Following the release of AEPMA’s Code of Practice for Termite Management During Construction, AEPMA president Vasili Tsoutouras recaps the various termite proofing solutions on offer for pre-con jobs.

Last year a significant amount of time and effort went into developing a series of Codes of Practice for our industry. One of these, the Code of Practice for Termite Management During Construction, is of particular relevance in this issue of PPM magazine with its focus on pre-construction termite systems.

The Code of Practice for Termite Management During Construction we have developed is recognised by the ACCC and is freely available on the AEPMA website. We are also in the process of creating additional documentation to support our members in helping them to implement the Code in their daily business activities.

An integral part of the Code covers system selection i.e. choosing the right termite proofing system for the construction job at hand. This is perhaps the most crucial of the pest manager’s role. There is an incredibly large selection of systems available to use, which essentially fall into one of three categories: physical barriers, liquid soil treatments and pesticide- impregnated physical barriers.

Physical barrier systems rely on using impermeable materials to block termite access, including ‘ant caps’ on stumps and metal ‘strip shields’ through masonry walls, which generally do not require replenishment/reapplication.

Pesticide systems, or liquid soil treatments, typically provide a zone of pesticide-treated soil under and around the building to be protected. However, pesticides applied to soil break down and can become ineffective over time. Installers often employ ‘reticulation systems’ (permanent pipe systems) buried in the soil so the pesticides can be reapplied.

Pesticide-impregnated systems are usually installed in a manner similar to physical systems. While pesticide-impregnated systems still rely on pesticides, the pesticides they contain are usually protected from environmental degradation, allowing system providers (manufacturers) to provide systems that do not require replenishment/ reapplication.

It is important to note that not all termite management systems are appropriate for all forms of construction. In fact, designers and builders may incorporate more than one termite management approach. For example, concrete floor slabs may use penetration collars on service penetrations (to deter termite entry from underneath the slab) together with an external reticulation chemical system or a physical/pesticide- impregnated barrier system to deter unobservable termite entry from the slab sides.

The choice between these three approaches generally comes down to cost, personal preference, system availability, longevity, the dictates of design and the warranty conditions offered. Whatever the approach, building owners, builders and design professionals can expect products and system installations that comply with the Code to deter unobservable termite entry. This is on the proviso that they supply their qualified termite management system installers with sufficient design and construction detail to enable installers to con rm the suitability of selected approaches, and also immediately advise of any building design changes made during construction. This allows the pest manager to update their recommendations, if and where necessary.

At an industry level, AEPMA and its members are committed to the ongoing development of new products and technologies as well as the refinement of existing systems.

On a more personal note, I would like to remind you to renew your AEPMA membership, if you haven’t already. If you’re not a member, there is no better time to join! Being an AEPMA member gives you a competitive advantage in the pest management industry as it gives consumers confidence that your company is backed by a credible and professional body. It also offers you the distinct advantage of gaining exposure via our website, which receives in excess of 10,000 hits per week. Consumers use the AEPMA website as a reliable source to find reputable pest management services, generating both qualitative and quantitate business leads. Visit the website to learn more about the bene ts of becoming an AEPMA member.

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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