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Assess your home's surrounds shrubs or garden beds should be well clear of the building border and not cover weep holes (the tiny gaps left between bricks to allow water drain out).

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Keep areas under your home clear don't shop items which can lessen the ventilation area under the house.

If you're building a new house, certain construction methods and materials can reduce the termite risk considerably.

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The Building Code of Australia requires that all new houses and extensions possess a hierarchical management system in place in all areas (except Tasmania, where the termite risk is negligible). Homes constructed after July 1995 should have a'durable notice' of treatment corrected to a prominent position in the building (near the meter box or the entrance to a crawl space), listing the:.

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If you're building a new house or doing a substantial renovation, be sure to put in proper physical or chemical barriers. Some can be retrofitted but it's simpler to install them during construction.

Termite shields (also known as ant caps) don't prevent termite activity but bring it into the open, as it is easier to discover their mud shelter tubes on the metal caps.

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Woven stainless steel mesh or finely graded stone particles can be installed in a concrete slab and pit walls around pipe openings and so on, so termites can't undergo those concealed entry points.

Composite systems such as chemically treated plastic or cloth sheets contain chemicals that'll degrade over time, unlike actual physical obstacles.

Reticulation methods involve piping fitted under slabs and around the borders of a building with access points for injection of insecticide.

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Chemical barriers are employed under and around a concrete slab or around the building piers or footings.

Synthetic pyrethroids such as permethrin or bifenthrin are generally less hazardous than many of the prior insecticides that were banned in most parts of Australia in the mid 1990s.

Fipronil and imidacloprid are particularly effective against termites as they are non-repellant. This means the termites will travel throughout the zone without detecting the compound and take it back to the colony, therefore contaminating other termites.

Arsenic trioxide dust is a really poisonous substance and a confirmed carcinogen for humans. It was commonly used moved here in the past in termite dusting procedures but has been replaced with less poisonous insect growth regulators (IGRs) such as triflumuron. This distinctive blue powder is very effective, but might require a little longer than arsenic dust to wipe out a colony.

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This can be a somewhat less toxic but more expensive alternative that will require routine maintenance. Monitoring and bait stations use very tiny amounts of a low-toxic IGR that affects the termite's exoskeleton and kills them without harming other animals or humans.

The insect manager places a baiting station (or several) in the vicinity of the house, usually in-ground.

The station is assessed regularly, repositioned if needed and when termites are found, bait is inserted to replenish the station.

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The kittens accept the bait back to their nest and disperse it via grooming, until the colony is eventually wiped out.

There is no guarantee the termites will really find the bait, so it's generally not a good idea to use a monitoring and bait station as the only approach to termite management.

The normal cost of a termite treatment is estimated at around $1300 to $1500 plus potentially several thousand dollars for repairing damage to the building. Should you need termite treatment:

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Phone several pest managers before committing to one you're unlikely to receive detailed information or a specific cost on the phone, but you should be able to find a general impression about the company, their termite treatment and a range of prices you can expect.

Compare the optionsquotes, quotations and professionalism of the various pest managers and choose the company you're most comfortable with.

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Consider the sort of solutions the treatment will offer the cheapest quote may only rid you of termites in the brief period while some more expensive integrated strategy will provide much better protection against potential termite attacks.

Can they have a current licence and up-to-date professional indemnity and public liability insurance certificates

Will the pest inspector also do the termite treatment, if one is needed If not, how experienced is the person who is doing the termite treatment

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Can they match, or exceed, the requirements of the Australian Standard (AS4349.3 provides guidelines for inspecting buildings for wood pests; AS3660.2 copes with termite management in and around existing buildings and constructions ).

How long will the inspection take (An average home should take just two to three hours to inspect, including the period that the inspector spends discussing the problems .)

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