Taking Control


Termites love Queensland homes.

In a few months the prolific pests can cause expensive damage, with the average repair bill around $7,000.

But there are ways of building a new home that can help prevent termites from chewing through your house and your wallet.

Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association (AEPMA) Queensland Director, John Graham said termite control methods ranged from chemical to physical, and sometimes a combination was required.

Chemical systems were often via reticulation around the outside of the home and needed ongoing maintenance, while a physical barrier was incorporated into the home during construction.

"The difference is the chemicals are designed to either deter or kill the termites.....whereas a physical barrier is designed to stop concealed entry and force the termites out into the open, where they can be rapidly and easily seen," Mr Graham said.

Physical systems can range from the old tin plate "ant cap" seen at the top of the house stumps, to a product like Termimesh installed around service pipes coming through the slab.

Mr Graham said individual builders would have their standard termite barrier methods, and homeowners should discuss their options.

"When reviewing contracts with their builder, before they commit, they should be aware of what they are getting - the product and warranty - and what effectively the ongoing maintenance costs could be.  A cheap inclusion at the front may lead to higher maintenance costs," he said.

Mr Graham said new-home builders also needed to make sure they did not compromise their termite barriers when doing external works such as pathways, driveways and landscaping of garden beds and turf.

"Under the Australian standard it is recommended that termite inspections be carried out on an annual basis, and more frequently in high risk areas - you will find most warranties make that a recommendation, and it is strongly supported by the industry."

AEPMA intends to launch a pre-construction code of practice this year.

The association's members, must have a QBCC licence, insurance and be bound by a code of conduct including a disputes policy.

Members can be found at www.aepma.com.au.

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