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TERMITES IN ACTION – MAY 2018

Some impressive termite leads captured here, and also a reminder of why it pays to be thorough when it comes to inspecting subfloors.

You need to get dirty

As an industry, offering comprehensive, professional termite inspections is one of our key services. For property owners (and the image of the industry), it is vital that these inspections are carried out to the required standards. This means taking time over the inspection and more often than not, getting dirty. Inspecting roof voids and subfloors (if present) is essential.

Unfortunately, many pest managers will have inspected a house shortly after a previous inspection that reported no termite activity, only to quickly find the presence of termites or damage – obvious damage that had been ‘missed’ by the previous ‘inspector’.

Rick McPherson from Premium Pest Control in Melbourne came across a couple of examples in Melbourne recently, where the pre-purchase inspections failed to pick up activity – very upsetting for the new owners to find out shortly after moving in. Figures 1 to 3 tell an all too common story: termite damage picked up by a good inspector and with cobwebs throughout the subfloor, it was quite clear the previous ‘inspector’ did not get down and dirty! The irony being this was actually a real estate business owner’s house (whose regular inspector missed the activity).

 

Figure 1: Cobwebs throughout the subfloor are a good indicator that no inspection has taken place
Figure 2: Damage to floor missed during a annual termite inspection – don’t forget to peel back carpets (with owner’s permission)
Figure 3: Some fairly obvious structural damage missed during a pre-purchase inspection

Now that’s a lead!

Termite inspections and reports certainly focus on the potential for concealed termite entry and damage. Fortunately, every now and then, the entry point can be quite obvious. Jacob Jackson from Flick Anticimex in Darwin came across this not-too-subtle Nasutitermes effort (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Can you spot the entry point?

A day at the races

Termites can be fascinating, even for the general public (as long as they aren’t attacking their home!). Brad Burnett from Pest-Nett in Brisbane came across this ‘termite race’ at a commercial site in Yatala, south of Brisbane (Figure 5).

Figure 5: Termites ‘racing’ up the wall in a commercial facility

“The walls are concrete tilt panels, staff had been measuring their advances up the wall, but of course couldn’t resist picking at the leads in the process,” said Mr Burnett. “Which meant they frightened the termites off, and the race was stopped.”