Article posted on December 18, 2019

Preventative Termite Protection May Save Your Home

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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.

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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.

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