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Termite Control Pretoria, Gauteng
Hailed the silent destroyer, timber destroying subterranean termites also known as white-ants are
any home owner’s worst nightmare.
They often go unnoticed for years without any immediate signs only to be discovered when the damage
done is too severe. These termites, however, are not the only ones causing the damage. Various unregistered pest control officers
and building contractors can add to the problem by using inadequate and incorrectly applied pre-treatment methods.
The South African
Pest Control Association (SAPCA) regularly receives complaints from home owners who move into their homes only to find that the grounds
on which the house is built or the structure have not been treated properly. Often this is the result of building contractors appointing
unregistered pest control officers who act illegally in either using banned chemicals or applying chemicals incorrectly.
Termiticides are registered through the Registrar Act 36 of 1947 only after thorough testing by the South African Bureau of Standards
(SABS). The testing is done in accordance with the SABS code of practice 0124. Modern termiticides, which are more ‘environmentally
friendly’, only offer a protection and efficiency guarantee to a maximum of 5-years compared to older compounds like DDT and Chlordane,
which have been banned.
This however is not always the case, according to Mark Enslin, President of the South African Pest Control
Association. SAPCA have found that there are PCOs that offer to termite-proof buildings at a rate per square metre, which is well
below the wholesale cost of the chemicals alone and they are still offering a 10-year guarantee.
“There is no way that this can be
possible,” says Enslin. He continues by saying that any pest control company charging such a ridiculous price with a 10-year guarantee
on top of it, is either using banned substances like Chlordane, or is not using the termiticides at the prescribed dosages, in accordance
with the label and as prescribed by SABS 0124. “Since Chlordane has been banned, pest control companies are no longer able to offer
a 10-year guarantee on termite proofing. There is currently no chemical on the market that can offer the kind of protection that Chlordane
did,” says Enslin.
Chlordane was banned due to its hazardous effect on humans and the environment. The chemical contaminates the air
of homes by diffusion through concrete flooring, ceiling drywall or outgassing from previously treated indoor areas. Documented health
problems can include child cancers, leukemia, chronic infections, bronchitis, asthma, infertility, neurological disorders and aggression.
Enslin feels that the government, architects and building contractors have a part to play in this kind of misconduct as they are demanding
a 10-year guarantee. Developers are also pushing for pest controllers to undercut, thus encouraging pest control operators to use
termiticide at below prescribed dosages.
“I understand that one cannot expect the building contractor to play the watchdog, however
they should arm themselves with information regarding the termite treatment. They should realise that since the cost of the registered
products excluding labour and transport associated with the treatment are running between three to eight rand linear or square metre
- it would therefore be unrealistic then to expect to pay less than R10 per Lm/sqm for pre-construction termite proofing. By turning
a blind eye the contractor or developer is unwittingly ‘stealing’ from or defrauding the homeowner,” says Enslin.
to say that quotes below this price should be scrutinised because a person needs to relate the price paid for termite proofing to
the value of the structure that they are wishing to protect.
The danger of inadequately applying termiticides is well illustrated
in the example of a luxury lodge that was built on the banks of the Chobe by a South African construction company, who did their own
"termite treatment", using watering cans and chlorpyrifos purchased locally (Botswana). Termites entered the property a year later,
causing more than R2 million in damages. The contractor was forced to repair the damage, and ultimately lost money on the construction
Imagine what would have happened if the building contractors had defaulted and the owners were left with a structure with that
kind of damage. In this instance the damage occured in the first year, but it could occur at any time.
SAPCA motivates consumers and
the industry to only make use of registered pest control operators. SAPCA members for example all adhere to a strict code of conduct
prohibiting them from falling into the trap of undercutting, using unregistered chemicals and misappropriating chemicals.
can rest assured that our members are also all registered with the Department of Agriculture. In addition to this, if the customers
have a complaint about a SAPCA member, they have better recourse,” says Enslin. Also property owners should insist on proof that the
termite proofing was done in accordance with National Building Regulation.
When selecting a pest control officer to termite-proof
your home or to treat a current infestation ensure that he/she complies with the following:
- employed with a licensed pest control
- in possession of advanced knowledge of construction and home building
- expert knowledge of termite identification and biology
of the local and state ordinances regarding pest control
- knowledge of the various treatment methods and resources to customise a treatment
plan suitable for your development
- awareness of EPA-approved materials and environmental standards
- ability to provide detailed written
notes of the preliminary inspection
- confidence in a guarantee of service from a stable company with a reputation for providing effective
termite prevention, treatment and control.
- lastly, be suspicious of ‘cheap pricing’ and extended guarantees that exceed 5 years
treatment is dependent on the type of termite that is found at the site and this classification can only be done by a trained technician.
The type of termite further varies according to the geographical location of the premises. There are two main categories of termites
namely the Subterranean and Dry Wood Termite, which can be found throughout South Africa. Harvester termites are the most common species
found in the Western Cape.
Although termites form an important part of our local ecosystem by breaking down dead cellulose material,
this can become a serious liability in residential areas, where timber is used in buildings and homes. When termites attack they weaken
the timber, which can lead to the collapse of the building.
Ridding a building of termites requires special skills. There is however
a few essential tips that home owners can use to lessen the risk of termite infestations. This includes eliminating moisture problems,
by repairing leaky faucets and water pipes and removing potential food sources such as firewood and wood stumps around the perimeter
of the house.
For more information contact The South African Pest Control Association on 0861114556 or visit their website.
by Private Property.
I can inspect and identify problems with wood destroying insects such as termites in your home and
report on the condition of the roof structure and other areas that may be invested and whether any damage has been caused to the structure
that could be danger to you and your family.
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