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Cooroy Memorial Community Hall | Cooroy Pest Control staff community project

Cooroy Pest Control’s staff decide to help protect Cooroy’s “grand old lady”. The Cooroy Memorial Hall & School of Arts

 

 

Cooroy Pest Control technician, Geoff Arscott, will never forget the day he was underneath the Cooroy Memorial Hall doing a routine Termite Inspection.

“There was a tap dance class going on above my head,” he explains. “And all I could see was dust falling from the floorboards.”

 

There was a good reason for all the dust – termites! The floorboards were badly infested and a whole section under the stage had already been eaten out. It was a disaster waiting to happen.

 

Needless to say, shortly after Geoff’s discovery, the hall was closed down and, after a thorough inspection, it was decided that an extensive renovation was necessary before it could be declared “fit for business” again. This is perhaps not that surprising when one considers how long the building has been around. It was originally constructed in 1910 – although it only officially became the Cooroy Memorial Hall in 1926. That’s more than 90 years of dances, weddings, church services, school concerts, public meetings, club activities – the list goes on!

 

Something had to be done and a major fund-raising drive was launched which resulted in the building receiving an “extreme makeover” inside and out. After a lot of work and community input, it was reopened with much fanfare by Noosa mayor, Tony Wellington, in April 2018 and has now resumed its role as the town’s community hub.

 

But what was to stop the termites returning to this newly-renovated building?

 

This was the question on the minds of some of the Cooroy Pest Control (CPC) technicians and office staff as they enjoyed their weekly meeting at Circa coffee shop, situated across the road from the hall. It was the beginning of a discussion that would ultimately lead to a community project, initiated and implemented by the CPC technicians.

 

“What impressed me,” says Shane O’Donnell, co-owner of CPC, “is that the whole idea came from the staff. It’s something they decided they wanted to do and, without any discussion, they agreed to do the work out of office hours. Honestly, we were blown away by this. And, of course, we were more than happy to supply the equipment and materials for the job.”

 

One of the best defences against termites is the Exterra Termite Interception and Baiting System – a very effective barrier which is also environmentally-friendly as it doesn’t use any poison. On a Friday afternoon, after work, the CPC technicians (Geoff, Paul, Dave, Ethan and Dale) installed an Exterra system around the Memorial Hall building. They were joined by Ken from Ezy Concrete Cutting who drilled the holes for all the in-concrete stations and also didn’t charge for his services.

One of the main reasons the Exterra system is so effective is because all the stations around the building are monitored regularly for termite activity. As part of the deal, CPC will monitor the system and treat termites as they reveal themselves at no cost to the Memorial Hall.

 

“Working on (community) projects like this is a great team-building exercise,” says Geoff, who worked as a fireman in the UK for over 20 years. “The whole thing wasn’t planned as a team-builder but when we were there (doing the installation), you could definitely feel the camaraderie. There was a lot of humour flying about!”

 

So Cooroy’s “grand old lady” is back in business and a new chapter has begun in the long life of this important community meeting place. Even the tap dancers are back, tapping away with confidence – secure in the knowledge that their dance floor is now a termite-free zone.

 

 

Cooroy Pest Control is contracted to provide the following services annually and the staff provide their time at no cost.

  1. Exterra Termite Protection Program – Monitor, maintain system 9 weekly
  2. Termite inspection – Every 6 months
  3. Commercial internal pest control – treat kitchen and hall for pests every 3 months
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“I opened the cupboard and screamed! The whole of the inside was just this massive termite mud nest.”

“I opened the cupboard and screamed! The whole of the inside was just this massive termite mud nest.”

Elona’s story | Cooroy

Elona was going through a tough time. A few years earlier, she had unexpectedly lost her husband (aged only 49) to a brain tumour. Now she was struggling to keep her company afloat and the banks were not cooperating. The last thing she needed was for anything else to go wrong but, unfortunately, that is exactly what happened.

 

“I had decided to take a week’s break – to get away from the stress,” Elona explains. “It was my first holiday in five years. When I got back I noticed a small pile of dirt in the corner of my shower. I knew that wasn’t a good sign but nothing prepared me for what I was about to discover.”

 

Elona describes how the bathroom backs on to the laundry and that in there is a cupboard that she doesn’t go into very often.

 

“I opened the cupboard and screamed! The whole of the inside was just this massive termite mud nest. I couldn’t believe it. I just burst into tears! I literally just stood there and cried. I didn’t know what to do. I thought why me?

 

Further investigations revealed a lot of hollow-sounding skirting boards but the full extent of the damage was only revealed when the technicians from Cooroy Pest Control came to take a look.

 

“I think it was one of the worst they’d seen,” says Elona. “They were taking photos of it for their records!”

 

The damage was extensive. The back wall of the shower had to be replaced, as did the laundry cupboard, skirting boards and more. The repair work cost over $4000 and the insurance company would only pay for some water damage from the shower. Elona was lumped with the bill for all the termite damage.

