Pest Inspection - Which Pests?

Pest inspections can be for possums, rodents, bees, wasps, spiders, ants, termites, borers, cockroaches etc. Some of these pests are timber pests meaning they damage timber.

Because we are a building inspection service, our pest inspection is concerned with structure, so it is a timber pest inspection limited to inspection for termites (also called ‘white ants’). The simple reason for this is that termites are the pest of greatest economic significance to buildings. Termites cause more damage to buildings than fire, flood and all other causes combined.

 

What Are Timber Pests?

Timber pests include all organisms that damage timber ‘in service’ – that is, timber we use to make things.

On the Adelaide plains, the predominant pest is the subterranean termite (‘white ant’). Others pests are fungi, such as those that rot your pergolas and gutter fascias and insects such as borers and beetles. But all these pale into insignificance against the damaging potential of the tiny subterranean termite. They're small insects that live in large colonies, moving underground and through timber, which is their food. They are a pest because the timber they eat might be part of your house. Because they are small, secretive and very numerous, they can cause major damage before being discovered.

 

Should I Have A Termite Inspection?

Yes, you should, especially if your building is timber-framed, as most modern houses are. Older homes of brick and stone usually have timber floors and timber roof framing.

 

Why should I Care?

Like it or not, termites are almost everywhere because their food source, cellulose, is almost everywhere. They are an essential part of the ecosystem, for their role in breaking down dead timber, the same stuff we use for building.

 

This House Is Really New. Why Do I Need One?

Houses built on a concrete slab will often depend on the concrete as a barrier to termite entry.  But crucially, they also depend upon the edge of the slab being visible around the outside, because this is where termites can still enter. You need to be able to see their small mud tunnels, perhaps only 5mm wide, then react by calling a pest controller. Of course, many home owners don't know this and most tenants won't either. Our inspection will explain what you need to do to protect your investment.

 

This House Is Steel-Framed

That’s good. Termites don’t eat steel. However, there are other parts of the house typically containing the cellulose they eat, such as doors, windows, skirtings, doorframes, cabinets, pergolas and your own possessions, such as furniture, papers, books, cardboard and musical instruments.

 

What Do You Do In You Inspection?

We search carefully for evidence of termite damage, previous activity and previous treatments. Our knowledge of termite behaviour helps us search in the right places for those signs. We use the standard tools of the pest industry: sight, smell, touch (including percussion) and moisture measuring equipment. 

 

What If You Find Some?

If we find termites we will advise you on several different treatment options. We give this advice impartially, because we aren't selling treatments nor receiving any incentives for recommending them. If live termites are discovered, you will be advised to leave them alone and call a pest manager to eradicate the colony. Use the advice we give you and that of the pest manager, to put in place a termite management plan.

 

Learn More To Reduce Risk

Like any new investment, if you don't already understand a risk, then learn about it or ask someone you can trust for impartial advice.

 

Protecting Timber

There are several methods of chemically-treating timber that would otherwise be susceptible to attack. If you have a recently-built house, you should endeavour to obtain the construction documents to see what parts of the building  have been made using treated timber and what sort of warranty and effective life may apply to the treatment.