Termite monitoring stations can be installed when a property currently has a termite infestation, or they can be installed as a system to monitor any future infestations.
On behalf of a buyer in a rural area around Canberra, a buyers building and pest inspection test was conducted. At that time, there was no reason for concern identified. However, the property was considered high risk and required six monthly termite inspections.
After a second follow-up termite inspection, the client indicated they would like to install monitoring stations as he was going overseas for work and he didn’t want his wife to have to worry about any termite issues while he was away. This, despite the fact that there were still no termites at this follow-up inspection.
Bait stations were installed between two and four metrers around the perimeter of the house.
Once installed, a timber insert was placed in the station. Every two months, the stations were monitored to see if any termites had infested the timber. To those who might ask why you would put timbers in the stations and attract the termites, they are inserted not to attract termites but rather to detect any termites which are close to the home. If termites enter the stations, they are obviously foraging for a food source. If they don’t have the timber insert to feast on, they could go after the timbers in the house.
Within eight months of installing a program, one of the stations had active termites within.
Termite mud and active termites eating the timber inserts
Timber in monitoring station eaten out by termites
Once the termites enter the stations, It’s time to take some action and place some bait in the station itself. These stations are not only monitoring stations; they are also the bait station. It is important to leave the timber insert in place as it’s important not to disturb the termites. A bait which is non-toxic to humans and animals but palatable and potent to termites can then be administered.
Termites over a period eat the bait and slowly become sick. Termites are social and share their food. This process allows acting toxicants (the bait) to be transferred to the colony. It is important that the action of the bait is slow enough to allow the termites to feed, travel back to their nest, and share before taking effect. It can take several months for this to affect and eliminate the whole colony. This is called colony elimination.
The termites will slowly turn a whiter shade of white than they already are, and this is when you start to see signs of sickness throughout the colony.
The installation of a monitoring system has saved this family a significant financial loss and stress.
Because these owners took a proactive position on termite management, they have been able to stop major damage in what is already a high-risk location.
The moral of the story is that monitoring stations can and will help detect termites along with thorough and regular inspection. You should engage a reputable company with experience and dedication. Many clients spend thousands of dollars on termite management contracts and the pest manager never turns up to check the property or has no structure in place. You are committing a lot of funds – anything up from $3,000 – to install a system like this, so it’s important to ensure the pest manager is honouring his role.