Will firewood bring termites to my home?

Who doesn't love a nice roaring fire to keep warm and cozy this winter? You need to exercise caution however, as pyromania has dangers beyond the obvious.

A roaring fire is loved by many during winter!  

A roaring fire is loved by many during winter!  

On a cold night, you don't want to have to travel far to grab some timber to top up your fire. The problem however, lies in the stored firewood. 

A large pile of lumber is a comforting sight before winter.

A large pile of lumber is a comforting sight before winter.

Termites love timber, the more the better. A huge pile of lumber is about as attractive as it gets for a termite colony, once the termites detected a good food source, then they will communicate with other members of the colony to inform them of the smorgasboard they have discovered. 

This will not only bring in more members to feed on the timber that they have found, but termites are eternal foragers, too much is never enough, so they will continue to forage in the vicinity of the food source. Now imagine that this is happening right next to your home! 

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This wood pile had a few extra guests. With termites eating away at the timber in this wood pile.  

We recommend not having your firewood stored in ground contact, additionally, any timber that you keep near your home (you know, for easy access on a cold night!) needs to be stored up off the ground and definitely not abutting the house. 

Can I bring termites into my home if I inadvertently bring in a piece of timber with termites in it? 

The simple answer is no, aside from the fact that they will soon be fried! Subterranean termites are social creatures, as such they need to be in contact with the rest of the colony, a few termites, brought in by a lump of timber pose no threat to the home. 

Additionally, the termites need moisture to survive, a warm, dry house will ensure that they won't survive for any appreciable amount of time.  

In conclusion, we recommend that firewood be stored away from the home, in an elevated position away from ground contact. If you must store firewood sitting it on a continuous pour concrete slab with no joins will eliminate undetected termite entry as long as you can see clearly around the edge of the slab.  

Timber stored in this shed with a concrete floor was still on the menu, but the signs were obvious.   

Timber stored in this shed with a concrete floor was still on the menu, but the signs were obvious.   

Sentricon Always Active - The Future of Baiting!

We are proud to be supplying a new termite bait product in Australia! Servicing the Central coast and Newcastle region with a revolutionary new way of killing termites.

Baiting is not only a way of eradicating a termite colony in a home, but can also be used to kill off colonies as they forage for food near a structure - thus providing protection. 

This can be particularly useful when a chemical barrier is not viable due to construction restrictions.  

See the video below to find out how the Sentricon Always active system works!

Sentricon AlwaysActive is the future of termite management; what homeowners have always thought a termite bait should be. But it's not a bait! Active from installation, Sentricon does not contain a bait but a revolutionary termiticide rod. Termite colonies may be eliminated before you ever know they exist!

A Sentricon bait station being checked for activity.  

A Sentricon bait station being checked for activity.  

Contact us for a free quote or more information. Ph: 0474 962443

 

Oodles of delicious sentricon stations ready for installation. The always active rods in the stations will protect the home from the moment we install them!

Oodles of delicious sentricon stations ready for installation. The always active rods in the stations will protect the home from the moment we install them!

A Sentricon always active rod is eaten out within months of being installed. This highlights it's palatability. 

A Sentricon always active rod is eaten out within months of being installed. This highlights it's palatability. 

A Sentricon rod completely eaten out not long after the system was installed.  

A Sentricon rod completely eaten out not long after the system was installed.  

Do termite barriers work?

There is often great discussion in the pest control industry about what products work and what products don't work, often the discussion is about termite barriers. 

The problem with making statements like " 'X' termite barrier doesn't work because I saw infestation 'Y' " is that the limitations and scope of the barrier are seldom included in the statement.

The reality is that, for the most part, termite barriers DO work, the problem usually occurs in the installation. 

Here are some prime examples of termite barriers that have been incorrectly installed. 

A termite barrier is tucked underneath a bearer, allowing for undetected termite entry.  

A termite barrier is tucked underneath a bearer, allowing for undetected termite entry.  

This barrier is hidden behind a pier, since it's not directly attached to the ant capping, termites could easily climb up behind the pier without being seen.  

This barrier is hidden behind a pier, since it's not directly attached to the ant capping, termites could easily climb up behind the pier without being seen.  

Once again, the barrier does not make it all the way out to an inspection edge under the bearer.  

Once again, the barrier does not make it all the way out to an inspection edge under the bearer.  

Should I get my own timber pest inspection report?

When purchasing a home, a building and timber pest inspection are required to find out if there are any problems with the structure or if there are any timber pests.  

Who should organise this? 

