Did you know that 1 in 3 Queensland homes are either currently affected by termites or have previously experienced termite activity? The hot, humid conditions of Queensland make it an ideal location for termites to settle.
Termites eat the cellulose in timber and don’t require sleep. Instead, they eat 24/7. Quietly eating away, termites can remain undetected within a home for some time.
For this reason, it is vitally important to have your home or commercial property regularly checked for termites. Likewise, if any termite activity is found, the termites must be treated quickly and effectively.
Many people often confuse a termite inspection with termite treatment, thinking they are one and the same. However, this is not the case.
As the first implies, a termite inspection is a visual inspection of a property for evidence of current and/or past termite activity. Whereas termite treatment involves treating the property to either kill active termites or prevent a future infestation.
What does a termite pest inspection involve?
A termite inspection is a comprehensive visual inspection of all accessible areas of the property including the building and yard. During which, your termite inspector will use specialist equipment and technology to scan the environment for any timber pests such as termites and borers.
Such equipment includes:
- A thermal imaging camera to detect possible termite ‘hot spots’ behind walls as termites generate heat when they congregate together in a large nest.
- Termatrac radar technology can be used to detect movement within a building to locate a termite nest or possible activity.
- The use of a moisture meter is also used to detect areas of excessive moisture around the home that could be conducive to future termite activity.
- Finally, a tapper wood decay probe is used to locate any hollow wooden areas in the home that could indicate current or previous termite activity.
Afterward, the inspector will provide a report of any findings. This report will note if any active, suspected, or past termite activity. The report will also note any conditions around the home that may be conducive to future termite activity.
If live termites are located during the inspection, a quote for a spot treatment and/or prevention (often in the form of a chemical barrier) will be provided. Termite treatment is generally not included in the price of an inspection.
How often should a timber pest inspection be conducted?
The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) recommends getting a pest inspection every six months. Given the high level of termite activity within the state, this is not surprising.
However, most people find an annual timber pest inspection is adequate and will watch for termite activity during other times of the year. At DedAnt, we recommend getting an annual timber inspection at a minimum. If you live in a high-risk area, it’s advisable to get an inspection more often. Most pest inspection companies can also create yearly reminders to be sent to your email.
What does termite treatment involve?
Termite treatment involves killing any active termites or preventing future termite activity by using various management systems.
The most common termite treatment and management system used are a spot treatment and chemical barrier.
When live termites are found at a property, the inspector will apply a spot treatment to kill the termites. This can often be done at the same time as the timber pest inspection as termites need to be treated as soon as possible to prevent further damage. If this isn’t suitable, a spot treatment can be completed at a time that is suitable for you.
This spot treatment involves spraying a slow acting chemical solution on the live termites which they then carry back to their nest. The chemical solution is designed to take up to a fortnight to kill off the colony.
Generally, the price of a spot treatment will include a revisit to the property to check that the termites have successfully been exterminated.
A termite barrier will often be quoted after the spot treatment has been completed as a way of preventing future termite activity at the property.
The best form of protection from termites is the installation of a chemical barrier. Installed by a qualified technician, the chemical barrier protects the house from termites entering via the perimeter for 8 years.
The chemical barrier is installed around the perimeter of a building by digging a moat-like ditch around the home and filling it with chemicals and covering it back over. A chemical barrier must be installed by a qualified pest technician and will often involve using a chemical like Termidor.
Where a perimeter is made of concrete, holes will be drilled into the concrete and filled with chemicals before finally sealing them up.
A Termindor barrier is installed with an 8-year warranty with a condition that the house is inspected every 12 months to ensure the barrier has not been breached.