If for some reason you suspect you have termites, there are some protocols that must always be followed.
If you have discovered crawling insects in your walls that are no more than about 6mm long, are creamy white to an almost transparent grey and some have darker brown heads, there is every chance it will be termites.
Just to confuse things, if the termites have been present for a couple of years or more, they may have become sufficiently established to create and release alates, or swarmers as they are more commonly known in USA. In this case, alates/swarmers have two pair of wings that are longer than the body, and the body will be dark grey to black. See our web site for identification details.
Termites look nothing like ants, despite the fact they are know colloquially as â€śWhite Antsâ€ť. Usually the activity will be accompanied by tell tale brown mudding material.
Things you should not do!
- Donâ€™t panic! Despite the urging you might get from pest controllers keen to get you to sign on the bottom line, termites will not eat your house away over night. Significant damage can take months to years, and the space of a few days will not result in a lot of further damage being caused.
- Do not disturb the termites. Disturbing the termites may cause them to â€śdisappearâ€ť. It is not likely they will pack up and leave, but it will make it much more difficult for the pest controller to gain control, and that could also mean it will be more expensive, as it eliminates various options. If you have broken open part of a mud tunnel, cover it with masking tape.
- Do not take advice from builders or neighbours. Working with timber doesnâ€™t make builders know legible about termites, and neighbours usually know even less. You wouldnâ€™t normally seek advice about you car from a plumber, so donâ€™t go taking advice from those not trained in that area.
- Donâ€™t attempt do it yourself home cures. Once termites are confirmed, back away from carrying out any treatment yourself. They just donâ€™t work.
Things you must do!
- Call a pest controller. From our experience, pest controllers from smaller firms do a much better, much more reasonably priced job. Small local firms, particularly owner operators have everything to lose by doing a poor job or submitting an over the top quotation.
- Get a couple of quotes. A maximum of three quotations should be good enough, and make sure that every step is itemized and the product names are nominated, as different firms may have different approaches. All satisfactory and complying with Australian Standard AS3660, but varying significantly in cost.
- Get the pest control firm to explain exactly what they intend to do. Most options are disruptive, can involve drilling holes in concrete floors and digging trenches around the perimeter of the structure. If trees are to be drilled and treated, find out how many trees, and exactly which ones.
- Be patient. Most treatments should be taken slowly. If baiting or dusting is involved, it canâ€™t be resolved over night; it can take several weeks to see a significant result, but will be well worth the wait.
Strategies That May Be Used For Termite Control
- Adding a matrix to termite baits either in the ground or applied on the walls over termite workings. Can achieve good results in control, but should be used in conjunction with prevention measures.
- Applying a foaming termiticide. Used to obtain control. Can achieve good results in control, but should be used in conjunction with prevention measures.
- Dusting. Used to obtain control. Can achieve good results in control, but should be used in conjunction with prevention measures.
- Drilling the concrete slab flooring along at least one side of all perimeter and internal walls and injecting the holes with termiticide.
- Drilling the entire concrete slab flooring in a grid pattern and treating holes with a termiticide.
- Trenching external perimeter of the structure and treating with termiticide.
- Sawing up and removing a strip of concrete paving and/or trenching perimeter and installing a reticulation system (involving perforated piping) (Preferred system)
- Test drilling and treating infested trees. For control only
- Drilling patios etc. and injecting a foamed termiticide to any hollows under the concrete slab