INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT (IPM): In relying upon a pre-purchase timber pest report you should read and understand the following important information. 

It will help explain what is involved in a timber pest inspection, the difficulties faced by a timber pest inspector and why it is not possible to guarantee that a property is free of timber pests. 

It also details; important information and maintenance advice regarding Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Protecting against timber pests. This information forms an integral part of this report.

A.1. Timber Pest Attacks: Any structure can be attacked by Timber Pests. Periodic maintenance should include measures to minimise possibilities of infestation in and around a property. Factors which may lead to infestation from Timber Pests include situations where the edge of a concrete slab is covered by soil or garden debris, filled areas, areas with less than 400mm clearance, foam insulation at foundations, earth/wood contact, damp areas, leaking pipes, etc; form-work timbers, scrap timber, tree stumps, mulch, tree branches touching the structure, wood rot, etc. Gardens, pathways or turf abutting or concealing the edge of a concrete slab will allow for concealed entry by timber pests. Any timber in contact with soil such as form-work, scrap timbers or stumps must be removed from under and around the buildings and any leaks repaired. You should endeavour to ensure such conditions DO NOT occur around your property.


A.2. Pest Control Firm: We further advise that you engage a professional pest control firm to provide a termite management program in accord with AS 3660 to minimise the risk of termite attack. There is no way of preventing termite attack. Even AS 3660 advises when a complete termite management system is installed in accordance with AS 3660.1-2000 for pre-construction termite work or 3660.2- 2000 for post-construction termite work and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) product label directions are followed precisely, termites may still bridge or breach the management system. However, if the label directions are followed and the Standard adhered to, and bridging occurs, evidence of the termite ingress will normally be evident to the inspector. Therefore regular inspections in line with the recommendations in this report are essential in addition to any suitable termite management system you install.


B.1. Concrete Slab Homes: (Part or full slab) Slab Edge Exposure: Where external concrete slab edges are not exposed there is a high risk of concealed termite entry. In some buildings built since July 1995 the edge of the slab forms part of the termite shield system. In these buildings an inspection zone of at least 75mm should be maintained to permit detection of termite entry. The concrete edge should not be concealed by render, tiles, cladding, flashings, adjoining Building Structures, paving, soil, turf or landscaping etc. Where this is the case you should arrange to have the slab edge exposed for inspection. Concealed termite entry may already be taking place but could not be detected at the time of the inspection. This may have resulted in concealed timber damage.


B.2. Note: A very high proportion of termite attacks are over the edge of both Infill and other concrete slabs types. Covering the edge of a concrete slab makes concealed termite entry easy. Infill slab type construction has an even higher risk of concealed termite ingress as the slab edge is concealed due to the construction design and cannot be exposed. The type of slab may only be determined by assessment of the construction plans by a qualified person e.g. Builder, Architect. Construction Plans may be obtainable by your conveyancer.

Termite activity and or damage may be present in concealed timbers of the building. We strongly recommend frequent regular inspections in accordance with AS 3660.2. Where the slab edge is not fully exposed or the slab is an infill slab or the slab type cannot be determined then we strongly recommend inspections every 3 to 6 months in accordance with AS 3660.2. Infill slab: A slab on the ground cast between walls. Other slabs should be in accordance with AS 2870 –1996 and AS 3660.1-2000.


B.3. Weep holes in external walls: It is very important that soil, lawn, concrete paths or pavers do not cover the weep holes. Sometimes they have been covered during the rendering of the brick work. They should be clean and free flowing. Covering the weep holes in part or in whole may allow undetected termite entry.


C.1. Evidence of Termite Damage: Where visual evidence of termite workings and/or damage was noted in any structure, part of any structure OR on the grounds of the property, you must understand that termite damage and/or activity may exist in concealed areas. Termites are secretive by nature and they will often temporarily desert their workings to later return. It is not possible, without benefit of further investigation and a number of inspections over a period of time, to ascertain whether any infestation is active or inactive. Active termites may simply have not been present at the time of inspection due to a prior disturbance, climatic conditions, or they may have been utilising an alternative feeding source. This concealed activity or damage may only be found when alterations are carried out such as when wall linings, cladding, carpets or insulation are removed or if you arrange for an invasive inspection. As damage or activity may exist in concealed or inaccessible areas, a further INVASIVE INSPECTION is available and is strongly recommended. Additionally, regular inspections are strongly recommended at intervals not exceeding the interval recommended in the report.


