I have received this email from a new customer who lives in a mud brick house.

Termites in Paper and Styrene Foam

Hello Ion,

Thank you for this note. I read your guide before ordering.

A couple of years ago the local village hall was attacked by termites in the hardwood flooring and the walls. We had used a contractor who found nests and poisoned the termites but they kept coming back from somewhere. So we tried another contractor who used baits in three traps similar to yours. It took several months but the termites seem to be gone. On the basis of our experience the shire checked its other 20 halls and found seven under attack.

I live on a small property (7.2 hectares) outside of the village. The house is pole construction with mud brick walls. The poles had been treated after the house was built. There have been termites in a couple of soft internal timbers. These seem no longer active. I am now making my way around with a screwdriver looking for more. I will put most of the 22 units close around the outside of the house and a nearby shed that seems okay so far. It was built with treated pine but that is no guarantee.

I’m retired now but in my past life I was a science teacher for a while. I am reasonably certain I can apply your system properly.

Anyway, thanks for your help. I will let you know how it goes.

Rod

Hello Rod,

Thank you for telling me your termite story.

Mud brick houses have many advantages but yes, termites will be a constant threat. Just understand that the nest always begins outside the house and the scouts find a way in if they can. Once the tunnel(s) are built destruction continues until someone or something stops them.

Your on-going job is to have the Traps out there as decoys for scouts to find before they get in and to check them every three months (we will email you a quarterly reminder unless you unsubscribe), AND you should also check all visible timbers in the house and shed at least annually.

Your 7.2 ha will surely have new nests forming from the yearly colonising flights and occasionally some will be within range of your buildings. Any mounds you see should be physically destroyed; the ones up in tree branches are nowhere near as big a threat. It takes 3-5 years for a colony to mature enough to become a significant threat but because there is possibly a successful establishment each year, the threat is constant.

Here’s a suggestion that you don’t NEED to take up but it may suit—

If you drill a hole say 10mm Diam into any pole that is set into the ground (all the way into the centre) the chances are good, but not infallible, that if termites did get into the pole below ground level they will block up that hole with their mud mixture as they eat their way up the inside of the pole. Usually they will block it at the surface but they may block it further in. Your yearly inspection will include poking a screwdriver into each hole to ensure it is clear all the way in. Up to you.

Best wishes,

Ion