14 January 2013

Termite alert!

Yep, you don't want them eating up your house!

Unfortunately, we discovered termites munching on our bed frame in the room downstairs. And our house is just 4 years old.

The discovery of termite invasion

Tell tale signs of wood dust on the floor was the first observation. Being in denial, we ignored it (of course!) at first. But the wood dust kept appearing.

While we were away on holiday, my tenacious maid decided to pry open a section of the built-in wooden frame downstairs and discovered that indeed termites had entered our home. She called us while we were overseas and even sent us a picture through her mobile!

So, upon our return we consulted a couple of pest control companies.

Types of termites

 In general, there are the dry wood termites and the subterranean termites.

The dry wood ones don't do as much damage and are contained (and sometimes come with) within your wooden furniture. The pest control consultant told us that some wood furniture were not treated or dried properly thus harbored these termites, which take a few years before they consume the particular piece of furniture they arrived in.

The subterranean termites are the ones that live in the ground around us and make their way into our homes through cracks and fissures. They leave obvious dirt tracks in your home, making it easy to spot them. These tracks were obvious in our basement.

Termite treatment

Before calling the pest control experts, we did a quick read-up on termite extermination methods.

It seems the method of choice these days is to install termite baits which comprise boxes attached to specific spots in your home with established active termite activity. These boxes contain poisoned food material for the termites to consume which should eventually eliminate the termite colony causing the mischief.

We were told NOT to spry any insecticide as this would cause the termites to stop their activity where you saw them and go into hiding or migrate elsewhere in your house to continue their feeding.

I read that there are currently these brands of termite baits on the market: Exterra, Termibait and Sentricon.

I contacted 2 companies which use Exterra and Sentricon respectively, and they sent their staff to inspect our house and to provide a quote. As for Termibait, I found someone using this system from the net and spoke to him on the phone only, as he does not operate in Ipoh. I must say the Termibait consultant, Jack, was very friendly and generous with his information, despite knowing that he would not be getting my business.

Installation

We had 2 above-ground stations and 12 in-ground stations installed today using the Exterra system. This is another lesson and experience in house-keeping. We never stop learning.



(pictures from http://www.sentricon.com/, http://www.termibait.com.my/4320/, asgpestcontrol.com)

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