D.1. Conductive Conditions: Water Leaks: Water leaks (if noted in the report), especially in or onto the subfloor or against external walls eg. Leaking taps or down pipes and or guttering, increases the likelihood of termite attack. Leaking showers or leaks from other ‘wet areas’ also increase the likelihood of concealed termite attack. These conditions are also conducive to borer activity and wood decay. The scope of this Timber Pest report does not include building issues and if any leaks were reported then you must have a plumber or other building expert determines the full extent of damage and the estimated cost of repairs.

D.2. High Moisture: High moisture readings (if noted in the report) can be caused by any one of The following: poor ventilation, ineffective drainage, leaking pipes, leaking roofs, defective flashing or by concealed Termite activity. The areas of high moisture (if reported) should be investigated by way of an invasive inspection If high moisture was reported then you must have a building expert investigate the moisture and its cause and determine the full extent of damage and the estimated cost of repairs.


D.3. Drainage: Poor drainage (if reported), especially in the subfloor, greatly increases the likelihood of wood decay and termite attack. We claim no expertise in plumbing and drainage.


D.4. Hot water and air conditioning: Hot water services and air conditioning units which release water alongside or near to building walls need to be connected to a storm water drain (if this is not possible, then their water outlet needs to be piped several meters away from the building) as the resulting wet area is highly conducive to termites.


E.1 Subterranean Termites: No Property is safe from termites! Termites are the cause of the greatest economic losses of timber in service in Australia. Independent data compiled by State Forests shows 1 in every 4 homes are attacked by termites at some stage in its life. Australia’s subterranean termite species (white ants) are the most destructive timber pests in the world. In fact it can take as little as 3 months for a termite colony to severely damage almost all the timber in a home.


E.2. How termites attack your home: The most destructive species live in large underground nests containing several hundred thousand timber destroying insects. The problem arises when a nest matures near your home. Your home provides natural shelter and a food source for the termites. s


E.3. Termite gallery system: Gallery systems of a single termite colony may exploit food sources over as much as one hectare, with individual galleries extending up to 50 metres or more to enter your home. Concrete slabs do not act as a barrier as termites can penetrate cracks through the slab or over the slab edge. They even build mud tubes to gain access to above ground timbers. In rare cases termites can create their nest in the cavity wall of the property without making ground contact. In these cases it may be impossible to determine their presence until extensive timber damage occurs. Termite Damage! Once in contact with the timber they can excavate it often leaving only a thin veneer on the outside. If left undiscovered the economic species can cause many thousands of dollars damage and can be costly to treat. Treatment costs vary and can range from two to five thousand dollars (or more) to treat.


E.4. Subterranean Termite Ecology: These termites are social insects usually living in underground nests. Nests may be in trees or in rare instances they may be in above ground areas within the property. They tunnel underground to enter the building and then remain hidden within the timber making it very difficult to locate them. Where timbers are concealed, as in most modern homes, it makes it even more difficult to locate their presence. Especially if gardens have been built up around the home and termite barriers are either not in place or poorly maintained. Termites form nests in all sorts of locations and they are usually not visible. There may be more than one nest on a property. The diet of termites in the natural environment is the various hardwood and softwood species growing throughout Australia. These same timbers are used in buildings. Worker termites move out from their underground nest into surrounding areas where they obtain food and return to nurture the other casts of termites within the nest. Termites are extremely sensitive to temperature, humidity and light and hence cannot move over ground like most insects. They travel in mud encrusted tunnels to the source of food.


