid repellency products: Some alternative termiticides have a strong repellency action to deter foraging termites. Repellant products are less effective in that the termites can detect the chemical and avoid it and move along the treated soil areas, actively seeking a gap to gain entry into the building. Non-repellant products. such as Termidor and Premise are more effective, in that the termites cannot avoid what they cannot detect. The chemical adheres to the skin of the worker termites or they ingest it when tunneling through treated soil areas. These products have a delayed lethal effect – enough time to be taken back to the colony nest and be spread to other termites during their mutual feeding and grooming. With sufficient consumption of the chemical, the entire colony is eliminated.
Premise has been used as soil treatment against subterranean termites for more than ten years in Australia and the USA with excellent results for long term termite control. We are not aware of any significant problems with the effectiveness of Premise termiticide during this period. Premise will act to kill termites, in the higher concentration treated soil areas abutting the building. With Premise, termites that forage in the lower concentrated treated soil areas, will become disorientated, stop feeding, and are fatally diseased by natural fungi and micro-organisms in the soil.
Termite baits registered in Australia by the Australian Federal Government APVMA Registration Authority are Nemesis, Exterra and Sentricon brand of termite baits.
We recommend Nemesis as the only AUSTRALIAN owned and developed product. Exterra and Sentricon are USA owned termite bait products. Each baiting system uses a number of plastic bait stations for in-ground and above-ground installation where active termites have been located. How a termite bait works: Each termite bait contains an IGR chemical – that is an insect growth regulator – the Nemesis bait contains chlorfluazuron as the active constituent. The worker termites readily eat the bait and pass it onto other termites in the central nest as part of their mutual feeding and grooming process. Termites must regularly molt in their development from nymph to adult. The IGR is slow acting – enough time to spread it’s deady effect to other termites in the colony. A cascading lethal effect: The chemical prevents the termites from regrowing their external skeleton, resulting in the death of the termite. Termites cannibalize other dead termites thereby hastening the elimination of the entire colony. Termites have acute survival instincts. The location of a toxic food source if detected, will be abandoned. Too much disturbance of the foraging termites (workers and soldiers) in a particular location, will alert the termite colony to abandon the area. The termites appear to be gone, but may in fact be entering the building in other areas. Your home is a much bigger bait station. Regular monitoring is required: The Nemesis, Exterra and Sentricon termite baiting systems are subject to regular inspection and monitoring by the termite controller. The larger the number of termites that consume the bait, the quicker and more certain is the termite colony elimination process. Baiting is sometimes unreliable: Termite colony elimination in favourable circumstances may take several weeks to a few months. However, in some cases, termite colony elimination is unsuccessful or may take years, depending on the circumstances. It depends if a large number of termites find and consume the bait. then colony elimination is virtually assured within a few months. The experience and skill of the pest controller is paramount, in order to properly decide if and where a baiting program is to be implemented and properly monitored. WARNING: some pest controllers offer termite baiting at ridiculously low prices that does not cover direct materials and labour. BEWARE the pest control licensing system is inadequate. Some individuals have a State Govt WorCover pest control licence with little training or experience. Consumer note: It is usual to reinspect the bait stations and the buildings and surrounds every month to reposition, reapply or replenish the bait, if necessary. This process is labour intensive so that the long term cost of the monitoring and baiting system may accumulate out of hand before the chance of success or otherwise, is realised.
Ring the Experts: successful termite protection of a building using a baiting program often requires expert skill and judgment, based upon years of field-work experience in termite control in a wide variety of circumstances. Live termites found? One critical aspect is the bait stations should to installed in areas where live activity is found. Otherwise the termites must blindly “find” the stations to have any chance of bait consumption and successful elimination.
CONSUMER NOTICE: Be wary of companies want full payment upfront that promise a timber replacement warranty using a termite baiting and monitoring system. Be careful to read the Contract fine print which stipulates that the so called “warranty” may or may NOT apply at some future point in time when the company decides at it’s discretion that the termite colony elimination is successful.
No absolute guarantee: With a termite baiting program, there can be no absolute guarantee of long-term protection of nearby buildings. There may be other termite nests nearby the building that do not find the bait stations. Your home is a much bigger bait station. Other termite nests may exist in trees, under concrete on-ground flooring and in-fill patios of neighboring properties. These termite nest may be unaffected by the baiting pro gram. If termites happen to ‘find the in-ground monitoring stations, the a bait is placed therein. If this involves sufficient disruption of the termites may avoid the in-ground bait station, entirely.
RECOMMENDATION: Your Pest Controller attach the Nemesis Termite Bait directly onto known termite activity areas. The rate and amount of consumption is monitored for several weeks. In addition, if practicable thereafter, a complete chemical soil barrier treatment using Termidor or Premise be applied around the immediate perimeter of the building and other high risk entry points. AN INTEGRATED APPROACH: A termite monitoring and baiting program can be integrated with a range of methods including (1) drilling susceptible trees and eradication of any termite nest located therein, and (2) in conjunction with a follow up chemical soil treatment using Termidor or Premise.