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A Home Buyer’s Guide To Spotting Termite Infestations

If you are a property investor, it is necessary to be well aware of the condition of the house you plan to purchasein order to avoid making the wrong decision. The presence of termites alone can already cost you thousands of dollars in repair and remedial work, so it is important that you are able to spot the signs of termite infestation before deciding to take out your money.

Taking time to visit the property you are planning to buy gives you a chance to have a casual inspection of the house. Aside from examining the design and checking for structural damages, you should also pay close attention to any traces of termite infestation that you might find.

Evidences of Termite Infestation

When checking out a property, here’s what our technicians at Defence Pest & Building Inspection Services suggest that you look for to help you identify the presence of termites:

Mud tunnels

Moisture is a necessity for termites to thrive. Even when travelling from their nest to their food source, subterranean termites require moisture to survive, thus, they build mud tunnels. These tunnels look like small tubes that are made of mud, and are usually found on the exterior walls of the house.

Termite droppings

As termites damage the wood materials in a property, they leave tiny droppings, called frass, which look like wood pellets or grains. Termite droppings can be commonly seen in piles just beside a wood material, including furniture. Seeing these droppings is usually a sign that the property is infested with drywood termites.

Wood Damage

Visible wood damage caused by termites includes small holes and damage that appear like tunnels. Edges of wood may also appear to be crushed, as a result of termites eating up the material.

Tapping on the wood will also help you determine possible termite activity. That is, if the wood sounds hollow, it is likely that termites have slowly damaged its interior.

Presence of Swarmers

If you find a swarm of winged insects indoors, which resemble ants, then it is a clear indication that there is termite activity within the property. Other times, you might only find discarded wings, which indicate that the insects have grown into the next stage of their life cycle.

Swarmers often gather near a light source and their presence could mean that they are building a new colony because an existing one has already reached its maximum size.

No Tell-tale Signs

It’s not all the time that you will visibly find signs of termite infestations, but that does not guarantee that there is no infestation at all. If you want to find out if there are risks of termite infestations in the property you want to buy, our team at Defence Pest & Building Inspection Services can help you with conducting a thorough pest inspection.

Moreover, if you find indications of termite infestations but still want to purchase a property, we can help with verifying the presence of pests and recommend treatment methods that can be used to eliminate the infestation.

Why The Pest History Of A Property Matters

We all know how difficult it can become when you’re sharing your home with pests. Not only will they be destructive to your property, but they are also distractive to your comfort and peace. Worse, they can be dangerous to your health. Our team at Defence Pest & Building Inspection Services helps you address this problem by recommending that property buyers and renters have a property inspected before purchasing a home or sealing a rental agreement.

It’s Not Just What Meets the Eye

Prospective buyers will always want to check the property with their own eyes and one mistake that is commonly made is how the aesthetics or even the aura of a home can easily persuade investors to take out their money immediately, without even considering that some structural problems may not be readily visible.

Our inspectors at Defence Pest & Building Inspection Services can help you overcome this problem by giving you a closer look of the condition of a property and its pest history. A pre-purchase pest inspection will allow you to determine if there are underlying termite or vermin problems that need to be addressed, or if there are traces of previous infestations. Moreover, you can uncover potential risks of future infestations and prevent them from even starting.

Next Steps after Uncovering a Property’s Pest History

We advise property investors that they request for a pre-purchase pest inspection or acquire the most recent pest inspection report from the seller or landlord, if any exists, which will provide them with the adequate information about the condition of a property. Preferably, this should be done even before you make your first bid on the property.

Save Money on Repairs and Pest Management

Once you have all the information laid out, then it will be easier to decide whether or not you are willing to shell out money for the property and the costs that may come with repairs, if necessary. Some buyers think that they will just end up spending more money on pest inspections so they tend to skip on it. But pest inspections can actually save you money because finding out the problems early on can avoid you from spending more on unexpected repairs.

Furthermore, you can talk with the seller or landlord and come up with a better contract, including details on who will shoulder the costs for the pest management and repairs for the damage caused by the infestation.