 

“When the builder opened up the wall it was just caked with mud,” says Elona. “Those termites were very hungry!”

 

Cooroy Pest Control managed to track the colony down to a tree stump at least 60 metres away from the house. They set up baiting stations which cleared the house and killed the colony, including the queen.

 

Elona explains that they hadn’t thought too much about termites because most of the house is built on steel poles with only one small section on a slab.

“I remember they sprayed that area when they built the house. And that whole section is surrounded by pavers. But that’s obviously where they got in – from underneath. At least they didn’t get into the roof because that would have been even more serious!”

 

“I wouldn’t wish this experience on my worst enemy,” says Elona, clearly relieved that it is now all behind her. “I honestly thought I was going to lose my home. I really would advise everyone to have their home inspected regularly. I keep my home clean and yet this happened under my nose. You never know what is going on in places you can’t see.”

 

Thank you for your very personal story Elona.

Kind regards Shane Cooroy Pest Control

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“3 mistakes I don’t want you to make! If you own a home in the Cooroy or Noosa area this is my experience with termites”

Jennie’s story

Anyone who knows Jennie knows she is a caring person. After all, this is a lady who volunteered at a local aged-care facility for 5 years and has been a volunteer at the RSPC Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Eumundi for the last 10 years. When birds, possums or any other wildlife are found injured in the area, it’s Jennie who gets the call to collect and deliver “the patients” to the rehab centre.

For someone who cares so much about the environment it is perhaps ironic that the massive blow received by Jennie and her husband, in recent years, did in fact come from nature – in the form of a termite attack on their home in Cudgerie Estate. It has been a gruelling experience and a huge wake-up call but it’s a story that Jennie would like to share in the hope that it will prevent others from making the same mistakes they did.

“When we bought our house 14 years ago there was a Brisbane-based pest company that would come up and do annual termite inspections,” she explains. “But, with Russell and I both working then, it became difficult to tee up convenient times for the inspections. And it was this that led to us making our biggest mistake – something we still regret today. We cancelled the regular annual inspections.”

“It was probably about two years after cancelling that I noticed a bit of paint ripple here and there. I didn’t really think too much about it, which was my second big mistake!” Jennie admits. “It was only when I knocked my elbow against a wall in our ensuite and my elbow went straight through that I realised we had a big problem. Although I didn’t know how serious it was until Paul from Cooroy Pest Control came to do an inspection.”

“We were devastated. It turned out that every room in the house, except two, had been affected by the termites. They had got in everywhere – eaten the frames in the walls, eaten the skirting boards. They were under the carpets – it was a right mess! If we had only got an inspection done when I first noticed the paint rippling – it would have saved us a fortune.”

“Our third mistake was putting off an inspection because we thought it was going to be very costly. We thought we couldn’t afford the expense. As it turned out, the cost was peanuts compared to what we now have to pay to fix everything. People need to realise that regular inspections are not expensive. I don’t think people realise this. They try and do it themselves but I don’t believe they can do it thoroughly.”

Jennie and Russell have since had an Exterra Termite Interception and Baiting System installed by Cooroy Pest Control.

“It gives us peace of mind,” says Jennie. “And we think the cost is absolutely reasonable. We also like it because it is environmentally friendly. It doesn’t use any poison which is important because of all the wildlife in our garden. Paul and his team monitor the system every 8 weeks – and it is working because they have found termites in the stations quite a few times. If they weren’t getting stopped by the system they would be back in our house!”

 

On behalf of the team at Cooroy Pest Control thank you for your story Jenny and we’ll see you in a couple of weeks – Kind regards Shane

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5 things you should know about the Nuisance Black Ant explosion in Noosa

  1. What do they look like?

Small black ants, with leads often inches thick with ant numbers. When alarmed they tend to raise their rear end.

 

  1. Where do we find them?

Established populations in the Noosa area, Sunshine Beach through to Eumundi. Associated with well-watered gardens, golden palms and bushland near water.

We can’t miss them in our gardens or on our homes. If we work from our fence line in towards our homes, we often find steams of foraging ants tracking from neighbouring bushland and or our neighbour’s yard along fences, following any man-made structures, walkways, garden edging to our home, then up walls and often into our roof voids kitchens and bathrooms. Ants are always looking for something to eat, to drink & somewhere to build a nest.

 

  1. What are they eating?

These ant colonies can build into millions of individual ants populating whole neighbourhoods.

The South East Queensland sub-tropical climate has delivered a prolonged warm wet humid season. This ideal weather has accelerated the development of scale, mealy bugs and aphids. (Common garden sap sucking insects that feed on sweet plant sap and produce honeydew)

The HONEYDEW is a significant food source for these Nuisance black ants, so much so that these ants actively tend to and ‘Farm’ the sap sucking insects (Even transporting them and protecting them).

