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BE PREPARED FOR WHAT LIES BENEATH

Chris Mills, Territory Sales Manager from Bayer, explains the importance of creating a continuous treated zone even when challenges arise on site. 

When installing a termite chemical treated zone around a property, it pays to be prepared for the unknown. Sometimes it only takes a little bit of trenching to realise you may need a lot more time and more labour than originally quoted to do a thorough job.

For external perimeter chemical liquid treatments, pest managers must create a complete and continuous treated zone, but sometimes that is easier said than done. Builders’ rubble, and render slag against the foundation footing and brickwork – usually only found deep in the trench – is a common cause of treatment failure if not correctly rectified. Care must be taken to identify and remove all remnants of construction to prevent concealed termite ingress via an untreated pathway within the treated zone.

Damien Bishop from Cure All Pest Control in Brisbane agrees that it is essential for leftover construction materials to be cleared by pest managers during the treatment process to achieve success.

“Every [one of our] truck[s] has specific power tools on board for dealing with these issues along with all the other essential hammer drills and trenching tools for chemical treatments,” explained Mr Bishop. “We can’t afford for a technician to be halfway through a job and find render slag covering the footing and brickwork and to not have the right tools on board to overcome problem.

“Chemical treatment specialists are in high demand and have busy schedules. A hold up with a treatment by not having the right equipment on board if the aforementioned conditions arise can be a costly exercise to a business.

Drilling holes before treating with Premise Termiticide

“We are up to our 120th bottle of Premise Termiticide this year – we average about 260 bottles per year. So that adds up to a lot of chemical barriers.”

Drains and plumbing within the trench can also pose significant problems. Pipes encased in concrete allow for potential concealed termite ingress via an untreated pathway within the trench. Again, care needs to be taken when treating these areas.

When preparing for the application of a chemical treated zone, it is also best practice to remove any pavers and, where possible, concrete that is concealing the application area. Concrete is not always easy to remove, but the option should be given to the homeowner, and they should be informed of any limitations to the treated area that the concrete causes. Disappointingly, pavers are often drilled through when they could be removed to access the footing correctly.

A good pest manager will always ask themselves, ‘How can I complete the job as neatly as possible?’ Choosing the correct equipment, such as drill bits that suit the surface being prepared, is critical. For example, using a smaller bit for exposed aggregate will make the job much neater once finished. Also, when drilling through tiles it is essential to use a diamond bit that is designed for this purpose. The pest manager can then use the masonry bit once through the tile.

Planning ahead with tile work and drilling between the grout lines also makes for a better finish. When using Premise Termiticide, there is the option of 300mm intervals for drilling, which gives extra flexibility when planning hole spacing.

If high risk areas have been identified, there may be a need for additional labour to complete the job or alternatively a solution such as Bayer’s Agenda Termite Baiting System may be an option.

Chris Mills, Territory Sales Manager, Bayer