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

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Keep places under your home clear don't shop items that can reduce the ventilation space under the home.

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

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The Building Code of Australia requires that new homes and extensions possess a hierarchical management system in place in most regions (except Tasmania, where the termite risk is negligible). Homes built after July 1995 must have a'durable notice' of treatment corrected into 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. A few can be retrofitted but it's simpler to install them during construction.

Termite shields (also called ant caps) don't prevent termite activity but bring it into the open, since it's simpler to discover their mud shelter tubes on the alloy 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 the like, so termites can't undergo those concealed entry points.

Composite systems such as treated plastic or fabric sheets contain chemicals that will degrade over time, unlike true physical barriers.

Reticulation methods involve piping fitted under slabs and around the edges 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 earlier insecticides which were banned in most parts of Australia in the mid 1990s.

Fipronil and imidacloprid are especially effective against termites since they are non-repellant. This means the termites will travel throughout the zone without detecting the chemical and return to the colony, therefore contaminating other termites.

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

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This can be a less toxic but more costly alternative that will require routine maintenance. Monitoring and bait stations use very small 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 home, usually in-ground.

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

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The kittens accept the bait back to their nest and spread it through grooming, till the colony is eventually wiped out.

There is no guarantee that the termites will actually find the lure, so it is generally not a fantastic idea to use a monitoring and bait station as your only approach to pest control 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. If you need termite treatment:

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Phone several pest managers before committing to one you are unlikely to get detailed information or a specific cost over the phone, however you should be able to get a general impression about the company, their termite treatment and a range of costs you can anticipate.

Compare the options, quotations and professionalism of the a variety of pest managers and choose the company that you're most comfortable with.

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Consider the sort of solutions that the treatment will offer the cheapest quote might only rid you of termites in the short term while a more expensive integrated approach will provide much better protection from future termite attacks.

Can they have a current licence and up-to-date professional site web 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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Will they meet, or exceed, the requirements of the Australian Standard (AS4349.3 provides guidelines read here for inspecting buildings for wood insects; AS3660.2 copes with termite management in and around existing buildings and structures).

How long will the inspection take (An average house should take two to three hours to inspect, including the period the inspector spends discussing the issues with you.)

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