 

  1. Why are there so many?
    1. There is an abundance HONEYDEW producing insects on garden plants | delivering a huge food source for the ants
    2. The ants social structure is designed for rapid growth | Satellite nests multiply out from established nests.
    3. About 50% of the ants in a colony can reproduce allowing for rapid expansion
    4. Able to rapidly split nests to form multiple satellite nests often in trees, palms, under leaf litter, roof void and for some reason electrical equipment.
    5. These Nuisance black ants are not known to exhibit TROPHOLAXIS (This slows conventional pest management practices where the active in liquid insecticide treatments is passed from one ant to the next)
    6. The worker ants feed the colony by producing a sterile egg (Trophic Egg). There is no real evidence that the active in insecticides does in fact infects the Trophic Eggs, therefore limiting contamination of the nest.
    7. There is some evidence that DIY home treatments stimulate the Nuisance black ant populations to multiply, triggered by the die off of numbers of the workers required to maintain the colony.

 

  1. What can I do?
    1. Treat for scale, mealybug & aphids
    2. Trim plants, bushes and tree branches away from your home. Ideally no vegetation should touch the external walls. When plants touch walls of your home they can be used as a ‘bridge’ by ants to gain access into your home.
    3. For small infestations treat trails of Nuisance black ants with Selley’s TALON ant killer gel. You can find it at Woolworths, Coles or Bunnings. (Be aware that using this gel to control larger ant colonies will be very costly and time consuming with no guarantee of success.)
    4. Engage a professional pest control technician to conduct a thorough and systematic treatment and provide a Technicians Report outlining a management program designed for your home, based on the environment, construction type of your home, the pressure from the established ant colonies and your expectations.

Ants have become one of the primary pests infesting homes in recent years and depending on the size of the established populations they are near impossible to control using DIY chemical treatment or natural deterrents.

The Nuisance Black Ant described in this article | Technomyrmex difficilis

 

Pest Safe Homes

(The Noosa Shire initiative)

Sponsored by

Cooroy Pest Control
Trusted Local Technicians
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5 simple termite checks | Termite Safe Homes (A Noosa Shire initiative)

5 simple termite checks around your home | while you are working in your garden

  1. Always check old stumps & under landscape timbers for termites. These can be prime places to find termites.
  2. If you have a deck or your home is up on stumps, then regularly check the stumps for termite mud leads. Use a powerful torch in darker hard to see areas. We normally find them there.
  3. Keep garden mulch away from the wall exterior of your home. Mulch creates an ideal means for termites to conceal themselves while they could be making their way into your home.
  4. Taps leaking or water pooling against the wall exterior of your home can create ideal conditions for termites. Have leaking taps repaired & ensure pooling water is drained away.
  5. Keep stored items off of the wall exterior of your home. We often find stored items create concealed places for termites to gain access to your home undetected.

South East Queensland sub-tropical climate

The South East Queensland sub-tropical climate provides ideal conditions for termites to flourish. Always consider that the conditions around your home can change over a 12 month period.

When considering a termite management plan for your home, remember that it is best practice to have regular professional termite inspections.

Article by:

Termite Safe Homes | The Noosa Shire Happy Homes initiative

Sponsored by Cooroy Pest Control | Trusted Local Technicians

 

Why Choose SmartGuard?

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The Gecko Invasion

Love them or hate them, they are thriving.                                         

If you find black, white tipped, rice like Pellets scattered around your home, you have Geckos.

The white tip is actually uric acid (urine), Geckos do not urinate, but expel the uric acid with their faecal matter, similar to birds. Continue reading

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Are my pets at risk of poisoning from rodent baiting?

During the colder winter months rodent infestations can become a real problem for many homeowners as both rats and mice look for warmer surroundings, and a more prolific food source.

The most common solution to control these infestations is baiting with a registered rodenticide, often readily available from local high street stores, DIY super stores, or a professional pest control company. Continue reading

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Rats or mice dropping?

Have you seen fresh or hard droppings in and around your home, garage or shed ?, these droppings are normally small and different shapes indicating that if small it’s possibly mice and bigger been possibly rats, either way you need to investigate as you don’t want these pests taking over your home as they pose a serious threat to your and your families health. Continue reading

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Termite protection for a home in the Noosa hinterland

Miniature cows Noosa hinterland

Peace of mind where the small cattle roam

 When Suzanne Baker and Pam Robinson bought their beautiful house on forty acres in Eerwah Vale they weren’t entirely sure what they were going to do with all the space. Continue reading

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How do I prevent Termites getting into my Noosa home? Part 1

A question some home owners ask me is – “am I significantly increasing the probability of a termite infestation in my Noosa home?”

As a termite inspector I get to see the many ways that termites get into people’s homes. One of the critical areas on a Termite Inspection Report relates to – Continue reading

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