Author: Danny Kelly

Termite Treatment – How Much Does it Cost?

A Question most homeowners are unsure of is how much should a Termite Treatment Cost? This article outlines the reasons why Termite Treatment Costs vary.

There are 2 options when treating Termites

Option 1 The Quick fix solution

This treats the area of live termites only, these treatments can be done by either a spray treatment, foaming treatment or dusting treatment. Let’s say there is a customer who has termites in her window frame in the lounge room, Treatments for a quick fix would cost between $330.00 and $660.00 inc gst, In this cost the customer would get the affected areas only treated using dust, foam, or spray/inject.

Option 2 – Termite Treatment Procedure

The procedure for option 2 would be as follows, Termite damaged areas in window frame and wall cavity would have small piercings put into affected areas and the application of product applied directly into the termite workings.

It is essential that a non-repellent chemical is used as these products are slow acting and will allow the product to be transferred from termites back to the nest. The cost of non-repellent chemicals is much greater than repellent chemicals as these chemicals only kill termites on contact.

If a customer receives a termite treatment cost of $220 it will be expected that a repellent chemical will be used and this will not be effective, and not recommended.

Termite Barrier Cost

Termite barriers are used to protect the home against termites for up to 8 years. They consist of trenching around the perimeter of the home and drilling small holes through external paths and slabs to form a complete treated zone around the home. We do quite a lot of installations like this in Brisbane especially.

The cost for a Termite treatment barrier will vary between $2,000 to $3,500 for a small to large home. This cost will usually include an option 1 treatment if termites are in the home. Termite barrier chemicals used are also non-repellents designed to kill the termite nest by transferring product back to the nest.

The termite treatment cost for a barrier will usually be $500.00 cheaper if a repellent chemical is used. This is not recommended as it won’t transfer back to the nest.

Termite Baiting System cost

Termite bait systems are also great for Termite protection and cost usually $2,500 to $3,500 for a small to large home. Pest control companies can cut costs on these by servicing the baits less often, these bait systems should be serviced and baited every 4 weeks on a 12 month program. Some homes suit a Termite Bait system over a Termite Barrier.

The pros and cons of Termite Barriers Vs Termite Bait Systems

Termite Barriers once done with a non-repellent chemical such as Termidor will protect your home for 5-8 Years. The only cost is a yearly Termite inspection to ensure there is no conducive conditions that will weaken the treatment zone. Termite Barrier Cost usually $2,000 – $3,500

Termite Bait systems will cost $2500 – $3500 and include servicing, monitoring and baiting for 12 months only. Each year after the service fee is usually $800 – $900 to maintain the baits. This cost can end up costing a home owner 3x times the cost of a termite barrier.

This should way up the pros, cons and costs of Termite treatments, if you have any questions or you think you may have been quoted to much? We are happy to help, we provide free on site quotes and risk assessments.

Termite Treatment Control Services

Its Extremely important to select the right type of Termite Treatment or Control for your home, Depending on the age or construction type of your home will determine what treatment is best suited for you.

Here we will explain the 2 most common types of Termite Treatments used to Control Termites.

Termidor Termite Barrier-

What is a Termite Barrier Treatment?

A Termite Barrier is a continuous liquid treated zone installed in the soil around the perimeter of your home. Termites will then have to travel through the treated zone before entering the house. We use Termidor in all Termite Barriers. Termidor is undetectable to Termites so Termites will pick up a lethal dose of Termidor if they pass through it. It will start to affect the Termites within 8-21 days, this will allow the product to spread back to the nest and affect the other Termites. Termites and the colony will then be eliminated before they can gain access to your home.

Cheap Termite Treatments?

A Cheap Termite Treatment will usually be done using a cheaper Termite Treatment chemical that is a repellant type. These chemicals will repel Termites away from the treated zone and will not affect the colony. Cheap repellant Chemicals are not recommended if you require safe long lasting Termite Control.

A Termite Barrier will provide long term Termite protection as long as it is installed properly with absolutely no short cuts.

The success of a Termite Treatment Barrier is all upon the installation procedure its important to have the trenches dug 100mm below the footing and chemical applied at 10L per lineal meter.

  • Flow meters must be used to ensure 10 Liters is installed per meter.
  • Drill holes must be no more than 200mm apart in concrete paths
  • Tree roots against wall edges under soil must be removed
  • Certificate of treatment must be installed to certify all works have been done in accordance with Australian standards.

If your home is on a flat slab and reasonably flat block chances are your home will be best suited to a Termite Barrier.

Termite Bait System Treatment

Termite Bait Systems are designed to eliminate Termites before they enter your home also.

These baits are placed around your home usually every 3 meters, These baits are usually serviced on a monthly basis, The active termites are then fed a Termite Bait that contains an insect growth regulator that will allow Termites to feed the product and spread it back to the nest and colony allowing for the Termite nest to be eliminated before it can attack the house.

If your home is on a sloping block or has a split-level slab or pole home it will be most likely that it’s suited to a Termite Bait System.

