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Monday, March 31, 2014

Little Visitors have left Home - Termites

The pest man visited to check his baits in the Cave and pronounced us pest free. The little visitors have left. Well really they had a problem as the bait contained a product which stopped them shedding their outer shell. Something they need to do on a regular basis and if they can't they don't survive.

Now the works starts. Over the years we built garden beds around the Cave. Right up to the edge of the concrete slab. This provides a nice wet connection to the Cave for termites. Not seeing the slab edge also prevents seeing the termite tunnels being built. Early intervention is a good thing. Moisture was another issue. A couple of spots in the guttering leak a small amount of water especially condensation during the drier periods. Perfect for termites. And another culprit was the dam water holding tank whose overflow is badly positioned and allows water to pool around the slab edge.

Today saw the excavation of a trench beginning around the Cave. There only needs to be about 75-100 mm of slab exposed but at the moment it's a bit deeper to allow for some fall back. Gradually it will be landscaped into shape so it isn't as ugly. Just making a start. Managed the completion of two sides in one day.

The rear side which is nearest the Termite damage involved removing the metal siding to inspect the extent of the damage for the first time. The concern was how much structural damage needed attention. It was astounding to discover almost no structural damage just a little superficial chewing in one location. It seems they didn't like the pine frame and limited themselves to consuming the recycled pallet timber shelving inside. Because of good luck in discovering their existence early the shelving although chewed quite a bit is structurally sound and the damage not visible.

The next tasks are to complete the excavation work which shouldn't take too long now that a start had been made. Hopefully with a sunny day the gutter will dry out and some silicone can be inserted into any leaky sections. And finally the overflow outlet relocated to drain away from the Cave. The new position is marked on the tank and tomorrow with the aid of a concrete drill bit a suitably sized hole will be cut and a new outlet inserted and cemented in place.

So an expensive exercise at nearly $2000 for the pest work. The upside is we have a better understanding of termites and hopefully will not have them visit again. The pest people have a new annual customer for their inspection service.

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