Protect from termites
Since moving into our home just after it was built, we have not had a pest inspection or re-treatment done. We have lived here for about five years and are happy to co-exist with a few spiders and insects rather than have chemicals sprayed around because we have children with allergies. We know it is important to control pests, but we’re reluctant to do so. What is the minimum we should do? A termite management system installed at the time of construction of your home could be a chemical or physical barrier.
Chemical barriers are installed before the concrete slab is poured, and then a second application when the home is complete around the perimeter.
You may have a reticulated system or, depending on the type of construction of your home, there are a number of physical barriers.
Some of these including ant caps to timber posts or brick piers of framed homes, stainless-steel mesh, graded stone particles and sheet materials used in the wall cavity, at penetration points and/or under the floor slab — or a combination of these systems that best suit the site or construction of the building.
If you are not sure which system you have, a durable notice is fixed inside your meter box that lists the type of system, who installed it, and when it should be inspected.
If you cannot find it, contact your builder, as this is a requirement of the Building Code of Australia and Australian Standard.
No installation is 100 per cent. They need to be checked regularly to ensure there are no breaches by termites.
It is important to note that home insurance policies may exclude damage by termites.
Generally, you should have an annual inspection of your home, and the pest control company that installed the system, is probably the best one to contact for a review.
Even though activity may not be detected, it does not mean you are termite free. He said this, major structural damage is rare.
The Perth metropolitan area has a moderate risk compared with higher risks in northern and more humid parts of the State.
You still need to consider the management system installed is only for the structural elements of your home, and not other elements — termites are happy to chew through skirtings, carpets, plasterboard, not to mention furniture and books.
Summer is the time they are looking for a new place to start a nest. The treatment of space around the perimeter of your home is a significant factor in breaching the barrier installed.
Physical barriers can be bridged, and chemical barriers disturbed.
Where chemical barriers are installed the second application around the perimeter must be re-applied to maintain the effectiveness of the termite management system.
There are no natural or chemical-free ways of preventing termite activity that I am aware of. The re-application of your chemical termite barrier does not mean that you need to have other treatments from the contractor.
Discuss your concerns with them and your desire to minimise the use of chemicals.
There are things you can do to lower the risk of attack:
Keep landscaping away from the immediate perimeter of the home.
Stack timber or other cellulous material away from the homes, and check for any activity. regularly, about every six months.
When adding patios and decks to the home, these must also have a suitable termite barrier.