Call us for a free onsite Quotation

Things to consider before you have Termites Treated –

  • Use a reputable company that is licensed and insured
  • Use a Company that doesn’t outsource to Contractors
  • Use a company that issues a written Warranty

We are accredited to install all types of Termite Treatment and Control products, Using a company like us will ensure you get honest up front advice on the right Termite Treatment for your home as we don’t favor one over another.

Ready to Work With Pest-Ex?

Cheap termite treatment might save you a few dollars initially, but is it really worth the risk? Termites can cause an incredible amount of structural damage to your home, which insurance won’t cover. It pays to spend the money and do the job right.

Pest-Ex guarantees professional and effective termite treatments which will last you up to 8 years using the most effective termite control products in the industry – Termidor.

Give us a call today.

Chemical Termite Barriers 101 – How They Work, Safety, Installation and Cost

It’s estimated that as many as 1 in 3 properties in Australia are affected in some way by termites. It’s also estimated that at least 50% of homes with active infestations, could have been better protected through the implementation of precautionary measures, such as barriers baits and traps.

Unfortunately however, this is not always the case.

Termite infestations, especially those left undetected, can cause significant amounts of structural damage which often results in costly repair bills. This is why, its absolutely vital that property owners take every means possible to protect their homes and businesses from being affected.

One of the most effective preventative treatments is what’s known as a chemical termite barrier

What is a termite chemical barrier?

A termite chemical barrier is a chemically treated zone that surrounds the perimeter of a building or structure. This treated zone lays beneath the ground, positioned strategically in an effort to disrupt the termites natural path.

The chemicals used to create this barrier prevent the termites from breaching the treated area, and gaining access to your property. Termites that come into direct contact with the treatment are killed off, and also, over time the entire colony is killed off as the effects of the treatment are passed between the termites themselves.

This is what makes this treatment method particularly effective.

How do termite chemical barriers work?

It’s absolutely vital that before a chemical termite barrier is installed, that a thorough termite inspection of the property is carried out. This is done to ensure that there aren’t any active termites inside. Obviously, if live termites are found within the property, they need to be treated before the barrier can be installed.

If live termites are discovered, we perform immediate treatment and return for a follow up inspection 21 days after, to ensure successful removal before installing the chemical barrier. Of course, if no termites are present, installation of the barrier can commence immediately.

The actual barrier is then installed via way of digging a trench around the perimeter of the building, approximately 300mm wide and deep enough to expose the footings of the building. This trench is then injected with a termiticide chemical compound mixed with water that binds with the soil.

As termites forage through the soil looking for sources of food, they come into contact with the barrier, which delivers a lethal dose of the chemical to the termites. The industry leading product is termidor and is the only product that has what’s referred to as a “transfer effect” meaning the barrier not only prevents termites from from entering your property, but it also passes over the affect of the chemical to other termites, which then eliminates the entire colony.

Termiticides unlike repellents, are far more effective, as repellents simply deter termites, without killing them off or eradicating the main nest.

Pest-Ex always use termiticide products, so you’ll have total confidence in knowing your property is protected.

Chemical barriers vs traditional physical termite barriers

Chemical termite barriers are a great preventative solution for homes and buildings that have been built without a physical barrier in place.  They provide protection without having to make any costly structural alterations.

It should be noted that due to changes in building standards, that almost all new homes are now built with physical termite barriers in place. These are specially treated plastic or metal mesh type sheeting that is placed underneath or around the edges of the concrete slab (or on top of foundations), during construction of the building.

They are a great long term preventative measure as they have a life expectancy  of up to 50 years.

However, for a lot of homes built prior to changes in the building code, a chemical termite barrier is an ideal solution. Chemical barriers allow your property to be protected for up to 8 years at a time, without compromising the structural integrity of the building.

In comparison, whilst physical barriers stop the termites from entering the property, if they’re not used in conjunction with a termiticide such as Termidor, they don’t have the added benefit of affecting the nest with the transfer of lethal chemicals to other the termites.

Both when used in conjunction offer the most effective protection against termites.

How long do chemical barriers last?

Pest-Ex use only high quality Termidor chemical barriers which last 8 years.

These barriers all come with a $2 million dollar assurance warranty from BASF Termidor. All of our installations are carried out in strict accordance with Australian standards, and as Termidor trained professionals, we are able to pass that assurance onto our customers.

All chemical barriers installed by us are certified. Upon completion of the install, this certification is acknowledged by BASF, and the customer receives the warranty certificate. It should be noted that this certificate of warranty is subject to 12 monthly inspections.

This is simply to ensure that your barrier is maintained to a high standard, and also to ensure that we detect any potential disruptions to the barrier ahead of time before any termite damage occurs.

Chemical barriers and the safety of your children and pets

The active chemical used in termite barriers is similar to those used in many common pet flea treatments, so once in place it poses no immediate threats to children or pets.

It’s also a liquid based solution, which is injected into the soil, as opposed to an airborne chemical used for a large number of traditional type treatments. This means there is no risk of exposure for anyone accessing the area.

As a precaution however, we do recommend for pets to be kept inside whilst the barrier is put in place.  The liquid barrier then usually takes around 3 hours to dry, after which you can rest assured in knowing that your children and pets can play safely in the yard.

Typical cost of a termite barrier installation

Prices for termite chemical barriers vary depending upon the size of the property being treated. Cost is calculated per lineal meter, so larger properties obviuously cost more.

