When faced with a challenging building site with sheer slopes, builder Ross Jackson chose to install Sentricon AlwaysActive to safeguard the property against termites. 

Ross Jackson has been a builder for the past 40 years, and has built “a fair few homes” over the years, mostly around his home in Melbourne. In what has become something of a habit, Mr Jackson now takes ‘working holidays’ on the Sunshine Coast, buying a block of land and building a ‘spec’ house.

The installation of termite management systems during construction are required in ‘designated termite prone zones’, so are required in most areas of mainland Australia. That said, Mr Jackson has seen a significant difference in termite activity between his Melbourne home and his Queensland holiday venues.

In Queensland, “we get bricks delivered, sitting on a pallet, and three months later the bottom planks on the pallet are just riddled with termite tunnels. I can’t believe how quick they are,” he explained.

Mr Jackson’s latest project is on a steep slope with impressive views of the ocean. His house plan was designed specifically to make the most of these views from every possible angle. With a three-level construction of mostly steel and concrete, leaning back into the slope, Mr Jackson knew he had a difficult site for meeting the termite management system requirements set out in the National Construction Code. Traditional systems utilising barriers or chemical reticulation systems just were not going to work at this site or would require extensive management during construction.

The Queensland house site with difficult construction slopes

“I don’t believe there’s any system that is going to work except for these Sentricon stations, and the reason I say that is because where that foundation butts into the block wall, you have a weak link. There’s nothing that is going to a hundred per cent deal with that, unless you go to a heck of a lot of trouble of digging the dirt away from either side of the concrete foundation, tunnelling underneath it and sealing all the way around that foundation. That’s just a ridiculous thing to have to do,” he explained.

Sentricon AlwaysActive offers a solution that meets the requirements of the National Construction Code, allows full design scope, and doesn’t disrupt the building process.

“The whole idea of putting a few stations around the house just strikes me as being so simple and effective, and that’s the reason I’ve chosen Sentricon,” said Mr Jackson.

Builder Ross Jackson on site at the newly built property

To use Sentricon AlwaysActive in construction, pest managers must have successfully completed the online learning course, installed the system according to the current Sentricon technical manual (available online) and a fixed a durable notice.

Sentricon AlwaysActive is accredited via Codemark for use in construction as a stand-alone system.

Corteva professional pest business manager Joanne George advises “for the small investment cost, wherever possible, we still recommend including collars in construction. Termites are insidious creatures, so including every reasonable means of controlling their attack is prudent.”

Pest manager Mark Gersbach of Attack Pest Management who completed this installation (main picture above) shares the same view. “Sentricon AlwaysActive does have a place in construction as a stand-alone protection in certain circumstances or in conjunction with another systems. I have used it as a stand-alone system and have had good results so far.”

Mr Gersbach has had considerable experience with Sentricon AlwaysActive over the years. “Sentricon AlwaysActive is a very easy system to install and very cost effective. I have installed many systems, with all giving very good results and many very happy clients. Because of these results I am very confident in them and strongly recommend them.”

Using Sentricon AlwaysActive in construction has many benefits. The system can be installed at any stage of the building process, with no interruption to other trades. If any station is damaged by other trades after installation, it can simply be replaced. If there are any changes to the plan during construction, stations can simply be relocated.

Being a solid rod within a station, there is no exposure to chemicals for the pest manager, builders, tradespeople or the homeowner. It also offers ongoing customer contact, as the standard monitoring period of 3-6 months starts from the moment of installation. Including a monitoring visit with a follow-up for other pest management issues can ensure the new owner becomes a loyal customer.

Sentricon AlwaysActive can be used on any site, in any soil type and is not impacted by weather. It can be used pre- or post-construction, as an active treatment or preventative measure. Unless consumed by termites, the rods remain effective in the soil for over ten years. Its flexibility of use makes an excellent choice of termite management system, even for the most challenging construction sites.