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DO NOT waste lure by adding it to timbers that do not contain live termites. The colony is killed only if workers take enough of the bait back to the nest. And they'll only take it whenever they can harvest it, undisturbed, from inside the ruined lumber you've found. .

 

 

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Should you find termites in timbers such as the window/door frames, skirting boards inside, or in studs, posts, roof and foundation timbers of any structure, you need to make a small hole into the timber, really see live termites then insert a light-proof cache of this lure covering the hole in the timber.

See the uneven surface of the window frame. Termites had eaten out it, in certain regions leaving only the paint.

 

 

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Create an opening into the termites using a pointed knife or fine screwdriver. The hole should be no bigger than about 5mm diameter to begin with. (It ought to be enlarged only when it is time to add the cache of bait). You can pry into the surface of the wood where it feels spongy, thin or hollow.

It's only as a last resort you should attempt to open a tunnel on a wood or foundation surface. .

Once you've broken through into where it's hollow, wait for a minute or so. If termites are there, the soldiers normally come to safeguard the opening while workers repair it. You may see their antennae and their heads blocking the hole. If no live pollutants appear, leave the hole open and return later or test next day.

 

 

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This shows the way planters will come out of the infested timber into a foil covered mass of bait taped into the surface. Alternatively, if the surface is flat, the feeder might be repaired over the pit and also the termites will enter it to harvest the lure.

If the timber has a flat surface, then make the hole away from corners so you can line it news up with the hole in the base of the feeder. If the access hole to the termites is on a round pole or another situation where you cannot repair the feeder to it, you can make a pouch of aluminium foil and duct tape to hold the bait in place.

If you're using the foil method, carefully pull the edge of the tacky tape to inspect and to replenish the lure. If you are using the feeder method, it is not as disturbing if you can add more lure to the original feeder.

The termites you may see as dark brown nests high up in a tree are seldom pests of significance. But the main subterranean termites that do this 99 percent of the damage we mentioned earlier, will often nest inside the central pipe or even hollowed out center of a tree. Mastos, the giant northern termite, dont always await the decay of this pipe.

 

 

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(See the special box on Mastos).

If at colonising flight time a termite couple find their way into a hollow tree through maybe a dead/broken-off branch or in through a scar from fire in the bottom they could not possibly have better conditions. Theres plenty to eat, moisture and protection. A 50 metre travel to your home would not be out of the question. .

In case you have a large eucalypt, peppercorn or a mature fruit tree nearby, you should check it. Use an 15-20mm auger little long enough to drill into the centre of the trunk at approximately shoulder height. Drill at a slight downward angle and when you are feeling less resistance it'll be because you achieve the pipe.

 

 

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If not, you can slip in a long thin grass leaf into the drill hole, leave it for a minute and withdraw it slowly. Termites might be found holding on, attacking it. If still no live termites are found, come back in half an hour or even next morning; when there is termite life inside, they'll be repairing or have repaired the opening using their sand mixture. .

In this situation you dont need to see live termites; its just more satisfying to know you've actually killed a colony when you take the next steps

Re-open the drill hole when it has been repairedUsing a funnel, plastic tube and watering can/bucket, pour at least 20-30 minutes of a chlorpyrifos or a bifenthrin solution down into the tree. These insecticidal concentrations can be bought from a local hardware shop. They may be known by various brand names but the active ingredients are on the front panel of the tag.

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