For an average sized 3 bedroom home on a typical sized block, prices start from $2,300. This of course comes with a guarantee, includes yearly inspections and will protect your property for 8 years. This may seem like an expensive option, but if you factor in the cost over an 8 year period, you’ll realise it’s much more economical than having to deal with facing costly repair bills.

It’s always best to have one of our pest controllers inspect your property in order to provide an accurate quote, but more importantly to ensure that a chemical barrier is the right option for you.

How long does the installation take?

Similar to cost, the time that it can take for installation may vary depending on the size of your property and the area that needs to be protected.

Typically, we assign multiple technicians onsite to minimise installation times. To put an average sized barrier in place for a regular sized 3 bedroom home – with two technicians at work, an installation can usually be completed within 7-8 hours.  This means we can have your home protected from the threat of termites within a days work.

Ready to work with Pest-Ex?

If you would like more information on our chemical termite barriers, or to discuss the best options for protecting your property against a costly termite infestation, please give us a call to schedule an appointment.

We’ll organise to have one our pest control technicians inspect your property and provide you with a free quote, and to ensure that a chemical termite barrier is the right choice for you. If not, we’ll be able to provide another option that best suits your needs.

So give us a call today, we look forward to helping you.

Conronavirus Covid-19 Work Safety Statement By Pest-Ex

A Message to all our customers about Coronavirus

Pest-Ex are currently monitoring the fast changing affects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) We are currently keeping our technicians and clients up to date with the necessary precautionary measures to keep our staff and our clients safe at all times during any pest control or termite inspection procedure.

As of now we are continuing to provide our pest control services as normal operation as per booked schedules. If clients are concerned or sick we advise they contact our office immediately on 1300737839 or at admin@pest-ex.com.au

Pest-Ex technicians have been instructed and trained to follow the strict procedures and recommendations as set out by (CDC) Centres of Disease Control for their own protection whilst in clients homes or buildings and also to protect the homeowners or tenants.

Our current precautions ensuring safety to our staff and clients:

  • Personal protective equipment is to be worn by technicians always during internal treatments
  • Hand washing & sanitizing hygiene is done before and after every service
  • We are routinely disinfecting shared equipment or equipment that could be placed on common work surfaces.
  • Any technician feeling unwell or has a sick family member exhibiting these symptoms is prohibited from working for between 14-28 days.

Questions our technicians will ask homeowners or tenants before entering:

  • Our technicians have been advised to ask before entering a property if the homeowner or tenant is unwell or in self quarantine.
  • Technicians will not be allowed to enter a property if a homeowner or tenant is unwell or is in any form of isolation.
  • Technicians to avoid shaking hands and will keep distance of 1.5 meters between person to person where required
  • Latex gloves are always to be worn by technicians whilst performing duties inside a home or building and to be replaced before each service
  • All technicians are to update us on any health changes immediately
  • Technicians are also encouraged to withdraw if unsure or concerned of a health situation
  • Health and safety of technicians and clients is our #1 priority of Pest-Ex

 

For any further questions please contact us immediatley

 

DIY Termite Spray Becomes An $11,000 Mistake For Homeowner

We were called out recently to see a client that had been experiencing recurring termite troubles over the years. This particular client wasn’t new to us -he’d called Pest-Ex to do termite inspections on his home regularly, however this particular homeowner always insisted on trying to treat the termites himself. Even though we had repeatedly found termites in his fence, his garage, and even more recently, his lounge room.

When we inspect a property, we always recommend a course of professional treatment to eliminate any termites we find. We also offer solutions to prevent them from coming back. Unfortunately, this homeowner decided he wasn’t interested in any of that. Instead, he would use a product that he’d purchased from the hardware store. Essentially what he was doing was finding termites, spraying them, then calling us out to perform an inspection.

Of course this was utterly pointless, because by the time we’d arrive, the termites would have abandoned the treated area and moved somewhere else. This went on for months, until of course – it ended badly.

What’s a DIY termite treatment?

The termite treatments you can buy from a hardware store kill the termites immediately on contact. They are usually bifenthrin or imidacloprid based products and work in a similar way to a fly spray. Basically when it comes into contact with the termites, it kills them.

One of the issues with this is that termites have a natural sense for when they are in threat and will completely abandon the area as soon as a region is treated with a repellent type spray. When it dries, it’s got no residual effect whatsoever. By the next morning, the termites have either abandoned the area where it was wet and come up a metre or two away. Or they abandon the area and come up on the other side of the house.

A homeowner may be killing 500 termites in his wall using a spray from the local hardware, however, what they fail to realise is that the nest contains millions of termites. It should also be noted that each day, a colony will produce a further 2,000 to 5,000 termites.

Instead, we use a product called Termidor, which has a transfer effect. Termites are not able to detect it, and they pass it on to the other termites in the colony. In this way, we can eliminate the termite activity entirely. Termidor costs half the price in the long run of the DIY chemicals, and it’s a permanent solution.

What our inspection revealed

When we were called back to inspect the property, the homeowner told us he had used a DIY product containing bifenthrin in the wall on the second floor, where he’d found termites. He told us all the termites were gone, but he wanted to make sure.

