No I haven’t found living termites
I want to know how to defend my home using monitors
It’s great that you haven’t found any live termites. It’s also great that you clicked here because you want to keep it that way.
But not having found termites is not quite the same as not finding them after a thorough inspection of your home. So get a torch and go tap around all your skirting boards, window and door frames, have a look up in the roof for any telltale mud in the joints of the roofing timbers and, if you have a suspended wooden floor go under to see if there are any mud tunnels going up the piers, stumps or foundation walls to the bearers and joists. Full details on inspection are here.
Still no live termites? The very best thing to do now is to place some TermiTraps around your home and sheds, etc. TermiTraps contain timbers that termites find attractive and it is these decoy timbers that entice termite scouts into the Traps. Once the termites build a connecting tunnel to the Traps, they seal up the hole in the lid so you’ll know it is time to begin baiting using the Colony Killer Termite Bait.
Coptos and Schedos, the two termite that do almost all the damage to Aussie buildings, nest in the soil or in hollow trees OUTSIDE buildings. So, if there are no termites inside your home and the termites that do almost all the damage to homes build their nests outside, it sure makes good sense to encircle your home with TermiTraps to stop them getting from where they are to where you don’t want them to be. And, as Coptos and Schedos are pretty much spread over the whole of continental Australia your risk is real — and TermiTraps are designed primarily to deal with especially these two Termites.
Since about 2001, mainstream pest control companies have been installing monitoring systems around homes as a simple but very effective method of reducing termites getting into houses/buildings because it works! As a DIYer, you can do this job as well — and cheaper.
There are essentially two types of monitors, those buried in the ground and those placed above ground level.
Scouts looking for a new food source are highly likely to discover attractive timber in semi-sealed containers thoughtfully placed at 3 metre intervals around where they are snooping. What is even more probable: a monitor/trap/station/aggregation device placed above soil level will get their attention sooner. Scientific trials have confirmed this.
Termites mostly find in-ground monitors by burrowing though the (usually) upper 100mm of soil until they pick up the traces of carbon dioxide emanating from decaying wood and they turn ‘upstream’ toward the source. The effort required to do this is much greater than sending scouts up above the surface where they can traverse greater distances in a shorter time. Placing the TermiTrap on-ground stations on concrete paths against walls with the openings over the gap in the expansion joint means the scouts moving along the joint are highly likely to encounter a station. Or, placing an on-ground station over gaps between pavers or just anywhere on a garden puts it in the path of those scouts which begin searching above ground level on warm and humid summer evenings.
Why specifically are on-ground monitors any better at intercepting scouts?
One answer is that it takes less energy and, more distance can be covered by scouting above the soil. But the really incontrovertible fact is that every piece of timber that has ever been attacked above the foundations of a building has been found because scouts have left the ground to find it. Above-ground TermiTraps are up where the scouts are ‘looking’
The only place you wouldn’t use an on-ground station is in a lawn. Which also means the time taken and the energy cost to us humans is also much less for the installation procedure. No digging to fight roots and rocks.
This is the TermiteTrap DIY above-ground monitor . The UV protected plastic box is open at the bottom, contains attractive-to-termites timber and there is no digging to place them at about 3 metre intervals around your buildings.
This DIY Trap was placed on a garden against a wall. The hole in the lid has instinctively been filled with termite ‘mud’ mixture to prevent loss of humidity and to exclude ants. The blocked hole is the signal to tell you they’ve arrived and to begin the baiting process.
The underside of the Tuckerbag bait pouch is adhesive to stick it to the lid allowing termites direct access into the bait. When baiting is completed, the Trap can be washed out, new timber slats added and replaced on duty in case another colony develops nearby.