understanding termite inspection

Understanding Visual Timber Pest Inspection

To avoid any misunderstanding, we undertake all inspections in accord with Australian Standard 3660.2-2000 or in the case of pre-purchase inspection, the Australian Standard’s 4349.3-.1998. If you wish, you can obtain copies of these standards by calling Defence Pest Management.

All inspections are non-invasive and are limited to areas of the property where access is readily available and permitted. Any areas where access was limited or restricted is noted in the report with advice for further inspections.

The Inspector will be using a tapper to determine the sound in some timbers or may use a sharp knife to carry out splinter testing on structural timbers, either in the roof or the subfloor. Splinter testing will only be carried out where the person who has ordered the report is also the owner of the property. It will not be done for a pre-purchase inspection without the written permission of the owner.

The inspection is a visual inspection only. Restrictions to this visual inspection will not be moved. There will be no invasive cutting, breaking or dismantling to gain access. A more invasive inspection is possible and may be done on the same day and time, but only with permission of the owner.

By its nature, a building has many concealed areas. There may be roof areas with no access or the area between floors. Floor coverings can be restricted by stored goods. Sometimes there is inability to gain full access to areas like the eaves because they are simply too low.

A termite inspection does not have a warranty that there will not be any future infestation of termites. Or in some cases, the infestation is in its infancy and not able to be found at the time of the inspection.

Our reports will indicate the degree of damage ranging from moderate to extensive and are only in the opinion of the inspector’s. A more invasive inspection would need to be undertaken to determine all the damage and its degree. This is done by a builder in conjunction with the pest inspector. These invasive inspections are also necessary to evaluate the cost of repairs.

If termites or even evidence of termites are located within the boundary of the property, then you must assume that damage may exist in areas that are not visible. Evidence will only be located when these restrictions are removed.

In the report, you will find a list of definitions. The report needs to be read in conjunction with these definitions. It is very critical to note that in any inspection for termites, if there is evidence but no active termites located (regardless of whether a treatment has been undertaken), it may be possible that termites are active or may not be active in that area or nearby. It may only be determined by future inspections, that is why the Australian Standards recommends a yearly inspection on properties without any evidence of termites and less frequently (six months or even three monthly) on properties where there has been previous evidence of termites.

With Defence Pest Management, we go beyond the Australian Standard with the equipment that we use. An essential part of our equipment will include Termatrac. This is a microwave device that picks up movement inside walls. It is used in conjunction with the moisture meter. Moisture meter picks up a variation of moisture within surfaces that are outside the normal range. When there is a variation, normally higher moisture content or where the test tapping indicates some degrading of the timber especially excavation by insects sometimes, decay is the first indications.

In conjunction with the test tapping, moisture meter and Termatrac, we also use a thermal image camera. This camera is broadly used to determine areas of moisture especially around bathrooms, kitchens, laundry and between floors in two-story houses. Moisture in these areas would indicate water leaks that encourage termites into the vicinity. On a  micro basis, moisture in a skirting board or behind a wet area (like shower cubicle) may be caused by a variety of reasons. It could be active termites, a water leak or it may be something simple like a change in the waterproofing material in this area. So, a technician trained in the use of thermography will be able to determine if there is the need for a more invasive inspection. Keep in mind that monitoring of these areas is advised.

The moisture meter should be run around all available timbers especially skirting boards, architrave and window sills. The test tapping of the timbers is again required in all these areas. While you are doing this, it is essential that the inspector visually inspects any gaps between the skirting, architrave, the main wall material (gyprock), et cetera. It is because if termites have been in the vicinity or are in the vicinity, they would mud up the small gaps to preserve humidity. Equally important is when you are test tapping, you need to listen very carefully to the sound of the tapper on the material. This determines if there is any cavity within which is indicated by a change in the tone of the tapping – a little bit more drummy to at the extreme where it is like hitting a piece of paper with a screwdriver. This may indicate active termites or a previous infestation.

Here at Defence Pest Management, our inspectors are fully trained and licensed. We regularly conduct updates and share experiences about termites. Termite inspections are the putting together of training and experience to determine the risk of termites, as well as manage the treatment of termites, to a property.

rat control

3 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER IGNORE PEST CONTROL

Pest inspection is one of the most important parts of buying a property. Knowing that Your new home is free of pests, would mean that it has the potential to be as comfortable as possible. Homeowners have so many Jobs to keep up to make sure that everything in their household runs smoothly.

Ignoring pest control especially in your own household can cause a substantial amount of damage in the future. Prevention is always better than regrets. With pest control, a property owner can feel more confident about their home being safe from pests like termites, rat, cockroaches etc., running around their property. Written below are three out of a million reasons why you should never ignore having a pest control.

PESTS CAUSE CONTAMINATION TO FOOD

Food is always present in a household. Contaminations caused by pests such as mice, flies and cockroaches result in health problems. Some conditions like Salmonella, Hepatitis and E. Coli are caused by pests that have contacted the food. These foodborne illnesses can be fatal if not treated or prevented. The hazards that correlate with pests enter food in one of two ways:  direct contact of the filth into food or food-contact surfaces by the metabolic products released by those pests and the bacterium that they carry.

DANGERS OF RATS

When you talk about pests, people mostly refer to bugs, but rat infestation also exists. Rats are attracted to many kinds of food, even the garbage in our home or neighbourhood. If you ask yourself, would you let rats become your housemate? Rats have a fast rate of reproduction, and also, houses have small access points that rats use to create a breeding environment. Once they explode in population, rats will start to damage your furniture, leave dirt on the corners of your home; go through your food that could cause contamination and chew the electric wiring that can also result to accidental fire. Once tolerated, rats make the most of your household that could harm you in many ways possible.