We performed a full termite inspection. Using an infrared camera, we found that the colony had abandoned the treated area and moved just one metre away. The coptotermes termites (also known as subterranean termites) had already started to form a sub-nest next to the area he had treated.

We’ve been trying to explain to this homeowner why DIY termite treatments don’t work for several years.  All he was doing was moving the termites on. He’s had a constant problem year after year of termites returning, and it’s the same colony. The same species of termite appears in his property once or twice a year. He finally agreed to treat the property with Termidor to eliminate the termite colony and install a full perimeter termite barrier around the property.

Counting the cost

Unfortunately, the damage to his property had been done. It cost him $11,000 for a new upstairs bathroom. The upper floor joists were completely eaten out by termites, which he couldn’t see until he lifted the floorboards. All the flooring had buckled. The floor joists had been eaten out, and because the floor bowed and bent down due to the pressure, it had broken the waterproofing membrane.

Homeowners think they are saving money by doing DIY termite treatments, but this case shows just how devastating the consequences can be. Even worse, termite damage isn’t covered by home insurance. This homeowner had a big bill he was liable for. The termite treatment cost for this home owner was double what it should have been plus the damages and repair bills incurred.

What to do if you think you have termites

Don’t disturb them or try a DIY treatment in the area. When homeowners spray chemicals, it makes it harder for us to find the termites.

Call us to perform a full inspection of the house and property, including the garden. Because the area of activity hasn’t been disturbed, we’ll have access to an excellent feeding site. It gives us a defined area to apply non-repellent. Or if we’re doing a baiting treatment, it gives us a perfect spot to start above ground baiting.

Just because you’ve sprayed the window frames with a DIY product, for example, it doesn’t mean you’re free of termites. We may inspect the property and discover they’re still all through the mulch outside, and the colony is thriving. They just haven’t had time to get back into the house yet.

The biggest misconception is that DIY termite products are all repellents. There’s no such thing as a DIY termite product that’s designed to eliminate the nest. Unless you’re eliminating the nest, you’re going to have a constant termite headache.

Book a termite inspection with us today

If you’re concerned that you might have termites in your home or it’s been a while since your last inspection, get in touch with us today. We’ll organise a time to come out and make sure that your home is protected.

Termite Inspection Saves Brisbane Home From Disaster (Camp Hill)

A long overdue pest inspection has thankfully saved a Camp Hill resident’s home from potentially financially crippling damage to her house. A termites nest, the size of a bedroom door, was located behind her shower, in the bathroom. The older style property was built into a hill, and the homeowner reported to us that she had noticed paint bubbling and lifting in various parts of the house.

What concerned us most is that she hadn’t had a termite inspection carried out in more than five years.

Tracking down termites

When we visited the property, the homeowner pointed out an area behind the shower where she had noticed the paint bubbling, and a large brown stain forming on the wall. In this case, she’d simply assumed the issue might have been caused by a leak in the shower but thought she’d rule out termites as a precaution.

Thankfully, she listened to our advice during our initial phone call, and had us out to perform a termite inspection. In this case, there was a water leak, which had created an ideal water source for a species of termites called coptotermes, also known as the “subterranean termite”. When they find a reliable food or water source, they’ll build a sub-nest, or bivouac. As the mud nest grows, it starts to seep through the plasterboard and creates blistering of the paint. She reported that the stain had grown from the small patch on the wall to chest-high within a matter of weeks.

To determine the cause, we used specialised equipment in order to assess the scope of the infestation, including the following tools:

  • A Tramex moisture meter.
  • A thermal imaging camera, which defined the moisture pattern and showed the area where termites were located as a heat map.
  • A Termatrac motion detector to confirm live termite activity.

We didn’t need to open up the wall and disturb them because the thermal camera had shown us on the screen precisely the size of the nest inside the wall. Once we had confirmed the scope and location of the termite activity, we injected Termidor into the wall through small incisions in the wall. We explained to the client that it was important not to disturb the nest until the treatment had remained in the space for 21 days.

Termidor is not designed to kill the termites instantly, it’s also not a repellant. It’s designed to be undetectable, but once exposed, the termites will spread the product back down underground throughout their entry point to the other termites in the colony.

The importance of a thorough termite inspection

What we knew from the inspection in this case, was that the termites had built a huge sub-nest backing onto the shower because of the constant source of water. The moisture had gone through the slab into the soil, which is where the termites were coming from. The homeowner felt confident that the infestation was localised, but our experience told us otherwise. It took some convincing, but eventually, the client agreed to having us perform a full inspection of the property.

When we inspected the exterior of the home, we found five termite entry points. They were coming up the slab edge into the house in multiple areas. The internal inspection revealed six other areas where termites had access. The termites weren’t just backing onto the bathroom. They were in all different areas of the house, and they were starting to really do some serious damage.

The internal damage was luckily only about six months old, so they hadn’t done any structural damage to the hardwood framing, but if left untreated it could have been extremely costly. We confirmed damage in many of the homes fittings like the door frames, window frames, and skirting boards. We estimated that in another six to 12 months, the termites would have eaten nearly the whole house.

