At Specialist Termite Control Pty Ltd, we know about termites because that is all we do.
We have been protecting homes and businesses in Melbourne for more than 25 years, and we pride ourselves that we provide our clients with the best service possible.
Specialist Termite Control Pty Ltd was formed in 1990 with the specific intent of providing an alternative to the conventional organo-chlorine spray approach to termite treatments.
In the early days, Tom Boschma was the sole operator of the business. It was down to basics, with termite colony location and the use of a few grams of arsenical dust as the central approach.
During this time new methods were being developed and experimented with. One of these was putting the new “CSIRO box bait” system into live building infestations. Whilst this method produced mixed results at first, the response from the public was overwhelmingly positive as home owners looked for safer alternatives to the infamous spraying of chemicals.
The word spread and Tom performed box bait poisoning demonstrations on TV programs such as Burke’s Back Yard, Healthy Wealthy Wise and Our House. All of a sudden “baiting” became the buzz word in the industry.
However, early baiting methods were difficult to perform and unpredictable in outcome. It was also difficult to train technicians in the subjective art of luring termites and the methods never became widely used.
Since these early days of box baiting with arsenic dust, the termite control industry has produced a new range of highly effective and low toxicity poisons that has allowed termite baiting to blossom into the fantastically successful mainstream termite treatment method that was only dreamed of back in the 90s.
Termite baiting does not now involve the damaging and intrusive measures often associated with chemical soil treatments.
Fast forward 20 years, and today Specialist Termite Control is one of Melbourne’s few genuine termite specialists, employing a team of qualified technicians and friendly customer service consultants. Our headquarters are located near Eltham from where we service most of Melbourne and surrounding regional areas.
We have no franchise or commercial link to any supplier and our clients’ own interests are placed before any commercial arrangement. Typically, we offer our clients a range of options and help them choose the option that best suits them. If we use termiticides, they are always waterbased and odourless and our hallmark is to leave the our client’s building free from termites but uncontaminated with anything toxic or smelly.
All our termite inspections are carried out according to Australian standards 3660. However, our termite inspections are a lot more involved than simply looking for live termites. We are also looking for areas of termite damage and for any conditions that make the building vulnerable to termite attack.
An inspection with us is more like a “health check” for your home. We take our time to go through every area of your home and property (termites are often found in the darkest, dampest corners!) and use the latest termite detection equipment to make sure we don’t miss anything.
Typically an inspection on an average 3-4 bedroom home will take us 2.5-3 hours – if you have had an inspection that takes less than an hour, the chances are, they have not done a very thorough job.
Each inspection comes with a detailed multi-page report with photos. We take our time to explain our findings on site and are happy to talk some more over the phone if you have further questions. We also provide a range of termite prevention tips for homeowners.
How do we detect if termites are infesting your property and eating inside your wall , floor and roof? Termites are only 5mm long and typically feed deep inside timber , which they hollow like a digeridoo and can’t be seen from the outside. How do our inspectors detect them?
Clues- there can be subtle signs of termites such as mud spots, if you know where and how to look. This evidence can be very discrete if it is inside an occupied living space, or it can be more overt (or huge) in a dark and secluded space like a sub-floor. A strong torch and trained eye are the key to termite detection.
A sounding stick can help pick the hollow sound of timber that has been damaged by termites.
Higher technology is used mostly if evidence of termite damage is first found and a determination is to be made as to whether it is currently ‘active’ Could it be a remnant from an infestation in the past? A moisture meter can detect typically raised surface moisture levels of a currently infested timber. Particular spots that are suspect can be tested internally for movement by a radar movement detector that has a range of about 75mm into timber.
Other more publicised methods such as sniffer dogs and infra-red cameras can have a place in some instances, but are not used routinely by our company.
Technology aside, and perhaps less glamourous, the real key to an effective termite inspection is for good visual and bodily access to all parts of a building, including any roof spaces and sub-floors. If these are not available, no amount of technology will compensate and the inspection will be less effective.
Termites live in huge colony nests typically concealed in a tree or perhaps just in the ground. These nests are seldom located in buildings in the Melbourne environment. Termites construct little tubes made from chewed mud, which range out from the nest site in a radius of about 70 meters. They sniff out for timber to digest. If they find timber in your home, perhaps a floor board or door jamb, then that ‘food’ is taken back to the nest. The Queen does not forget this. Even if you spray the area and replace the damaged timber, there is still that mud tube leading into your home full of termites ready to start feeding on your timbers again. So- your house is ‘on-line’ to the nest, and they will come back. She never forgets.
There are typically two different approaches to a remedy.
- The entire termite colony and Queen can be killed
- That underground ‘mud-tube’ and any others, can be broken and the termite access blocked by a barrier of soil treated with termiticide.
The above approaches can be achieved with Termite Baiting and / or Soil Treatment programs. There is no ‘better’ or ‘best’ method- it depends on the circumstances. This company can advise the appropriate response in your own situation on request.