TERMITE INFESTATION

Your house will most probably become sawdust. It would take a long time for anything serious to happen, in all seriousness. Thus, it does not mean than you should take it for granted. Termites live from the cellulose of wood, and your house has vast amounts of this material, they will go for it and chew it. If you plan on selling your property in the future and termites were found after an inspection, it worth will lessen a lot. Having your property free from termites by having it controlled will make a very big difference.

Most home or property owners tend to ignore having pest inspections and pest controls in the belief that the pests will move out on their own, which is false. Some make DIY ways to lessen them but with no professional help.

Seeking help from a pest control company is the best way to controlling an infestation of pests. Unfortunately, pests don’t move out of their own free will. They have a warm shelter that can protect them from the harsh weather outside and with access to food and water. Why would they want to leave? They’ll stay no matter how often you clean up. Ignoring pest infestations will give you a hard time. And as time goes by, you will eventually see the effects of pests in your household. If you want to see the end of pests, you might want to stop ignoring them and give them an eviction notice — Defence Pest Management

woman cleaning their home to get rid of bird mites

Preventing Bird Mite Infestation Through Good Housekeeping

When spring season once again begins, so will the birds start to build their nests and invite the mites. Bird mites are among those pests whose population can rapidly grow. They can directly affect humans through their bites, which can lead to allergic reactions.

When birds build their nest, along with it comes the mites, which feed on their blood. The mites will thrive in the nest with their host. However, when the birds vacate their nest, the bird mites will try to find a new host for their survival. If a nest was built in the roof void, on the window sill or a tree in your yard, then there is a possibility that the mites will start infesting your home and bite you as they search for a new host.

Bird mites do not survive on a human host, but the infestation on your property may continue unless it is controlled. On the other hand, you can also prevent bird mites from coming into your property through good housekeeping.

Here are some tips from our team at Defence Pest Management on how you can keep the bird mites away:

Block Up Entries to Possible Nesting Spots

Birds can nest in hidden areas in your home such as the roof void or inside the chimney if they can gain entries to these areas. You can inspect your home for possible access points and block up these entries to stop birds from building their nest inside your home.

Clean Up Window Ledges and Air Conditioning Units

Window sills are a favourite spot of birds for building their nests, so making sure your window ledges are clear of birds will help prevent bird mite infestation. Even without the presence of a nest, it is also a good idea to clean the window sills as birds may still leave some mites behind after resting on the sill.

Birds may also build their nest underneath air conditioning units, so be sure to frequently check the area around your equipment.

Trim Branches and Shrubs

Tree limbs, branches and shrubs surrounding your home can be a perfect location for bird nests, so it is ideal to trim them to prevent bird mites from getting inside your home after a nest is vacated.

Remove Bird Baths and Water Sources

Birds are usually attracted to your home because of food and water sources. Removing bird baths and other possible water sources can save you from inviting birds and bird mites into your property. This also includes cleaning up puddles or stored water in your backyard.

Controlling Bird Mites

Bird mites are very tiny and are hardly visible, which makes them more difficult to control. Although they are most likely to die within three weeks due to the lack of blood meal from birds, by that time, they could already have multiplied enormously.

The best way to deal with bird mites is to have your property inspected for the type of bird mite and then to carry out an effective treatment plan. Our inspectors from Defence Pest Management can inspect your property for bird mite infestation, along with other types of pests, and provide you with a plan of action for getting rid of the infestation.

termites

Things You Should Know About Mites

Dust mites are perhaps the best-known mite among the tens of thousands of species of mites that have been identified. Mites are small arthropods belonging to the subclass Acari (or Acarina) and the class Arachnida.

The primary habitats of dust mites are beddings and mattresses, where one-third of a mite’s life occurs. An often-used mattress may contain an average of 100,000 to 10 million mites. It is said that 10% of the weight of a two-year-old pillow can comprise dead mites and their droppings. Mites flourish in warm, moist surroundings like the inside of a mattress. They feed primarily on dander, which is the dead skin shed by humans and their pets. A huge mite population can also be found in carpets and household upholstery.

How to Identify Mites

Typical dust mites can barely be seen against a dark background normal light because they are just 0.42 millimetres in length and 0.25 to 0.32 millimetres in width. A microscope must be used to see them clearly. The eight-legged hairy bugs are creamy blue in colour and have no eyes or antennae.

In general, testing for mites is unnecessary because these bugs are very common in households. They almost always show up in tests, so having a test done for mite presence is just an added expense. Since we now know that dust mites are present in our home, the best thing to do is to know how to control or eliminate them.

Why Prevent Mite Infestation?

Dust mites are generally not harmful to most people. They do not carry diseases. However, dust mites are usually the culprits in asthma and allergic attacks worldwide. The gut of a mite has powerful digestive enzymes, which are found in their droppings and are major causes of allergic reactions in sensitive individuals, especially children and the elderly. The exoskeleton of a dust mite can also cause allergies. Sufferers of allergies caused by dust mites experience several symptoms including asthma and difficulty in breathing; runny nose; hay fever; itchy, red or watery eyes; nasal congestion; itchy nose, and more.

There are chemical and non-chemical methods to get rid of dust mites. Disodium octaborate tetrahydrate powder is effective against dust mites. Some non-chemical methods include restricting the availability of food; adjusting living conditions by lowering humidity levels; regularly dusting and vacuuming; and using air purifiers.

If certain family members are especially sensitive to dust mites and you are worried about their health, seek the help of pest control experts to inspect your house and also to recommend an effective pest eradication solution for your home.