Australia is known worldwide for its dangerous wildlife, but there's one menacing creature that doesn't get as much press as it should: the termite. Despite their humble appearance, these wood-eating insects can cause serious damage to businesses if they're not spotted and stopped quickly. If you're concerned about the threat from termites, here's a guide to what you should do:
Recognising an infestation
Termites leave certain characteristic signs when they infest a building, but some of these can be hard to spot or tell apart from other forms of damage. Warping or discolouration in wood panelling may result from the presence of termites; another sign is the presence of a thin trail of mud on a timber surface. Termites use these tunnels to prevent their routes drying out. To spot termites -- and most importantly, to locate their nest -- call in a pest control specialist.
Dealing with termites
If you do have a termite infestation, your commercial pest control provider will recommend one or more solutions. Typically this will involve establishing bait stations to lure termites to areas treated with termicide. In addition to killing the termite population, the pest control specialist will locate and destroy the termite nest, which may be located some distance from the initial site of the infestation.
Because of the threat of termites, new buildings in Australia are required to have termite risk management measures. However, these measures aren't completely infallible, and if one has failed it will need to be restored. Most termite protection plans consist of two parts: a physical barrier prevents termites from burrowing up through the soil to get to the building timbers, while a chemical barrier sprayed on the surrounding soil limits termite numbers. Physical barriers can take the form of steel plates, metal meshes or layers of stone chips. Timber used in some buildings may also be treated with termicide in advance of construction. If the existing barriers have been damaged, they may need to be repaired or replaced; the chemical barrier may need to be reapplied. Once this process is completed, follow-up inspections at regular intervals are necessary to make sure that the infestation does not reappear.
The cost of dealing with a termite infestation can be high; the best way to avoid this is to maintain strong precautions. If you're not sure about your business' level of preparedness, an inspection by a qualified commercial pest control specialist can give you the peace of mind you need.