E.5. Detection of Termites: Detection is usually by locating these mud tunnels rising from the ground into the affected structure. This takes an expert eye. Termite barriers protect a building by forcing termites to show themselves. Termites can build mud Tunnels around termite barriers to reach the timber above. The presence of termite tracks or leads does not necessarily mean that termites have entered the timber though. A clear view of walls and piers and easy access to the sub-floor means that detection should be fairly easy. However many styles of construction do not lend themselves to ready detection of termites. The design of some properties is such that they make the detection by a pest inspector difficult, if not impossible. The tapping and probing of walls and internal timbers is an adjunct or additional means of detection of termites but is not as reliable as locating tracks. The use of a moisture meter is a useful aid for determining the presence of termites concealed behind thin wall panels, but it only detects high levels of activity. Older damage that has dried out will not be recorded. It may also provide false readings. Termite tracks may be present in the ceiling space however some roofs of a low pitch and with the presence of sisalation, insulation, air conditioning ductwork and hot water services may prevent a full inspection of the timbers in these areas. Therefore since fool proof and absolute certain detection is not possible the use of protective barriers and regular inspections is a necessary step in protecting timbers from termite attack.


F.1. Borers of Dry Seasoned Timbers: Borers are the larval stage of various species of beetle. The adult beetles lay their eggs within the timber. The eggs hatch out into larvae (grubs) that bore through the timber. The larvae may reside totally concealed within the timber for a period of several years before passing into a dormant pupal stage. Within the pupal case they metamorphose (change) into the adult beetle that cuts a hole in the outer surface of the timber to emerge, mate and lay further eggs to continue the cycle. It is only through the presence of these emergence holes that their presence can be detected. When floors are covered by carpets, tiling or other floor coverings and where no Building access or restricted access underfloor is available, it is not possible to determine whether borers are present or not. This is particularly the case with the upper floors of a building.


F.2. Anobium Punctatum borer: (furniture beetle) and Queensland pine borer. These beetles are responsible for instances of flooring collapse, often triggered by a heavy object being placed on the floor (or a person stepping on the affected area). Pine timbers are favoured by this beetle and while the sapwood is preferred, the heartwood is also sometimes attacked. Attack by this beetle is usually observed in timbers that have been in service for 10-20 years or more and mostly involves flooring and timber wall panelling. The frass from the flight holes (faeces and chewed wood) is fine and gritty. Wood attacked by these borers is often honeycombed.


F.3. Lyctus brunneus borer (powder post beetle): These borers only attack the sapwood of certain susceptible species of hardwood timber. Since it is a requirement that the structural timbers contain no more than 25% Lyctus susceptible sapwood, these borers are not normally associated with structural damage. Replacement of affected timbers is not recommended and treatment is not approved or required. Powder post beetles mostly attack during the first 6-12 months of service life of timber. As only the sapwood is destroyed, larger dimensional timbers (such as rafters, bearers and joists) in a house are seldom weakened significantly to cause collapse. In small dimensional timbers (such as tiling and ceiling battens) the sapwood may be extensive, and its destruction may result in collapse. Replacement of these timbers is the only option available.


G.1. Timber Decay Fungi: The fruiting bodies of wood decay fungi vary in size, shape and colour. The type of fungi encountered by pest controllers usually reside in poorly ventilated sub-floors, below wet areas of the home, exterior timbers and in areas that retain water in the soil. The durability and type of timbers are factors along with the temperature and environment. Destruction of affected timbers varies with the symptoms involved. Removal of the moisture source usually alleviates the problem. Fungal decay is attractive to termites and if the problem is not rectified it may well lead to future termite attack.

H.1. Mould Clause: Mildew and non-wood decay fungi is commonly known as Mould and is not considered a Timber Pest. However, Mould and their spores may cause health problems and allergic reactions such as asthma and dermatitis in some people.

H.2. Note: No inspection for Mould was carried out at the property and no report on the presence or absence of Mould is provided. If Mould is noted in this report as present within the property and you are concerned as to the possible health risk resulting from its presence, then you should seek advice from your Local Council, State or Commonwealth Health Department or a qualified expert such as an Industry Hygienist.