Termite Baiting or Chemical active?

“Which is the best solution for termite the management of my home?” – This is one of the most common questions asked of me in my capacity as a Termite Technician.

Let us assume for the purpose of this article, we are only discussing options for existing buildings. [In pre construction there are obviously far more possibilities because the structure has not yet been built. We can discuss these at a future date.]

Even today with all the technological advances, all the scientific research and development there are only two viable options for Post Construction Termite Management –

“A Chemically Active Treated Zone” or “A Termite Interception and Baiting Program”.

Nothing seems to polarise opinion more within the Pest Management Profession as the debate between – “bait and chemical”.

The Pest Management Profession works within guidelines set down in the Australian standard. This establishes some ground rules and in theory; this ensures, at least a minimum level of termite protection, with every professional Termite treatment.

How do we decide?

The Australian Standard clearly states that to implement a full chemical treated zone, the soil around the building perimeter should be excavated down to a depth of 50mm below the top of the footing. The poor quality soil [builder’s rubble, sandy or clay type soil] is replaced with a good quality humus soil capable of retaining the Chemical Active and it is this treated soil that creates a continuous treated zone around the building perimeter.

In most cases, this is not possible due to concrete paths, patios, hot water system and decks restrict access. Drilling and injecting the soil beneath concrete with chemical is an option, but obviously, the soil cannot be replaced with the ideal soil mix and there are many potential pitfalls when drilling through concrete. [Some people consider drilling & chemically treating a lottery as to whether perimeter is suitably protected with chemical]

Homeowners are understandably reluctant to have tiled areas drilled; the resulting drill holes remain unsightly, even when they are carefully re- capped.

Some external walls may have deep areas of retained soil abutting them. It may not be a financially viable option to excavate down to the footing.

Timber decks can also restrict access. . These will need removed prior to treatment.

The lack of crawl space in a sub-floor may restrict required access and in any case, it is not viable to treat down to the base of existing timber piers.

Trees and plants, old stumps and roots can also restrict access to the footing, hot water cylinders, and air conditioners may all need to be removed prior to treatment.

This is certainly a simplistic assessment of the debate between bait and chemical.

After a thorough inspection of each individual property, you can now understand why, in many cases the chemical option is not appropriate. In these cases, I would consider a termite baiting system to be the only option. I would recommend “The Exterra Interception and Baiting System’ as the premium choice for the Termite Management of homes and other buildings.

Slab on ground building construction, where we can get unobstructed access to the full perimeter and the slab design is conducive; these are, certainly in my opinion, better protected with a chemically treated zone.

Whether we use a non-repellent or repellent liquid Termiticide is yet another debate in my next article.

If  you need more information give us a call.

Paul Smalley

Paul Smalley

Professional Termite Technician

SG your home this termite season