The first step in protecting a house is to prevent termites from gaining access. This is achieved by placing a barrier under or around the house.
Barriers are designed to deter termites or bring their presence out into the open. Barriers can be physical or chemical in nature.
Physical barriers are so-called because they rely on the physical resistance of the material to resist termite attack. These are usually installed during new constructions, but some can be retro-fitted to existing houses.
Barriers can be placed under concrete slabs, foundations and within cavity walls. Hardware and building suppliers may be able to advise on products that are available for D.I.Y
Physical barriers are made from metal, crushed rock or other materials that termites cannot chew through, and in which any gaps are too small for termites to move through. Most of these products have to be installed by professionals that are licensed by the manufacturers.
Ant caps are installed at the top of underfloor piers or stumps to force termites into the open where they are easier to detect during regular inspections. Ant caps are not a barrier by themselves.
Chemical barriers are so-called because they rely on a chemical to resist termite attack. The chemicals are usually insecticides. These barriers can be placed under concrete slabs, foundations and around houses.
Chemical barriers can be installed in new and existing structures, but can only be installed by licensed pest controllers.
There are two types of chemical barriers in-soil and in-plastics.
In-soil chemical barriers are formed when the chemical is applied to the soil under or around the foundations of a building.
In-plastic chemical barriers are plastic sheets containing a chemical – these are typically installed like physical barriers.
There are several different chemicals currently registered for use as chemical barriers. Registration is controlled by Australian Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Authority.
There are several chemicals used currently (new chemicals are under development and old chemicals can be DE-registered, so check your technician for the most up to date information).
Termite pest management and control
Approved methods of preventative termite control are covered by Australian Standard AS. (). Remedial termite control is covered by AS . (). More information is available from Australian Standards, and can be be purchased from their website.
It is important to remember that house construction is variable. Consider:
- The Type Of Construction (Slab On Ground, Suspended Floors, Pole Etc)
- The Materials Used
- Soil Types
- Size Of House
- Size Of Block
- Year Of Construction
Australia is a big and varied country, from cooler temperate climates to wet tropical ones. Such variation is important to remember when considering termite control methods. Should one particular method work well for one house, it may not prove appropriate for a second.
This is undertaken when an infestation in a house has been identified. If the nest can be found it may be possible to destroy it directly. Check any trees, stumps, wood stockpiles or other sites that may harbor termites within meters of the house. The nest can be destroyed by complete removal or by application of a chemical insecticide.
Whether or not the nest can be found, the termites must be prevented from continuing their attack on the house. Therefore remedial treatments generally use chemicals in one form or another.
The chemicals can be applied as:
- Barrier Treatments