However, if such negotiation does not work out, then you will still have saved more money and just be able to find other options that will suit your lifestyle and budget, and also meet your requirement of a pest-free home.

 

Are Termites Really Able To Destroy Concrete?

One common myth and misconception about termites is that they can eat through concrete, damaging even the brick walls, foundation and concrete slab to make their way to invading your home. However, this is far from factual.

Perhaps, there were instances where homeowners have found termites in crevices in the wall, leading them to believe that these cracks were a result of termites eating up the concrete. The fact is, termites may use these cracks to gain entry to your property, moving their way to find a location that can be their nest and items that can be their food source, but they are unable to eat through solid concrete.

The cracks in concrete are usually a result of how the structure was constructed and other naturally-occurring factors, such as movements in the ground, but are never caused by termites.

The Nature of Termites

Termites are persistent creatures. They are continuously in search for food, travelling distances to find an environment ideal for building their colony. This is how they wind up at your home, because human dwellings usually have all the resources they need – food, moisture and shelter.

Once they have established their colony, termites will continue to multiply in number. Even when there are already thousands of termites in your property, you may hardly notice them, since their colonies are typically located in hidden areas.

Feeding Habits of Termites – Why They Can’t Be Eating Concrete

Termites require moisture for survival; without moisture, they will eventually die. This is why it is common to find them in areas surrounded by soil and why they build mud tubes on walls, so that they can keep a constant supply of moisture.

To get the nutrients they need, termites feed on materials that contain cellulose – this can include wood, paper, cotton, leaves, bark and other plant by-products. Inside your home, furniture, wood cabinets and fixtures, storage boxes, cardboards and even clothes can be an attractive food source for termites.

Concrete, on the other hand, does not contain the main nutrient (cellulose) that they need and neither are their bodies able to digest concrete, thus, termites feeding on concrete remains to be an urban legend.

Stopping Termites from Crawling Through Concrete

It is inevitable that no matter how well-constructed your property is, the concrete materials may have cracks. The most effective way to prevent termites from using these cracks as their passage is to have your home inspected by Defence Pest & Building Inspection Services.

Our team will conduct a complete inspection of your property, from the exteriors to the interiors, identifying any possible entry for termites and other pests. This includes cracks and crevices in areas that are not readily seen.

After the access points are identified, barriers can be put up by our technicians from Defence Pest & Building Inspection Services to protect your home from potential infestations. In the event that there are existing pest infestations, we will provide a plan of action to eliminate the termites.

Why Control Pests?

Pest control is often something we really consider when pests get out of hand. A much more effective way of dealing with pests, however, is to deal with them before they can get a strong foothold.

Why is Pest Control Important?

In today’s society, we have developed an aversion to using toxins of any sort. The problem with that approach is that poison is the most effective way to get rid of pests.

The advantage of having a professional come in and sort out the pest control for you is that they will deal with all the toxins for you. They know what quantities and concentrations to use in order to be effective and so it is a more environmentally friendly option.

Pests are just as dangerous, if not more dangerous for your family. Aside from the allergy-causing dander that they leave behind, they can also carry dangerous diseases and pose a real threat to the health of your family.

Preventative Pest Control

Preventative pest control is by far and away the most effective form of pest management. Prevention is always better than cure.

Your first step is to regularly inspect your home – especially the dark, damp places that pests love to hide in. Check for the pests themselves and evidence that they have been there – droppings and gnawed areas, for example.

You should also have a building and pest inspection conducted by a professional at least once a year. They have the experience and the technology to do a thorough job of inspecting all areas of your home – extending to inside the walls, et cetera, where termites are adept at hiding.

Get the Best Advice

They will also be able to give you sound advice on how to prevent an outbreak of pests, what, if any weak spots there are in the home and be able to help you to deal with an outbreak.

Regular inspections mean that the pests don’t get a chance to really overrun the place.

What you can do Today

You need to make your home as hostile to pests as possible. Pests are just like us – they need food, water and a safe place to call home.

Make sure that all sources of food are inaccessible to pests – keep your flour and other similar ingredients in airtight containers and make sure that these are properly sealed. Make sure that you clean up any spilt food quickly and make sure that your rubbish bin closes properly.

