Active termites were found tracking up the interior brick walls to the front of a shop on the busy Parramatta Road at Petersham. This is a good example of why every property should be checked for termites at least every 12 months.
Eradicator Pest Services conducted a termite inspection, finding that beneath the area of termite activity is a walk-down basement area on a concrete slab, leading us to the conclusion that the termites are travelling beneath the road & pavement, to enter the premises. We often hear our clients say that they don't think they need a termite inspection, because their home is constructed on a slab, or is of cavity brick construction. Termites are only 5mm long & can breach the tiniest of cracks. They can also enter via the external slab edge & through service pipes.
People also have the misconception that you will only find termites in areas densely populated by large trees. It's true that it is more likely, but it only takes 1 tree housing 1 termite colony to infest a property.
Our treatment options were limited. A termite baiting system would take too long, taking several visits to gain colony elimination. We couldn't do a chemical barrier treatment, as other shops adjoin the property on both sides & it is built directly on to the street. We therefore opted to conduct a Termidor dusting treatment as seen in the above photos.
Photo #1 shows active termite soldiers & worker termite inside the mud shelter tube.
Photo #2 shows the Termidor dusting treatment.
Photo #3 shows a termite worker covered in Termidor dust. The termites groom themselves & each other & feed each other, therefore transferring the dust through the colony members.
Photo #4 shows the mud shelter tube having been taped up to minimize disturbance, allowing the termites to continue unaware.
I will return after 4 weeks to make sure all the termites are dead & if no activity is seen & I am satisfied they are eliminated, I will then remove the mudding.
We are now at that time of year when some days feel like Spring is in the air, but then we get a southerly reminder that Winter is not over just yet.
In the pest industry winter is our quietest period, although we still have enough work conducting termite inspections, which we recommend at least every 6-12 months. We are also busy with pests such as rats & mice, who being warm blooded, love to enter our homes in the colder months. Other year round pests include German cockroaches, carpet beetle, stored food product pests & bedbugs.
Tick treatments have also become a year round problem in recent years. We used to only get calls in Spring & Summer, but it seems that the grass ticks are appearing earlier & the adult paralysis ticks stay around for longer. This may be due to factors such as climate, less back-burning of foliage & vegetation & a resurgence in population of possums & bandicoots, due to reduction in fox numbers from baiting.
Sydney's northern beaches are particularly bad for ticks, especially suburbs with dense foliage, such as Avalon, Clareville, Newport, Narrabeen, Elanora Heights, Whale Beach & Palm Beach.
I have now eliminated the termite colony in the wardrobe, which I've been baiting for a few months. When we see this kind of mudding in a house, it is usually just mud-packing, but the nest housing the queen is usually further away from the house.
In this case, once I removed the mudding & the computer it had engulfed [See fig 4] you can clearly see in fig 2, the loose material in the centre, with concentric circles of mudding. This indicates that this was in fact a termite nest, with the queen residing in this central chamber.
Proof of colony elimination can be seen in fig 3. Here we see clusters of dead soldier termites. Many of them have deformed exoskeletons & some have heads without bodies. These are classic signs of the effects of a baiting treatment. Thousands of termites ingest the bait & distribute it throughout the colony. The bait is a chitin inhibitor, which interferes with the moulting process, leading to elimination of the entire colony.
The video shows Paper Wasps that I treated recently at a business premises in Thornleigh.
These wasps usually make their nests under cover. They are often found under eaves, the underside of trees & ferns & even under garden furniture. If they are not close to people traffic, they can be left untreated, but they can be very aggressive if disturbed & even casting a shadow as you pass them can make them attack. The sting is extremely painful, as I know from several personal experiences & the affected area can be red & swollen for several days & itch like crazy. Some people have severe allergies to these stings & can even go into anaphylactic shock.
People often try to treat these wasps themselves. I hear stories of people hosing them down, spraying with household aerosols & even smoking them with lighted paper. We do not advise this, they are very unpredictable & I wear a bee veil, gauntlet gloves & overalls tucked in when conducting a treatment.
To conduct a good ant treatment, you need to search for the ant trails & harbourages. Ants like to hide under rocks, pot plants & other similar areas & often track along man-made lines, such as path edges, wall joints & down pipes.
In this video I was tracking an ant trail along an external pathway & followed it under the entrance door to the sub-floor area. From there the trail entered a canvas table cover, where I discovered the nest.
This termite mud-packing was found in a house in Avalon recently. The resident had a partial chemical barrier treatment carried out by another pest control company, but the termites by-passed the barrier & continued unchecked, gaining access beneath the weatherboard cladding, before coming through the wall of the wardrobe.
Because of the recent warm & humid conditions & the fact that the wardrobe doors had not been opened for a couple of months, the termites have been able to construct this amazing structure in a very short space of time. Believe it or not, there is actually a stored computer that has been engulfed by the mudding !
I installed a termite baiting system in late January, which I will check monthly, replenishing all of the consumed bait, until the whole termite colony has been eliminated.
The worker termites carry minute amounts of bait back to the colony. It's then distributed throughout. The bait is a chitin inhibiter, which affects the termite molting process, therefore leading to total destruction of the colony.
I will post progress updates over the coming months, once the termites are established & feeding.
Today I returned to the house in Avalon, where termites had made a large mud-pack inside a wardrobe.
I placed two 100g baits last month & the termites have completely consumed the bait, as can be seen in pic 2. I have now added 2 fresh baits to the same area & will check them again in another 4 weeks.
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