With pest managers now enjoying the busiest time of the year, I’d like to take the opportunity to take a quick time out to outline the important changes to Australian Standard 3660.1 Termite Management Part 1 New Building Work and what this means for our industry.

The revised Standard brings together ‘requirements’ for the design of a building and the concrete slab as well as ‘requirements’ for the different managements systems: chemical, sheet material and granular materials.

As noted in the foreword of this Standard: ‘This Standard is primarily concerned with providing measures to reduce the risk of undetected subterranean termite attack on buildings’. The Australian Standard is a minimum standard and designed more to appease the minimum requirements of the National Construction Code rather than what professional pest managers know should be undertaken to provide whole-of-home protection from the risk of termite ingress. AEPMA, as the representative organisation of professional pest managers, has developed Codes of Practice for Termite Management, which seek to raise the bar and meet the reasonable expectations of the homeowner rather than working to the minimum standard.

There is increasing evidence that our industry is being compromised by those pest control businesses that have succumbed to the pressure for a convenient and cheap termite treatment for new buildings. These pest managers are supplying builders who are not concerned with providing a whole-of-home solution for their client and some are not even concerned whether the treatment is effective – they are just looking for the sign-off.

Where liability lies in the event of a costly repair – due to termite damage falling within the term or a builder’s statutory liability – will be monitored with interest by AEPMA. Reputable companies seek CodeMark certification for their termite management systems and those systems must be installed to the manufacturer’s specification to be considered compliant. The installation of non-compliant termite management systems put the home at risk of termite damage and a liability claim potentially on the builder and the pest manager. Yet the real damage will be to the reputation of our industry.

Two examples of this: the use of hand-sprayed termiticides in Perth based on an engineer’s questionable performance solution, and the observed decline in quality of some sheet material installations on the east coast. AEPMA has been working to redress performance solutions which have the effect of undermining the minimum requirements of the Australian Standard and make our efforts to raise the standard through Codes of Practice more challenging. With respect to sheet material, the photos here show that there are those doing great installations that will obviously work as intended and then there are those that show little desire to create an efficacious termite management system that will obviously not work as intended.

Examples of poor quality installations:

Example of poor quality installation     Example of poor quality installation

Examples of high quality installations:

High quality installation     High quality installation

We strongly encourage all pest managers to follow the Codes or Practice, as these have been written to help and protect pest managers, protect homeowners and protect our industry.

Until next time, I wish you all the best and trust all is going well within your businesses.

Vasili Tsoutouras

AEPMA President

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