Cut off any sources of water for pests – fix any leaky plumbing as quickly as possible. Also make sure to cut humidity in the home as far as possible – humidity can be a source of water for pests.

Make sure that all areas in the home are aired regularly and try to make sure that all areas are properly lit – pests prefer to hide in dark corners.

All in all, preventative measures are the best safeguard for avoiding an outbreak of pests. Safeguard your family by following these tips today.

All About Integrated Pest Control

Nobody wants to deal with pest infestations. Unfortunately, many people handle their pest problems with methods that are far from permanent – or effective. All too often, pest infestations are dealt with using “band-aid” style approaches that only temporarily manage the issue at hand. Integrated pest control, or integrated pest management, is a much smarter way to go – especially if you have a long-running pest control problem. Learn more about it below.

How Does Integrated Pest Control Work?

Three main things go into integrated pest control: monitoring, baiting and pest inspections. In short, it is a proactive way to handle pest infestations and other related issues. A topnotch pest control company in Brisbane will be able to implement an integrated pest management service that is right for you. Before you look for one, though, it helps to have a better idea about what is involved.

Monitoring

Just because a pest infestation appears to be under control, doesn’t mean that it actually is. Quality integrated pest control involves continual monitoring of the premises. Periodic inspections and searches are conducted to check for the warning signs of new infestations. Instead of letting a problem become rampant, then, integrated pest management strives to keep problems contained and manageable. Most homeowners find this approach to be far more effective, and they enjoy pest-free homes much more often than those who rely on other types of pest control. Best of all, monitoring is much more affordable than having to eradicate a major pest infestation.

Baiting

If problems arise during Brisbane building inspections, baiting can be conducted to draw out the pests. This is the logical next step in the process, and it’s one that can contain infestations and keep them from spiraling out of control. This is also a great way to pinpoint exactly where the problem exists so that it can be handled in a more strategic way. Pest control goes a lot more smoothly when you have a better idea about what you’re up against. Pest control professionals know how to set up the right kinds of bait for various pests, ensuring excellent results.

Pest Inspections

Even when everything seems “okay,” it pays to have periodic pest inspections done. Pest inspections are a regular part of integrated pest management. This is the primary way that the first small signs of a problem are found, and they are easier to deal with when it’s early in the process. You may not like the idea of paying for inspections on a regular basis, but it will actually save you a lot of money in the long run. This proactive approach is the cornerstone of any successful integrated pest control system; try it out for yourself today.

What Does a Pest Inspector Check?

The vast majority of people ask for a pest report as part of their pre-purchase checks. A thorough pest inspection gives homeowners great peace of mind – it allows them to buy with confidence.

We all know that pest inspections are important, but do we know what areas are covered? Where does a pest inspector actually look and, why is it important to look into every nook and cranny?

What do the Inspectors Look for?

The inspectors are going to be on the lookout for signs of vermin, wood borer, termites and other common pests but will also check the property for wood rot, poor ventilation and dampness. (Pests tend to like a humid, moist environment so badly ventilated or damp areas are trouble spots.

At Brisbane Building and Pest Inspections, they will be on the lookout for not just the signs of a current infestation but also for points in the home that could provide a safe haven for pests in the future.

When it comes to keeping pests out of your home, you need to ensure that the environment is as uncomfortable for them as possible. This means identifying and sealing off as many points of entry as possible, clearing up any damp areas and ensuring that the entire house is properly ventilated.

Where do They Look?

The inspectors from Brisbane Building and Pest Inspections conduct a thorough inspection of your home – inside and out.

They will check all visible woodwork within the home, such as doors and skirting boards as well as areas the eyes can’t see – they are going to check inside the cupboards as well.

They look inside the roof, where possible, to check the rafters, et cetera.

They crawl into spaces and those areas that one would not normally go into at all. (They’ll end up knowing your house better than you do.)

They will also inspect the subfloor timbers and joints.