The client couldn’t believe the extent of the potential damage, and thanked us for ‘saving her house’.

Lessons learned

This is what we’d like homeowners to learn from this case:

  • Book an annual termite inspection. Once you notice the first signs of termite activity, the damage will already have been done.
  • A termite infestation is never localised. You will usually always need a full inspection to find all entry points. They could be anywhere and everywhere.
  • Once termites find a source of food or water, they will keep coming back until they have devoured your home. It’s important to fix leaks and remove sources of food where you can.

Once the active termites in the bathroom had been killed off, we returned to check the area behind the shower wall, which revealed the nest was about the size of an average bedroom door. The space behind the shower and the wall membrane was solid with termite mud. From there, we waited 25 days from the initial treatment before we installed the perimeter barrier. Some companies do the perimeter termite barrier straight away, which does nothing but trap the termites inside the home. Its always important to have remove the termites from inside the home first, then implement a barrier.

Concerned about termites in your home?

Get in touch with us today and we’ll schedule a time to come out and perform an inspection. You never know, a few hundred dollars might be all it takes to prevent tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage. Don’t wait, call us today.

Preventative Termite Protection May Save Your Home

We had an interesting case recently where we worked on two neighbouring houses, with very different outcomes.

We were called to a pair of homes in Robina to see neighbours that suspected they had termites on the property. Neither of the houses had active termite protection. The homeowners told us that they’d had under-slab termite treatments done in the late nineties when the homes were built, but nothing since.

What happens with under slab termite treatments is that over time, the chemical disperses through the soil and after a year or so, is no longer effective. The termite product used is also often cheap and of poor quality.

What the inspection revealed

When we inspected the Robina homes, we found active termites in the yards. Not just one species of subterranean termites, but three. We located schedorhinotermes, coptotermes, and heterotermes. Fortunately, our inspection showed that both properties were free of termites inside the house.

The lack of termite protection on both properties put the houses at serious risk. We told the clients that ‘termite prevention may save your home’. We explained that it was an investment in protecting the home, and it was vital. The client at House A chose to go with our recommendation of a termite bait system. The neighbor, at House B, chose not to install termite protection.

House A vs. House B

We installed the EXTERRA Termite Bait System around the property of House A, with monthly monitoring for termite activity. In the first month, we confirmed schedorhinotermes were feeding in three stations. We baited them, and within three months, they had eaten 3.5 litres of termite bait, which eliminated the whole colony.

For two months, our monitoring didn’t pick up any further activity until two stations behind the garage were found to be active with heterotermes termites. The stations were baited, and we eliminated that colony from the property within eight weeks, using about 1.5 litres of bait. The client at House A was pleased with the system and success.

When it was time for the annual termite inspections to be done a year later, we revisited both properties. We inspected House A, the one with the termite bait system first. It was all clear. No activity, the house was clear, the garden was clear, we found no problems. Then we went to the next property and did a full inspection there. House B was another story altogether.

Our external inspection revealed coptotermes in the garden. Inside House B, we found termites in the kitchen. They had entered the house through the plumbing and eaten out the whole back of the kitchen. They had entered the roof and started to feed on the hardwood beam above the kitchen, and had also gotten into the bathroom.

While they hadn’t done a lot of damage, kitchens and bathrooms are the most expensive areas in the house to repair. They had to pull all the tiles off to fix the damage. They had to pull the kitchen out to fix the damage there too because all the window sills on the back side of the kitchen and the hardwood beam that was holding the roof up was all eaten out. The homeowner ended up with a repair bill of over $20,000.

So it’s clear to see how effective a termite protection system is. If the neighbour at House B had agreed to get a termite protection system installed, she would have eliminated the termites on her property before they got into the house. Instead, the property was riddled with coptotermes and ended up with a $20,000 repair bill.

House A spent $3,000 on a termite protection system and was completely safe and termite free. The decision to invest in termite prevention had saved the home from attack. When the homeowner discovered what had happened next door at House B, she said: “I remember what you told me, your exact words were, termite prevention may just save your home”. She made the investment, and her property was termite-free.

The client at House B was devastated when she realised that a termite protection system could have protected her house from damage. She asked us to install one right away. Now House A and House B have our systems installed, and they’re protected from termites.

All too common

Unfortunately, this isn’t an uncommon thing we see. We had another client where we found a termite nest in his wall the size of a football. He was due to travel overseas, so he chose to wait for two months before he got us to deal with the termites. We went back two months later, and the termite nest was approximately 1 meter square. It shows how important it is to treat a home for a termite invasion as soon as it is discovered.

Ready to work with us?

Don’t leave it until its too late. Preventative measures are always more cost effective than costly repairs. Give us a call today to schedule a time to have us come out and inspect your property.

What You Need to Know About Termite Reticulation Systems

A termite reticulation system is a series of underground piping thats positioned around a home. its purpose is to provide an ongoing form of protection against termites. The benefits of course are that it can be replenished repeatedly with a termiticide – via specialised equipment and pumps.

There’s a wide range of reticulation systems on the market, each with their own pros and cons. One benefit is that if there’s immediate access to the perimeter of the property (direct access to the soil) they can be easily replenished without having to drill through concrete.

