Termites

Hi All,

Quick question today, long story short, the property I'm renting has termites which have just taken off and eaten several meters of the floor boards and wall panels in the last week (obviously advised Agent at day 1). Due to previous treatment and argument about the warranty (landlord didn't fix the downpipes to nowhere mentioned in the termite treatment report & warranty conditions in Feb.) it is taking some time for anyone to come out and treat. Each morning we wake to discover they've moved at least a few more inches.

My question is, what kind of hints and tips have you heard of that I can try at home to slow their progress and prevent more damage?

Their course has taken them under our furniture which we've had to pull out from the wall so it doesn't fall through so I have access to the area's. No Termites visible to spray.......

As always, thanks in advance!
 
Apparently they hate movement/vibration. A vacant property/unused room would be attacked faster. My friend has people housesit when she's on holidays.
 
Why aren't you considering cancelling the lease and getting out of there? I mean, the place is becoming uninhabitable. You want to live through the weeks of repairs, then the weeks of pesticide fumes?
 
To be honest Vaughan I feel a little sorry for the landlords as they've had a rough year. I know it's not an excuse but....... Once an inspection has been done if we need to move out then we will and I have gone so far as to look for another property which may be suitable. The Agent is quite a distance from the property and I am a PM with a lot of local trades so I am organising quotes etc. for the landlords, if something suitable can be arranged then I'm happy to work with them to stay in the house.

INVSTOR - It's the most well travelled part of the house unfortunately so I don't know how much more movement I could possibly create!!
 
Bunnings has a chemical termite spray that you can spray and soak timber around their trail area and it should stop them going any further.

Termite guys generally don't like you disturbing them, as it can send them into hiding making it harder for treatment. But really if it saves the house isn't that more important. Most insurers wont cover termite damage. The longer it goes on the costs for the owner will go through the roof.
 
If you can find where they are coming in you could break the trail, they need to get back to the nest to eat. Look outside somewhere and smash the tunnels, should work.

If you make holes in where they are working they will repair those holes rather than eating more good stuff too, I think, but breaking their trails outside/under the house will be better
 
If you can find where they are coming in you could break the trail, they need to get back to the nest to eat. Look outside somewhere and smash the tunnels, should work.

If you make holes in where they are working they will repair those holes rather than eating more good stuff too, I think, but breaking their trails outside/under the house will be better

I am by no means an eggspurt :) on termites, however I was told this many years ago, find the bridge, break it, and those above die, and those below move on. They need to return to the source of moisture
 
So, A trip to Bunnings (might OK this one with the LL first) and off to hunt termite nests!!! Could be as far as 80m from the house I've read........ I'll let you know how it goes!
 
I am by no means an eggspurt :) on termites, however I was told this many years ago, find the bridge, break it, and those above die, and those below move on. They need to return to the source of moisture

Nah, they just rebuild the bridge, and quickly too.

We have plenty around my place and the kids love cracking open their tunnels and coming back to check on the rebuilding process. A break of 2 inches is usually repaired within the hour. Big ones of over a meter usually take over night.
 
When you break the trail you need to smash it for 150mm or so and check it often, daily at first, they will eventually seal that one off and go somewhere else.

You can give the trail a good spray with termite spray, we have tried Aldi surface spray and they don't like that, they seal off the tunnel and go away.

If you don't want to spray then get some black ants and put them on the fresh broken trail, if they get a termite they will lay a trail back to their nest and the other ants will come and help. You then break the termite trail for the black ants again, they eat termites and the termites will seal off.
 
I'm assuming this will only work if you break the trail outside the house ( or under the subfloor).

What sort of access do you have under the house? You may get lucky but it may not be easy finding the termites unless you have good access. You can see the odd track around posts/bearers etc. However, then you have to get some ants and encourage them to go get the termites.

Landlord really needs to get onto it fast. If the termites have come this far, they've been there for a while and the numbers will be growing. The damage bill will get exponentially worse over time left untreated. Additionally, some methods used to eradicate termites take time before the termites die/leave.
 
A bit of an update! The termite guy came and had a look and confirmed no warranty work, there has been a flurry of emails between myself, termite guy & agent along with invitations for the landlord to come and have a look. While termite guy was there he gave a bit of a puff of some treatment into the floorboards but won't go under the house and carry out a full treatment until he has the written go ahead. Access under the house is generally good, however, the least clearance is under the area that the termites are most active so it's been hard to find their trail. I've had a hunt around for the nest but I haven't been able to find it - I have no idea where their little HQ is!!

I asked the termite guy about things I could do to assist in slowing them down and he advised 'do nothing', anything I do could disturb them to a point that they just move to somewhere else in my yummy, yummy house and then they'll have to hunt them down again.

I guess all I can do is what they ask, photos, updates etc. etc. until something is done..... I've arranged access for the termite guys if they need to come in while we're away (which isn't for a couple of weeks so I would hope it's done before then!) and I'm arranging quotes for damage repair, I don't know if there is much else I can do!!

I'll let you guys know the outcome when I know anything more - thanks for all of your advice, I've learned a lot more about termites this last week!!!
 
Hi Sez

Just wanted to check in and say what a fantastic tenant and person you are. Not everyone would have the concern for the landlord and what it means to them. May good karma come your way!
 
Thanks JacM, I'm exposed to the other side of it every day so I have a lot of sympathy for landlords!!! lol

Quick update, quotes done for down pipes and floor boards, termite guy lined up, they want to replace the floors then treat the termites (backwards to the way I do it with my termite guy, interested in opinions on this one) offered access while we're away and it's probably not going to happen until the new year. We've got some hot days and cool nights coming up so I hope the little mites don't get too active before something happens........
 
Hi Sez,

Do you know if they have located the nest? Do you know how they plan to treat the termites? If they use a baiting method, it's going to take a bit of time before they drop off. They could potentially be munching away on nice new boards in that time.

They do use the 'barrier' method but that's only good if they can make a complete barrier ie. if there is a section the termite guy can't access, the barrier is useless.

Just curious, why are they quoting for new downpipes? Surely the termites didn't go through these!
 
Hi Xanh,

I THINK they're planning on using a baiting method, part of the reason I suggested replacing the boards after the termites are gone as I'm happy to wait for the floor boards!! Those far wiser than I have decided that it's floorboards first though. My agent has said "the boards can't be disturbed after treatment because then it won't work". Totally backwards to how I work with my guy!

The downpipes at the place I live lead to no where and so the water then runs under the house. Termites love moisture and wood...... two things my house supplies in abundance! Termite treatments are water based so if the downpipes are washing under the house the treatment will also be washed away.

Still no update on the works though, someone came to quote for the floor boards the other day and said it couldn't be done until January - looks like a hotel trip for us :(.
 
Hi Xanh,

I THINK they're planning on using a baiting method, part of the reason I suggested replacing the boards after the termites are gone as I'm happy to wait for the floor boards!! Those far wiser than I have decided that it's floorboards first though. My agent has said "the boards can't be disturbed after treatment because then it won't work". Totally backwards to how I work with my guy!

The downpipes at the place I live lead to no where and so the water then runs under the house. Termites love moisture and wood...... two things my house supplies in abundance! Termite treatments are water based so if the downpipes are washing under the house the treatment will also be washed away.

Still no update on the works though, someone came to quote for the floor boards the other day and said it couldn't be done until January - looks like a hotel trip for us :(.
Not sure this may help you ,but I know from experience that if you spread lime around the areas that their tracks are found they will take the lime back too the main nest and over time it hardens the whole nest up and they die,iv'e seen them eat into cedar which as the old timber cutters found out the hard way will kill you,try the lime it does work..imho..
 
Top