Exterior Inspection

Once the interior inspection is complete, they will conduct a check of any outdoor structures such as pergolas and sheds. They will also check your verandah and fences as well as look into any timber that is stored on the yard and inspect any trees or tree stumps.

You can then expect a report in the next couple of days detailing problems, if any are found, or potential problem areas and suggested solutions.

Spring Clean Plus Pest Inspection Equals Maximum Effect

There is nothing like the start of a new year to breathe life into those well-meaning intentions that have lapsed, and to find the motivation to get started on new projects. One on-going project that often gets put aside in the excitement of Christmas preparations is house cleaning. With the decorations taken down and the tree packed away it’s a bit of a shock to see how a few weeks of neglecting regular cleaning jobs has literally left its mark.

The biggest mistake you can make in this situation is to look at the whole house and give up before you start because it looks like too much work. Instead of freaking out, approach the task as a challenge and look for some easy ways to get your cleaning back under control. An excellent initiative is to combine it with professional pest inspections so you know that not only is your home clean but pest free as well.

Low-Cost Solutions from Professional Cleaners

To help you get started we have gathered a few suggestions from professional cleaners that should make the work easier and quicker. It is not even necessary to buy expensive chemical cleaners, as there are many natural products that do just as good a job. Bi-carbonate of soda and white vinegar are proven cleaners that will work on most surfaces except marble.

For an effective and inexpensive toilet cleaner, we can recommend undiluted vinegar, even for the bowl. To wash walls and floors, use equal parts water and vinegar. Bi-carbonate of soda sprinkled over the carpets and left for 10-15 minutes before vacuuming will neutralise those unpleasant pet and household smells that appear as soon as the house is closed up.

We have also been told that a methodical approach is the best. Start at the top and to the left of the doorway, and then move around the room in a clockwise direction until you are back where you started. This ensures that no area is missed. If the whole house is too big a job, just do a room at a time.

Grease and Grime Attracts Cockroaches and Rodents

The two areas that are often not cleaned are beside the stove and under the fridge. If the kitchen cupboards don’t go all the way to the ceiling, the tops are also often neglected. Pantyhose soaked in vinegar will cut through the grime in all these areas and save on the cost of cleaning cloths. These areas will attract cockroaches and rodents so once they are cleaned call us at Brisbane Building and Pest Inspections.

We will check your newly cleaned home for pests and provide a full report so you are fully informed of its condition.

Do Creepy Crawlies Give You The Creeps?

For some of us the stress meter goes way up at the thought of our 8 legged companions. Co-existing in an environment where spiders are lurking can really deter you from enjoying yourself, whether it be indoors or outdoors.

Some spiders are actually harmless. They may look scary but they will not hurt you. They supply a steady course of meals for your local bird life and their webs will catch the flies and insects for you. So, in a way, they are in fact doing you a service.

Unfortunately, not all spiders are harmless and helpful. Some can be quite dangerous to you and your family. If you live in an area where it is known to be a haven for spiders such as the redback spider, it is probably important to do more than think about getting your home treated.

Reliable pest inspections in Brisbane can be organised in a jiffy with Brisbane Building and Pest Inspections.

Moving into a New Home or Staying in the Old

It is absolutely imperative in this day and age to have a complete building and pest inspection conducted on any new home purchase. It will give you peace of mind to know that you are moving into a home with sound foundations and no hidden money pits to be dealt with at a later date.

What often happens is that once we are in our homes and happily living our lives we forget that the insidious pests of the world are slowly and quietly doing their job.

Many home owners been caught unawares and they have discovered an infestation of white ants, spiders and similar insects, which possibly cause damage and wreak havoc.

This is why it is a good idea to schedule a regular inspection on your home and not just when you buy it.

Not Just for the Home

Never forget that it is not just your home that you need to protect and maintain. Faulty or damaged pool fencing can also be a hazard to you, your family or anybody who may enter your property.

Legislation that went into effect in December 2010 demands that all pools and spas in Queensland are registered and that the fencing surrounding them is compliant to stricter, new laws.

Whether you are buying, selling or staying put, let our experienced crew at Brisbane Building and Pest Inspections look after your greatest asset.