Inspections can be organised by a number of parties, but some present a conflict of interest.

i) The Vendor - The vendor is ideally looking for a report that says the home has a "clean bill of health"; as such, if they engage a pest and/or building inspector, there is a possibility that the inspector is put under duress to present the report in the most favourable possible light. 

ii) The real estate agent -  is looking primarily after the interests of a vendor. By definition, the real estate agent has the primary role of selling the property. If they engage an inspector, they could possibly try to engage one that will be more "easy going", less fastidious in finding potential problems with the property. 

iii) The purchases conveyancer - If you're buying, then your conveyancer may organise the Inspection as a matter of due diligence. This wholesale outsourcing of inspections can present a problem if the inspector is possibly asked to provide cut price inspections or is too busy to perform thorough inspections. Although acting in your behalf, it's just a matter of a few minutes whilst your discussing the purchase with your conveyancer to find out who they use and check a few reviews. 👌🏻

iv) The purchaser - this is the most ideal candidate for organising a timber pest and building inspection, but there are potential pitfalls. Often, the purchaser can be financially stretched to the limit, especially with real estate prices rocketing. The temptation can be to find the "best deal", not all timber pest inspectors are created equal. The cheaper the price, the quicker the report, the quicker the report, the greater the possibility something will be missed. You're better off spending a bit more and getting a quality, detailed report rather than a cheap one.  

Will your Inspection include photos and inform you of potential problems? The best way to know may be to organise it yourself.

Will your Inspection include photos and inform you of potential problems? The best way to know may be to organise it yourself.

 

There are potential problems in each of these scenarios, and not all inspectors are created equal, a conflict of interest can arise in each case.

Ideally, its best to look into each scenario and make an informed decision that you're comfortable with. In theory, there isn't a problem with each of these options, in practice, our experience has been otherwise. 

Either way, do your homework, use reputable, licenced and insured inspectors and your possibility of surprises will be reduced.  

 

The Area around the property should also be checked to reveal potential threats.  

The Area around the property should also be checked to reveal potential threats.  

DDT - and other nasty chemicals!

Over use of chemicals has caused many problems. See some old examples of DDT advertising and use. The problem wasn't just the use of a dangerous chemical, but it was being over used and spread prolifically in every area of life.

Safe use of chemicals are paramount to us, if we need to use them at all.

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The random things you find during an inspection.

We often find random issues with homes during a termites inspection, here are a few examples of non termite issues we were able to let homeowners know about.

This electrical plug was resting on a downlight globe and was burnt severely. We moved it off the light and informed the owner. 

This electrical plug was resting on a downlight globe and was burnt severely. We moved it off the light and informed the owner. 

This electrical junction box had a water leak above it. 

This electrical junction box had a water leak above it. 

 


Plumbing draining into the subfloor. This is surprisingly common and can be a real issue, not only for termites but also can increase structural issues.

Plumbing draining into the subfloor. This is surprisingly common and can be a real issue, not only for termites but also can increase structural issues.

These communication wiring certainly needed some TLC! 

These communication wiring certainly needed some TLC! 

This air conditioning drain was dripping into the roof void, the homeowner was glad we let them know! 

This air conditioning drain was dripping into the roof void, the homeowner was glad we let them know! 

It's surprising how often we find plumbing that just drains straight into the subfloor! 

It's surprising how often we find plumbing that just drains straight into the subfloor! 

Signs of Termites in walls

How do you know if you have termites in your wall? 

There are tell tale signs that are specific to termites.

Cracking in walls can be a sign that something sinister is happening behind the wall. The mud spots confirm that it's termites. 

Cracking in walls can be a sign that something sinister is happening behind the wall. The mud spots confirm that it's termites. 

Termites will always seal any opening with their mud, here you can see tightly packed mud filling in the gaps. 

Termites will always seal any opening with their mud, here you can see tightly packed mud filling in the gaps. 

Subtle changes in timber cover strips can be a dead giveaway. Here the vertical timber strip and the one to the left has been eaten out, the strip on the right remains intact.

Subtle changes in timber cover strips can be a dead giveaway. Here the vertical timber strip and the one to the left has been eaten out, the strip on the right remains intact.

Inside this built in wardrobe you can see evidence of termite workings. There is a tiny bit of mud right in the middle of the corner at the top and spots of mud/mould is visible on the Left Hand side. This is a clear indication of termite activity behind the walls. 

Inside this built in wardrobe you can see evidence of termite workings. There is a tiny bit of mud right in the middle of the corner at the top and spots of mud/mould is visible on the Left Hand side. This is a clear indication of termite activity behind the walls.