Termite reticulation systems can be used on a new home or one that’s undergoing renovations – such as an extension. Reticulation systems are often a requirement for homeowners wanting to build a granny flat or add an extra room to their home. Australian standard stipulate that there has to be a replenishable termite barrier between the existing homes foundation and a newly poured concrete slab. In this case, we would lay a termite reticulation line underneath the slab where the old slab meets the new, so that it’s replenishable when the chemical meets the end of its life cycle. We connect it up and re-fill the line. The termiticide goes in at a certain pressure, through the line, and disperses to form a termite treated zone.

If a homeowner has an existing intact reticulation system, it should be replenished with a non-repellent product such as Termidor.

Troubleshooting termite reticulation systems

The issues we see are when it’s time for homeowners to replenish an old barrier system. Some companies install them using bifenthrin, which is a cheap repellent chemical, designed to deter termites from the house. The termites know it’s there, so when they get to it, they go under it or around it. To solve this, when we’re called in to replenish a termite reticulation system, we use Termidor or a non-repellent so that it’s more effective in protecting the house. The product is designed to be in the ground to eliminate termites, not deter them from the area.

The problem is that 60 to 70% of these reticulation systems are failing when they are being pumped up. The termite reticulation systems that were installed ten years ago are now obsolete or have become brittle from being underground for all those years. A lot of the companies that installed them have gone out of business. We see systems that have been installed poorly or have been placed with plastic bends on the corners.

If we try and pump these with pressure, instead of pumping 400 litres of product around the house, the pipes break, and the chemical is only pumped into one corner of the house. We have trained our technicians to check every corner when they’re doing reticulation pump-ups. If we do a termite reticulation refill and we detect flooding at the corner, we can’t continue with the work. Instead, we recommend a new installation that will give the homeowner home long-term termite protection.

We were called for a termite inspection and reticulation recently, where we came across this problem. We tested the soil, and we could see the termiticide was all being pumped into one corner. If we hadn’t been really watching what we were doing, the customer wouldn’t have known any better. It would have been entirely misleading to the customer that their home was protected because their system was actually failing.

The issue with pre-build installations

In most cases, a building contractor will brief a termite protection company that specialises in pre-construction to install the system. What concerns us is that these companies don’t need a full termite license to install the line. This means they could have done a short course on how to install the line and could be using inferior products.

The builders are also unaware of how the systems work, and play a role in them failing. We’ve come across sites where the pipes have been covered with rubble or rocks, so the chemical can’t disperse. Another issue can come in with broken lines. The hose has an L-shaped bend, which is used when it needs to curve around a house. They are secured with black clips. If the clips break, the lines pop off. To avoid this, we’ve seen cases where installers have used hose clamps instead. The problem is when the pipes become brittle, the clamps cause them to bend and break underground.

Replenishing termite systems effectively

Reticulation systems aren’t commonly being installed anymore, but we regularly get called to replenish them. One of the new systems we use now is Termex. There’s no need to use the plastic bends anymore because the lengths are in 10 metres, and have a junction box on every end of the line.  There’s no risk of busting a corner or an end because when we pump up a line, both ends of the line are visible through the junction boxes.

Want us to take a look at your reticulation  system?

If your about to perform extensive renovations, or your reticulation system hasn’t been looked at in some time, be sure to get in touch and we’ll organise a time to come out and take a look at it for you.

Why Termite Bait System Renewal is Important

Browns Plains resident, Colin asks

“Danny we were working with a pest control company a while back and they told us we only needed to have our bait stations checked every 6 months. Is this right?”

Thanks for the question Colin. Bait stations should be renewed or at least inspected monthly – especially in high risk areas. I’ll outline the reasons below, along with the risks associated if you don’t.

Termite bait systems are a really effective form of termite protection for your home. However, the bait system can only offer you continuous protection if they’re serviced properly.

Let’s break that down.

Let’s say your house has been fitted with 25 termite stations around the perimeter. If termites are in the area, over time they’ll be drawn to the timber inside the bait stations, where they’ll remain and feed on the materials inside. As a pest control company, we visit properties monthly to ensure the stations are in good condition. We inspect them and replenish the bait, ensuring their effectiveness. If the timber inside the stations is eaten away, the termites will simply abandon them and head for the nearest source of timber, which will most likely be your house.

In other words, once the bait stations are empty, you’ve essentially just got a piece of plastic in the ground.

So if you don’t service them frequently to ensure there’s adequate bait, or the timber inside the stations aren’t fresh, or in good condition, the termites just won’t go near it. They’ll move on and in search of something else to eat.

How renewal works

Here at Pest-Ex, our termite bait system service level agreements are designed to work on a 12-month contractual basis. The first year will usually include monthly monitoring and baiting of the system. After this, we proceed to the termite bait system renewal process.

A renewal includes a full termite inspection of the house to make sure no termites have entered. If we confirm the house is clear, then we simply renew all the timbers in the stations, which contain the attractant, called Focused Termite Attractor. We then continue to monitor the system once a month for the next 12 months.

In some cases, we’ll stretch it out to four to eight-weekly monitoring if it’s a low-risk site. However, if it’s a high-risk area with a proven history of termite activity – either in the yards or retaining walls, we’ll recommend servicing, baiting and monitoring every month.

