Pest Management News From PPM - March, 2014

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This month we bring you some myths about termites and their habits.

MYTH:If you have black ants around your house you won’t have termites.
FACT: Meat-eating ants do hover around termite nests trying to get in to eat termites, however, a well-established termite colony will easily defeat the threat that ants pose.
MYTH: My house is brand new or only a few years old so it is safe from termites.
FACT: New houses are treated at construction, preferably with PPM’s premium termite barriers. However, there are many things home owners can do that may render treatments ineffective, such as building mulch or gardens up against the home which allows termites to bypass the treated zone. Also, the treated zone may be removed by digging out soil to lay paving, install reticulation or gardens etc. Unfortunately, if they are able, termites will make your new home their next meal just as quickly as that 50-year old house down the block.
MYTH: I am using termite-resistant mulch around my home so I am safe.
FACT: All timber-based mulches will start to decay over time and can eventually attract termites to your home. If the weather is rainy and the soil damp termites can infest your mulch and eventually your home.
MYTH: I have a double brick home so termites don’t pose a threat to me.
FACT: Whilst double brick homes have less timber than stud homes, they are frequently damaged by termites also. Damage can occur to timber flooring, skirting boards and cupboards, internal walls and extensive roof damage.
MYTH: Termites don’t eat hardwood or treated wood.
FACT: While there are several types of hardwoods with natural resistance to termites, not all hardwood is resistant. Also any resistance is normally found in old growth timbers and may not apply to new growth timber. Termites under certain circumstance will also consume treated timber .These timbers may have a high moisture content which will create a significant problem or may not be treated right through the timber leaving the centre untreated.
MYTH: I’ve found termites but I can treat them just by pouring petrol or solvents on them.
FACT: By pouring petrol or other solvents over them you may kill a few individual termites but in fact you will simply cause the colony to move elsewhere and make them harder to treat. A professional inspection and treatment by PPM’s trained technicians is simply the most efficient and effective way of dealing with any termite threat.
MYTH: My house is built in a freshly cleared area so any termite colonies were destroyed in the clearing process.
FACT: Subterranean termites nest in tree stumps and in live trees. When termite colonies lose their food supply due to trees being leveled and removed they will seek out new food sources – usually the wood used in newly-built homes on the site.