Please Help us! Termite damage and control options

Dear friends,

We just bought our first house a couple months ago in Sydney. It's a brick veneer house on piers, about 50 years old. We recently discovered some termite damages in the laudry's wall cavity and fscia. We got a professonal pest guy to inspect our home, he didn't find any active termites and and he belived damages could be the old ones.

The solution he suggested was to create a chemical barrier (using a product call "Premise" around the house, also the rubble and contrustion material in the sub floor needed to be removed. He quoted this would be a $4k job (including rubble removal).

We were shocked by the price quoted. My wife just gave birth to our first baby and I'm the sole income of my family. We just cannot afford to pay $4k but we are worrying so much about the lack of termite protection in our property. :(

My question is: is this a normal price for setting up chemical barrier ("Premise")? Does anyone one know any good pest control companies in Sydney? We are inexperienced and very much worried about this.

Your advice and feedback will be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks!
Cocu
 
The initial treatment for termites is not cheap but I would be ringing a few places with the approximate distance around your house for quotes.
Check your electrical meter box cover. In WA at least they have to leave a sticker there each time a treatment has been done.
It should say inspection or treatment beside each date.

However I think most of that cost will be crawling under the house to do the rubbish removal.
Something that can be done yourself using appropriate PPE. Disposable overalls/gloves/mask etc. Depending on the house it can be a nasty job.
Had to go under a few over the years as an electrician, its amazing what builds up especially if there has been a dog.
 
My question is: is this a normal price for setting up chemical barrier .....

Cocu, that is about the price I have seen quoted by most companies that do chemical barriers these days......so it seems about right.

If your house in on piers (and I'm not quite certain how you get a brick veneer house on those, as most are on slabs ;)), then you can just get 6-12 monthly inspections to make sure nothing has made mud tracks over the ant caps on the top of the piers, which is how termites can enter your property. These inspections usually cost around $150 each time.

You could also get under the house with a torch and check yourself (once you know what to look for).

Personally, I'd be wary of trying to do your own chemical treatment as a DIY.
 
If you see damage in the fascia it is more likely that water was leaking and the timber rotted rather than termite damage. I lot of times i strip out laundry or some wall and see it all rotted because the water was leaking, and it looks like that termites ate it.

Chemical piping is used only when you cant get to some areas of the house, for ex. when you do additional room than reticulation pipe is placed between old and new part, but it not required for normal house on piers, which has ventilation all around it. That guy wants to rip you off.

If the Pest Inspection guy didn't find live termites than i wouldn't be worried at all, if the termites were in house before they could of started making damage and probably left, they prefer new timber.

Your house has Ant capping on top of the piers, and all i would do is get someone that does Ant capping to check the whole house and fix any Ant capping that needs to be fixed, and clean that rubbish by my self.

I have done a lot of houses with reticulation piping and im telling you don't do it. These pipes need to be filled with chemicals every 12 months and if you don't do it you don't get termite protection, but if you do the Ant Capping right it will last forever.
 
We have had both active termites, and old damage in our PPORs.
Even if you have the termite barrier, you still need to have an inspection every 6-12 months.
So, we elected to just do the inspections on a regular basis.... but you have to remember to do the inspections!

If there are no active termites, you dont need to do any treatment.

It may be that you have a leak in the laundry.... termites like damp places. At some stage in the future, if you do a reno of the laundry, you can replace the woodwork then.
 
cocu

Do you live near a reserve?
The house has been there for 50 years and survived so its unlikely that it needs a termite barrier now.

IMO since its old damage just replace the woods, and fix any water leaks to keep water away from the house. Leaving outdoor lights on can also help.

Getting the pest control guy once a year could also be of benefit and if you're really paranoid about this there is some concentrated liquid you can get from Bunnings to spray around the house.

Ofcourse if you ask the pest control guys they'll tell you that you need the Rolls Royce protection when in fact you probably don't need much, if any.....

I hope this helps
 
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Dear friends in this forum, thanks very much for your prompt replies above. Much appreciated!