Unfortunately, some homeowners think that once the bait stations are installed you don’t need to check them and they continue to work forever. But they don’t realise that it’s a process of continually keeping the timber and attractant fresh throughout the year.

With constant inspections, we can ensure that the stations are working and doing their job.

Why some termite bait systems fail

What we’re seeing a lot more of in recent times, are pest control companies offering cheaper contracts that include bait system renewals, where they’re only servicing the stations once every three months. The problem with this of course, is that the termites will most likely consume all the internal components of the station, and the bait, within four to eight weeks. So if a technician’s not inspecting and servicing the stations regularly, then you’re left unprotected.

Our recommendation is to always ask a pest control company if their service agreement includes monthly monitoring. If you receive two quotes and one is considerably cheaper than the other, it’s likely the cheaper quote will only include 3 or 4 monthly inspections.

You’re better off avoiding it completely because servicing termite bait stations every three or four months simply won’t work.

Don’t try DIY bait stations

We’ve had cases where we’ve seen people attempt to place tiny pieces of timber inside over the counter bought bait stations themselves. This won’t work. The Exterra termite bait system we use makes use of particular Tasmanian oak hardwood. It’s designed with six slats that slide down into the system so the timbers are in direct contact with the soil, which is where the termites forage. In addition to that, people tend to forget the actual active product that we install as well – Focused Termite Attractor.

So it’s not just a matter of putting some timber in the ground, it’s a bit more specialised.

When was the last time you had your bait stations checked?

If you’re unsure if your current termite bait system is being maintained correctly, you’ll need to book a pest control inspection to check for termites and examine your bait systems. From there, we’ll make the best recommendations to ensure your home is protected.

Give us a call to get the process started.

What’s the Best Termite Treatment?

Hamilton resident, Amanda asks

“What’s the best termite treatment? There seems to be a lot of different options, some cost a lot more than others, what would you recommend?”

 

Amanda, you’re right, there are a number of termite treatments available which I think confuses a lot of homeowners. Which ones are best? See below for our recommendations.

Termite treatments have advanced a lot in recent years.

In the past, pest control technicians used pesticides that would kill termites on contact. Pesticides like this are known in the industry as “repellents”. Repellents aren’t the most effective treatment method as they were never really designed to eliminate termite colonies, but act more-so as a deterrent. By doing so, termites would essentially avoid treated areas.

When a home is treated with a product such as Bifenthrin – which is still offered as a cheap option for termite control –  it can often mean you end up trapping the termites inside your home, rather than keeping them out.

We’ve seen some pest control companies still using this method as a cheaper option, and as a result, it’s not uncommon for us to find huge termite colonies completely reproduce inside a property because they can’t get out. The entire perimeter of the house has been treated with a repellent. It may sound like a cost saver if a pest control company pitches this treatment to you, but it really isn’t an effective solution.

Why physical barriers aren’t the answer

Building codes stipulate that all new properties be built with a plastic membrane or a steel membrane in the brickwork. This type of barrier is designed to deter termites from entering through a gap, essentially stopping termites coming up between the internal slab and the external brickwork.

But what usually happens, is that over time the foundations crack and termites gain access to the property. We’ve seen properties where thousands of termites have created mud galleries up, over and around physical barriers, (both steel barriers and plastic membranes) eventually gaining access to the house and causing considerable damage.

A modern approach

Pest-Ex doesn’t use repellents. Instead, we use a product called Termidor.

Termidor is a slow-release non-repellent product made up of a broad-spectrum insecticide called Fipronil. It allows termites to pass through the treated zone then through a transfer process, they pass on the chemical to other termites, which over time results in complete elimination of the entire colony.

The reason Termidor is so effective is that you’re not just treating the termites that have accessed your house. Because the termites move freely around your property and their nest, you’re able to access insects that are in the garden, the retaining walls and anywhere else they are feeding too.

Termidor barriers are designed for homes on a flat slab and create a completely unbroken treated zone around the house, giving you up to eight years of protection.

For a detailed overview of how Termidor works, click here.

The best treatment type depends on your property

Termidor treatments aren’t suitable for all properties.

Slab homes

The most effective termite treatment for slab homes without a doubt is a chemical barrier. We use and recommend Termidor as it provides 8 year protection for your home.

Split level homes

If you live in a split level home, Termidor won’t be the best solution as we won’t be able to create a barrier around the entire property, which is what the system requires to be effective. You need an unbroken barrier in the soil at a consistent depth. For split level homes, we recommend using a system called termite baiting.

The Exterra Bait system we use are designed to eliminate termites by attracting them into stations where they feed on the bait. Stations are installed in the ground at regular intervals around the house.

Termite bait is irresistible to them because it’s full of cellulose – the material they feed on in timber. Once the termites have been intercepted, which means they are actively feeding in the system, they are exposed to an insect growth regulator called chitin synthesis inhibitor. Termites molt three to seven times a year depending on the species, and this product interferes with their ability to form a new exoskeleton. Ultimately, over a short period, you eventually eliminate the entire colony.

Ready to work with us?

