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Ant Caps and Termite Shields – Termite Management

Ant capping {or termite shielding, the terms are used interchangeably} is very common in Queensland homes. In fact, for many, they are a requirement under the State Building Code. They’ve proved incredibly useful in preventing termites moving undetected through timber piers. Many a Queensland home has been saved from massive termite infestation by these shields.

Having said that, they do not provide home owners a ‘set and forget’ solution for termite prevention. Termite shielding {you can see an example of ant caps in the diagram below} is not, in fact a termite deterrent at all. As they are made from materials termites are unable to eat through, they are forced to build mudding trails to get around the barrier and into timber. This allows us a chance to see evidence of their presence before they can do much damage.

Ant Caps

Termite Ant caps in a sub-floor

 

Obviously, this is only possible if the ant caps are checked as part of your regular termite inspection/check. This is especially important if you have sub floors, as homeowners tend to stay out of them wherever possible {and who can blame you? Dark-check. Dusty-check. Spiders? Not going to happen} so they are easily forgotten. A professional Pest Management Technician however knows exactly what to check for.

Conquer Termites Northside dealt with this issue just the other day. Ant caps had been placed upon Timber Piers under a home in Paddington. Homes like these {built on stumps} need Ant Caps because without them, termites have undetected access to your house.

Unfortunately, Termite Shields can give home owners a false sense of security, particularly if the home is an older one. It used to be common practice to nail the caps on the pier during construction to keep it on before the timber bearer is placed on top. This isn’t problematic until years later when nail and cap rust, leaving a sizable {and termite-accessible} hole under the bearers.

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Termite entry through hole in middle of ant cap

This Paddington home is one such home, and it had termites in the living room walls.  At first glance, it wasn’t clear where they were getting in. We checked the ant caps, of course but even then – it wasn’t immediately obvious. As you can see from the photo, there is a substantial hole in this pier, but hidden under the bearer – nearly invisible unless you are specifically looking for it – these wasn’t even any of the usual mudding to tip us off.

Another example of the benefit of a qualified, professional Pest Management Team with a trained eye and plenty of experience dealing with termites in South East Queensland,  and of course regular, yearly Pest Inspections. Those inspections can be the key to keeping your biggest investment safe.

 

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