Based on the replied above, it seems that a regular inspection seems more practice solution than the costly termite chemical barrier. However, just some additional information to fill you in.

The damages were confirmed by the pest inspector as termite ones. Most of the damages happen in the extension part of my house and the pest guy didn't see any water leakage. While there was no live termites found within the building, he did see one mud tube in our of pier. Also, he checked out some of soil in the building and saw one suspicious white ante. So, he strongly recommended to set up a chemical barrier for long term protection (no other treatment required), he also said this will add value to future resale. I am no sure if this is a honest assessment.

I guess my question is: Is this absolute necessary considered the big amount of money we need to speed ($4k) which was quoted by one of the replies above as a normal price range. Alternatively, would it be more practice just to do it inspection say twice year (about $250 each so $500 a annual). I try to get a practical solution to this consider the situation we have.

Again, we thank heartedly with your valuable feedbacks and insights.

Cocu and family.

We don't live near reserve, but there are some trees in our neighbors. Thanks
 
In my opinion, just get an inspection done every 6 months.

Spending $4K would be if there was a termite infestation found - which there wasn't. (One suspicious white ant is not worth $4K IMO)

Spending $4K will not add a scrap of value to the house resale.
 
The damages were confirmed by the pest inspector as termite ones. Most of the damages happen in the extension part of my house and the pest guy didn't see any water leakage. While there was no live termites found within the building, he did see one mud tube in our of pier. Also, he checked out some of soil in the building and saw one suspicious white ante. So, he strongly recommended to set up a chemical barrier for long term protection (no other treatment required), he also said this will add value to future resale. I am no sure if this is a honest assessment.
My highlighting.

I would suggest you get one of those thermal image type inspections before you decide what to do. If there are no signs of anything live, then regular inspections will be the cheapest option if you feel it is worth it.

Now, without meaning to alarm you, this is the reason I suggest this:

Several years ago we bought a property to renovate. It was a "Nathan Special" and needed a lot of work. While undergoing this work, Hubby found a white ant. Now, we were told that the property had white ants, but that the matter had been addressed and a barrier done, so no further infestation.

We found out who had done the treatment and called them in. They looked around, crawled into the ceiling and declared that there was no problem and it must have been a scout. "Don't worry about it" they said. The home had almost all of the interior gyprock removed at the time, so there was not a lot of places they could hide. There was only two walls in the bathroom that had both sides of the sheeting in place at the time.

A couple of days later, Hubby found a couple more. Hmm......this doesn't seem right. Called the pest place again, they came out and again said there was no problem.

Next, Hubby was doing something in the bathroom and found a few more when he lifted the corner of a piece of sheeting. Suspicious, he removed all the sheeting on that wall and found a huge nest. Massive, it was! Called the pest place again and they said in no uncertain terms that their warranty was for the prior owners of the place, not for us, and as such was invalid and could we please stop pestering them. Of course, this was not said in the same friendly terms that I have related this information and was a rather heated argument. End result! Tough titties!

Deciding that it was up to us to rid ourselves of the problem, we ended up removing the whole nest and shovelling it into big black plastic bags. Jumping up and down on it repeatedly ensured that they were actually killed this time around, and they also got a nice hefty dose of some chemical Hubby procurred from the hardware store designed to kill them.

Now, the point to this little tale is that if a pest control place cannot find termites in a home with next to no sheeting on it, even after they have been told that live pests had been found in the property and shown exactly where they had been found, what hope do you have of them finding them in a normal, livable home, especially if it has furniture against the walls?
 
Helpful information

cocu


My hubby does his own pest control inspections at our PPOR as he can get under the floor and look and he checks the garden.

He read up on termites by undertaking a free online course. ;)
http://www.timber.net.au/index.php/courses/

He sprays our house regularly with ZEUS which is a termicide, he used to use Webzone. I brought the last bottle od Zeus for about $50 from a farm/rural supply shop it was locked up (as chemicals should be).

Agree get thermal imagining inspection done - before you decide anything but I reckon you could educate yourself on termites.


Regards
Sheryn
 
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