Which Termite Treatment Do I Use?
We are all aware of the potential damage a termite infestation can cause to timber and more importantly timber dwellings, our homes. CSRIO founding’s indicating that 1 in 5 homes in Australia are affected by termites with consequential costs amounting to hundreds of million dollars. This makes one thing crystal clear which is one must be proactive and informed about termites however this isn’t as easy as it may seem. With so many products and methods of termite pest control available in today’s market it is very confusing which product to use. But to make things even more complicated even if you do decide on the method other variables suddenly come into the equation. How much does it cost? Is it safe on the environment? How frequent is maintenance? Etc…
The purpose of this article is to explain to the average and user in simple terms products that are available and how exactly do they work, so let start.
When it comes to selecting the right termite treatment its best to use a process of elimination in order to narrow down your options as each method of termite control is intended for different situations.
There are two questions that first must be answered.
1. Is the termite treatment for a new or existing dwelling?
2. Do I prefer a chemical, physical or integrated approach to termite protection?
Types of Treatments
Physical termite barrier system – Referred to as a traditional method due to its established means of installation it was often endorsed as a chemical free means of protection against termites. As good as it sounds in practice it’s a little different. Physical termite barrier systems do not eradiate termites they only provide a means of stopping the termite from attacking timber while exposing them. Once the termite tracks are visible the only way to eliminate possible damage is to apply chemicals, which puts you in a position where you have to resort to chemical application anyway. In contrast to some chemicals termite treatments, physical barriers can be costly and can only be applied to new dwellings and extensions while under construction.
Soil sprays – Can be implemented to both new dwellings and exiting dwellings making it versatile and relatively cost effective depending on which method is selected. In new dwellings chemical application is carried out over the proposed slab area as a general blanket spray before the concrete is poured. The chemicals are effective in eradicating the termites rather then providing a barrier only. These chemicals however can break down over time. Re-treatment to the building over the life span of the dwelling maybe required this can however be disruptive to the homeowner and depending on the complexity of the exercise costly. There are available re-trenching systems that will be looked into later on in the article.
In ground baits and monitoring systems – Are a cost effective way to be pro active when it comes to termite protection. These are bait stations that are strategically installed around the perimeter of the dwelling and are used as an intercepting tool for termites. They are made out of timber (favourable to termites) and can be easily checked for termite activity. Some systems can also be used as a method of termite eradication as they can be loaded with powder insecticide which is then spread from “termite to termite” potentially all the way back to the nesting area. However for an effective treatment (once termites are detected) in addition to the use of powder insecticide a horizontal chemical barrier will also have to be applied around the perimeter of the house which can be costly.
Reticulation systems – Also know as replenishment systems they are integrated into new dwelling construction. A system of flexible hoses that is installed under the foundation (slab) of the dwelling that has the same principle as the chemical blanket application with one added advantage and that is it can be replenished. It is a more costly system to install initially however proves more cost effective in the long run. The system can also be implemented in existing dwellings however it can only be installed around the perimeter of the house.
Composite systems physical/chemical – By infusing termicide into a membrane and DPC (damp proof course) when rolled out under the foundations this composite method of eliminating termites acts as both a physical and chemical barrier. Termites a firstly repelled from the area as they sense the termicide and are eventually killed if they persist. In addition to this the actual membrane that is physically laid on the ground acts as a physical barrier. However this system can only be applied to new dwellings.
Please use below charts as guide only to better understanding what product or method of termite control is most adequate for your needs.
Termite options chart for Existing Dwellings
Termite options product chart for Existing Dwellings
Termite options chart for New Dwellings
Termite options product chart for New Dwellings
Please note that the above charts are to be use as guides only, there are other termite products on the market that might be more suitable to your needs. This is only a sample selection.