If a building is under termite attack, it makes sense to try and find the nest causing the problem. Taking time to inspect the property around buildings under termite attack, with special attention to trees and tree stumps, is a key first step in any treatment. However, inspections to AS 3660.2 are visual and non-intrusive- and while it includes a visual inspection of potential nest habitat in gardens and trees, it is not the most effective way to search for a termite nest in the Melbourne environment.
If we recommend that an ‘intrusive nest search’ is worthwhile as a separate service from the inspection, we will drill and temperature probe selected trees and stumps usually in the immediate area around an infested building. If we locate a nest, usually by following a heat source with temperature probes, it can usually be clearly demonstrated that it is indeed a termite nest with a Queen (s), and not merely a tree containing just feeding termites.
We are most successful at nest location in the treed outer Melbourne suburbs where the species Coptotermes frenchi is located. We have far less success at nest location in inner urban areas where, even if there are trees present, they don’t seem to contain the nests of the ‘urban termite’ Coptotermes acinaciformis.
Apart from assisting us in managing the termite infestations of our clients, we also provide nest location services in parks and reserves for councils, typically where residents have noticed the ‘tell-tale’ evidence of flying termites emanating from a tree.
What if we find a termite nest?
If we are successful at locating a termite colony nest then we ‘stop and think’. If we plan to protect the building with a soil treatment, then we would probably proceed and treat the nest site directly with a non-repellent liquid termiticide. Simple.
However, what if we would prefer to do a ‘baiting program’ on the termites actually feeding in an infested building, so that we know that we are treating the ‘right’ termites? A treatment directly into a nest outside the building may compromise any baiting program and so increase uncertainty. So, in such cases, we would probably prefer to stand aside from direct nest treatment until the baiting program is complete. We would then re-check the nest outside (in a tree). It is usually dead. Killed by the baits from the building. However, sometimes it is alive. I which case we would then treat it directly- thereby killing two termite nests, not just one.
What we if we cannot find a termite nest?
Although finding and destroying local termite colonies around the building is good practice, it is often no practical to achieve. In fact, in many situations, such as the inner city where there may be no overt tree habitat, we do not attempt nest location.
Fortunately, we have modern methods of killing a hidden and remote termite nest- even without actually finding it, and successful outcomes are possible when the nest remain unlocated.
What’s next after colony control?
Eliminating active termites from the building and destroying any termite colonies may stop the current termite attack, but it won’t prevent a building being attacked in the future. A plan that provides on-going termite management into the future will always be recommended by our specialists. This typically involves either ‘soil treatment’ or a ‘monitoring program’ together with regular inspections.
Key facts about termite nests
Coptotermes acinaciformis The ‘urban termite’. This species inflicts more damage to buildings across Australia than any other species and is the main enemy in urban Melbourne and the central business district. We seldom find it’s nests since it generally just builds its’ mound in the ground or under building structures like suspended concrete slabs/ steps, and we know surprisingly little about this species.
However, we suspect that it’s nests are linked to other nests, since history has shown us that even when we are positive about achieving an effective and documented thorough colony eradication program, this species does tend to re-infest – even if it is many years later. So history has also taught us of the importance of on-going ‘protective’ management such as termite monitors or soil treatment, as well as regular inspections- just in case…..
Coptotermes frenchi, (Country termite) This species is the main invasive termite in outer Melbourne and country areas. It tends to build it’s large single nest site within a void it creates in the base of a big old tree. From there, it radiates out for up to 90 meters within a network of mud tubes in the soil- sniffing out for for wood in landscaping or buildings to chew and take back to the nest. We find this termite frequently, and dealing with it is our bread and butter.
Nasutitermes This Genera is common in many back yards and landscaping timbers across Melbourne, where it seldom damages buildings. However, a different species of this termite builds soft mud mounds in country Victoria (typical Kilmore/ Broadford/Wondong) and damages buildings and shows its’ distinct black stain in its’ mudding.
Dampwood termites. These termites do no come from a nest. Their small family groups live entirely within the feeding site of a piece of decaying wood. Nest treatment therefore does not apply. They can cause severe damage to some poorly ventilated buildings especially in inner Melbourne. Since regular termite products and methods are ineffective against this Genus, their management is usually ‘cultural’. ie Replacement of timber and improvement in ventilation and timber separation.
Pest Manager of the Year – Victoria (2016).
Pest Manager of the Year finalist (2017)
I have been extremely pleased with the inspections that I have received from both Rob and Ben over the last few years and look forward to continuing service with Specialist Termite Control.
Norm | Briar Hill
Great experience start to finish. Will be coming back for regular checks.
Rebecca | Research
I spoke to Narelle on the phone to organise the inspection, and with only a day’s notice she was able to book us in and get everything sorted out. She was incredibly friendly, personable and helpful over the phone, and it made a stressful time much easier on my partner and I. Thank you Narelle & Martin!
Emma | Carlton North
Very happy with your services from initial contact thru to completion of inspection.
Paul | Saint Andrews
I love the feel of your organisation and I trust your work probably mostly because we have had checkers who we like very much and trust. I have recommended you to many others.
Freda | Alphington
Richard was thoroughly professional. It was so obvious he knew his craft. He was able to pinpoint tiny details to me that really showed he knew what he was talking about. He kept me informed about what he was doing. And – I believe – he went above and beyond in helping determine my house’s vulnerability and it’s safety from termites. He was time efficient and effective. I very much felt that I had a person whose main interest was in providing me with an excellent service… with knowledge, professionalism and integrity. If Richard is typical of the people that you employ, then I’m not surprised that your company was recommended to me by three different persons – ranging from Balwyn to Montmorency to Eltham. Thank you.
Pauline | Eltham
My contact with you has been absolutely superb from start to finish. Both receptionist and Richard were reassuring, kind and went above and beyond to help me out.
Alice | Eltham
I really feel that the service your company provides is excellent, from the first phone call all the way through to the written reports. Dee was super helpful and was happy to answer any questions I had. Thanks!
Nic | Eltham
My experience from the day I called has been amazing, so helpful and made easy for me. Thankyou.
Sharon | Templestowe
Very happy with Dee and his helpfulness. He is thorough and polite throughout. Liasing with my builder to arrange for subfloor access. Also thank the office staff who was kind to squeeze in a prompt enough visit after we discovered the termites.
Cherla | Mount Waverly
We were delighted with the service provided by STC and very relieved to know our home now has a barrier in place to prevent termite attacks. Richard was extremely helpful and explained the processes in detail so we knew what going to happen every step of the way. A true family business with decades of expertise and outstanding administrative and customer service. We look forward to seeing you for our ongoing annual inspections. Thank you very much.
Clair | MacLeod
Always extremely satisfied with the service this organisation provides. Receptionists are always friendly and accommodating and Rob always provides a quality 5 star service. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to others.
Danika | Watsonia North
We are very happy with the service and would recommend this company to others.
Liz | Beaconsfield