Pests feel­ing right at home

The Weekend Post - Real Estate - - Front Page - BIANCA KEE­GAN

for ter­mites,” she said.

“One of their meth­ods of build­ing a new colony is the queens will pro­duce winged alate (fly­ing ter­mites), ants can also do this.

“They can only fly once and when they crash, their wings fall off.

“If you have a king and queen who land to­gether and they have a re­li­able food source and wa­ter source, they can be­gin a fu­ture colony.”

Ms Cooper said it could take up to 10 years for a colony to be­come large enough to cause ex­ten­sive dam­age but she urged home­own­ers to get a pest in­spec­tion at least once a year.

“All of Cairns is high risk be­cause we are in the trop­ics, and we have the right weather for them.

“Houses that back onto bush or rain­for­est are slightly more sus­cep­ti­ble. In block homes they get in with­out be­ing seen.

“Queens­lan­ders be­ing on stumps, you tend to see them come up the stumps.”

Aus­tralian En­vi­ron­men­tal Pest Man­agers As­so­ci­a­tion (AEPMA) Queens­land di­rec­tor John Gra­ham said termite cont rol meth­ods ranged f rom chem­i­cal to phys­i­cal, and somet i me s a c o m b i n a t i o n was re­quired.

Chem­i­cal sys­tems were of­ten via retic­u­la­tion around the out­side of the home and needed on­go­ing main­te­nance, while a phys­i­cal bar­rier was in­cor­po­rated into the home dur­ing con­struc­tion.

‘The dif­fer­ence is the chem­i­cals are de­signed to ei­ther de­ter or kill the ter­mites ... whereas a phys­i­cal bar­rier is de­signed to stop con­cealed en­try and force the ter­mites out into the open, where they can be rapidly and eas­ily seen,” Mr Gra­ham said.

Ms Cooper said termite treat­ments usu­ally started at about $3000.

“Quite of­ten, ter­mites are very clever at hid­ing,” Ms Cooper said.

“Some­times i t i s d r a stic (when peo­ple find ter­mites), I’ve seen one in­stance where they ate all the cor­nices in.”

in­clude species that make tun­nels in the ground, usu­ally in the top 200mm, to reach a source of food which is some­times a con­sid­er­able dis­tance from the colony. In­cluded in this group are the mound-build­ing and some tree-dwelling (ar­bo­real) species.

ob­tain wa­ter from the wood in which they live and do not have con­tact with soil. The na­tive species live in dead branches, branch stubs, fire scars and logs of a va­ri­ety of host trees. At­tack is mainly re­stricted to the sap­wood, but gal­leries may ex­tend into outer lay­ers of sound.

are al­ways as­so­ci­ated with damp, de­cay­ing wood, usu­ally in the form of fallen logs in the for­est, but may some­times be found in de­cay­ing wood in build­ings or fences. They de­pend on the mois­ture in the tree.

UN­WEL­COME GUESTS: Se­nior Pest­away tech­ni­cian Dave Watts in­spects a house in Mt Sheri­dan for ter­mites.

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