Most pest managers are aware of the importance of eliminating termites from buildings before establishing a barrier treatment.
But, what is the correct option when a thorough inspection reveals an infestation which is very light, with only a relative few termites showing up in areas where activity has been found?
“No product has ever proven to be as reliable as— time after time, year after year — as Termidor,” Mal said.
“But, when it comes to colony or infestation elimination, I take each job and each situation on its merits.”
Mal said he believes dusting needs to be carried out “judiciously and wisely”. He also believes any decision to dust needs to be taken on the basis of “numbers”. “If you only find a few hundred termites moving around and along the galleries and leads, that’s probably too few to dust with any real effectiveness. “In my experience, you need good numbers, ideally up in the thousands, in areas such as architrave and skirting board galleries and entrance leads, to carry sufficient dust back to the nest and get colony elimination,” he said.
Mal said when he or his team find relatively small infestation densities, especially with the more ‘skittish’, disturbance-shy, Schedorhinotermes, they are more likely to attempt a dusting, which may not gain colony elimination, but will still rid the house of activity.
Then, they rely on the Termidor Liquid soil treatment to mop up any termites still moving in the area. That said, Mal is a stickler for ‘nest finding’ as part of any termite management program. “Nests are not always easy to find,” he said. “But I’ve seen far too many pest managers never give themselves a chance because, when they are looking, they’re looking the wrong way: at the house, instead of away from it … trying to locate the trees, stumps, sleepers, and so on where nests are most likely to be.”
Mal said he calls Schedorhinotermes his ‘dead stump termites’. “Where you find Schedorhinotermes, you must check all the nearby dead stumps, and also under any landscaping timbers, patio voids and so forth,” he said.
With Coptotermes, on the other hand, Mal advocates looking around for the “biggest ‘grand daddy’ gum tree in the area, because that’s where they will be coming from”.
“Sure, you will want to find entry points into the house. But, with both Schedorhinotermes and Coptotermes, you really want to find those nests,” he said.
Talking of finding, Mal said he cannot overemphasise the importance of carrying out meticulously thorough inspections, with “ … all the right gear”.
“Like us, you really need to be using the full range of latest inspection and detection gear, including thermal imagers, moisture metres, and so on … not just to do the job correctly but also to ‘value add’ and help keep your prices up. Mal said his customers are now asking for thermal imaging with their inspections.
“However, once you have done your internal and external inspections, you can then decide, based on circumstances and numbers found, whether to dust, foam and apply a liquid Termidor barrier.
“The main thing is to do whatever is best to achieve the most cost-effective and cost-reliable Termidor treatment,” he said.
BASF: The chemical company, recently produced the media release above featuring Mal Brewer, proprietor of Termite Solutions Queensland.