Stop Pests in their Tracks

As home owners, there are a lot of dangers that we have to worry about. Sometimes it is no so much the things that go bump in the night but the little creepy crawlies that we need to look out for. And understanding little creepy crawlies is one thing that the folks at Brisbane Building and Pest Inspection services have spent a lot of time on.

Their inspectors have the experience to be able to pinpoint possible problem areas in the home and advise exactly how to deal with these. They will provide a professional pest inspection at your convenience.

These inspections are a very important part of home maintenance and should be conducted at least once a year.

The problem with most pests is that, when you can actually see them, it generally means that the problem is pretty widespread. Insects like to hide away in dark places that are not frequently disturbed – think of all the places in your home that could qualify. It takes a regular pest inspection and expert inspector to catch these problems early on.

Of course, the earlier you catch a pest problem, the easier it is to deal with. Brisbane Building and Pest Inspection Services https://www.defencepestandbuildinginspections.com.au/ make use of the experience of their inspectors in combination with state of the art equipment to make sure that they find any traces of a pest problem. Equipment is very important – for every pest you see, there are at least 7 lurking in the shadows.

Cockroaches breed profusely and can get into all kinds of cracks – they can even enter your home through the plumbing. They easily establish a foothold and, if left alone long enough, they can be very difficult to eradicate.

Rats and mice breed just as easily and also carry a number of diseases. They too can be difficult to get rid of. Finding all their hiding places on your own can be tough. You can put poison out but then you run the risk of the carcasses decomposing and causing quite a stink.

Termites can also cause a lot of damage to the structure of the building itself and may not only be difficult to eradicate but can also lead to expensive repairs being necessary. Smaller bugs such as bed bugs can cause a lot of irritation for your family – a lot of people are allergic to bed bug bites.

Overall, pest inspections are never something to be taken lightly – they are an important part of keeping your family safe and of protecting one of your biggest assets – your home.

The Trouble With Termites

Nothing is worse than buying a brand new home, only to begin seeing the telltale signs of a termite or timber pest infestation. Since termites are very social animals – they forage and live in very large groups – they can quickly become an overwhelming problem for many Australian homeowners. Therefore, the importance of Brisbane building inspections cannot be overemphasized; if you don’t have your prospective home closely examined, you might end up with a lot more than you bargained for. To find out what Brisbane building inspectors look for when examining a house, please read on below.

Areas Of The Home Pest Inspectors Examine

When inspecting a home, the professionals must pay close attention to any and all timber; after all, that’s where termites do their damage. As such, the available framework of the house is typically of chief concern. Things like joints and rafters must be looked at closely. Mouldings, skirtings, cupboards, doors and windows – if made out of timber – should be looked at. Basically, anything that would make an amenable meal for these destructive pests must be taken into account; otherwise, an unpleasant surprise might rear its head later on.

If you think inspectors will only look inside your new home’s four walls, think again. A truly thorough inspection will also include outdoor structures like fences and out buildings. Beyond man made structures, pest inspectors will look at trees and other timbers for signs of timber pests. If you have firewood or logs lying around or carefully stacked, those will be gone through as well. The goal is to ensure that absolutely no termites are living anywhere on your property, since they can quickly migrate into the home and are so good at hiding that you won’t realise it until major damage is done.

Tests That Pest Inspectors Use

Pest inspectors also use a variety of different tests to check for the presence of termites in a home. With sounding, they use a tapper device to listen for hollow spots in various kinds of timber. Hollow spots usually indicate the presence of timber pests, and must be dealt with. With probing, inspectors use a probe to check wood around the house and to see if it is being decayed or otherwise compromised by termites. These experts know healthy timber from infected timber very well. Finally, experienced pest inspectors use a variety of electronic equipment including moisture detecting meters to look for excessive moisture which is usually brought on by termites; on the flip side, such conditions can lure in timber pests as well. As well as Thermal Imaging cameras, Monition detectors and other acoustic equipment

As you can see, a lot goes in to inspecting a home for termites. It is well worth the time and expense though, to ensure that your home is safe, sound and ready to live in.