Here’s why you should work with us –

  • Unbeatable onsite service and full communication
  • We are licensed, fully trained and insured
  • We are recommended by leading banks and conveyancers
  • Qualified timber pest inspectors (Cert 3 – Pest management technical)
  • Since 2006, we’ve performed thousands of termite treatment and prevention systems for happy customers right across SE Queensland

If you’re concerned about termites in your home, then give us a call. We’ve been providing pest control services since 2006 and have performed thousands of termite treatments and inspections across South East Queensland.

Give us a call, we look forward to working with you.

How to Get Rid of Funnel Ants In Lawn

Terranora resident, Daniel asks

“What’s the best way to get rid of funnel ants? They’re absolutely everywhere in my yard and they’re killing my lawn. Such a nuisance!”

 

Great question Daniel. Funnel ants in lawn or grass can become quite a nuisance, especially as they’re destructive in nature – as well causing an unsightly mess in your yard. Here’s our advice.

If your lawn is suddenly littered with hundreds or thousands of small cone-shaped dirt mounds, it’s a likely sign that your grass might be infested with funnel ants. It usually happens after there’s been rain because the insects dig up the soil to allow their nests to dry out.

Funnel ants are widespread across Australia, however they are more prominent within Queensland due to the tropical climate and frequent rainfall. Funnel ants can become a terrible annoyance for home owners as they can ruin yards, so they’re definitely a pest you’ll want to get rid of as soon as possible.

Identifying funnel ants

Funnel ants are light brown or tan shade in colour, and are about a centimeter long. The only way you can really distinguish them from other species is their signature habit of creating mud mounds on lawns.

There are a couple of issues that they cause when they do this.

Firstly, the soil that they excavate pushes up and covers small areas of grass, depriving them of sunlight, which of course, kills off the grass. Once the soil has settled, you’re left with unsightly patches of dead grass everywhere. Weeds can also start to grow through the compromised areas, and soon you’ve got a yard that’s uneven, muddy and looks a mess. The uneven surface and mounds of dirt can also make yard keeping more difficult, not to mention the possible damage caused to mower blades and other equipment.

Why DIY treatments won’t work

We often see customers who’ve tried to solve their funnel ant issue with DIY products they’ve bought off the shelf at a local hardware or convenience store. The pesticides used in these products are usually either Permethrin or Bifenthrin.

These chemicals kill the ants on contact which is utterly pointless, as it’s impossible to kill ants deep beneath the surface. This of course means you’re spot treating a handful of ants only, and after a couple of days, it rains, the mounds reappear, the ants return and back and you’re back where you started. You’re just wasting your money and your time.

The bottom line is that you’re never going to get on top of a funnel ant infestation using DIY products.

Investing in a long-term solution

At Pest-Ex we use a product called Termidor to eradicate funnel ants. Termidor is a long term solution that binds to soil and in most cases last 1-3 years once applied correctly.

The treatment basically works like this –

Before arriving, we’ll ask you to mow the lawn to prepare it for treatment. Shortly after, we’ll spray the ant mounds and then blanket spray the rest of the lawn with Termidor. The spray isn’t designed to kill the insects immediately. Instead, the product works much like a virus, infecting the ants that come into contact with it, and killing off other ants as they pass it on.

This is achieved as the affected ants retreat back into the nests where they die and are consumed by other ants. This of course begins the chain reaction, which makes it possible to kill off large colonies of ants, deep beneath the surface.

What homeowners fail to understand is the vast quantities of product that we apply to achieve this outcome. When applying the treatment, we use a professional Honda powered pump which ensures thorough coverage of the area. An average lawn is about 800 square metres, and out of that we’ll typically apply between 50 and 70 litres of Termidor. In comparison, homeowners that try the DIY route typically use one litre of store-bought product and use a small backpack squirter.

You’re not going to get an adequate distribution of pesticide with this approach and as a result, won’t fix the problem.

Keeping you covered

A Termidor treatment binds to the soil, giving you long term protection against further funnel ant invasions for up to two years. We’ve seen customers achieve and maintain ant-free lawns, while their neighbours on either side have funnel-infested grass. If you have a Termidor treatment, ants from other properties will die when they attempt to build a nest in your lawn.

Another great thing about Termidor is that it doesn’t kill the grass and is completely safe for your family and pets. The Fipronil used in it is the same ingredient used in animal flea and tick tablets. However as a precaution, we recommend that you avoid coming into contact with the treated grass for a couple of hours after we’ve sprayed so it can dry.

Get your timing right

The best time to book a funnel ant treatment is during the cooler months. We don’t recommend applying it when it’s the height of summer as the product will evaporate too quickly and won’t have time to bind to the soil. The best time to perform the treatment is during mid to late afternoon while the affected area is shaded.

Got an ant problem? Give us a call

If funnel ants have killed off patches of grass, leaving it lumpy and uneven, you want a professional grade treatment that offers you a long-term solution. We can help by restoring the condition of your lawn and leaving you confident in knowing that you’ve protected it from further funnel ant activity for up to two years. If you have a problem with funnel ants in your yard, give us a call. We’ll come out, inspect your property, give the best advice and get rid of them permanently!

Give us a call to get the process started.