Your first house should be a welcome change from living in apartments, but in all states in Australia, termites can quickly turn your dream home into a disappointment. Termites cause hidden damage that often goes undiscovered until it is so bad that the house needs serious repair. Treating for termites is a necessary, preventive treatment for an active infestation. People often dread these treatments because people have misconceptions about what the treatment entails.
You Have To Stay Out of Your Home After Treatment
If you mention termite treatment to anyone who has not had to go through it, and they will likely think of a giant tent filled with toxic pesticide surrounding a house for several days. While whole-house fumigation, or "tenting," is one type of treatment, it is not the only type. It is also done generally only in areas of Australia that have drywood termites, which are problems in states like Queensland, and dampwood termites.
If subterranean termites are your main concern, tenting does not work for them; after all, tenting a house when the termites live underground doesn't affect the termites.
Instead, many treatments are done outside, which does not really require you to leave your home. You do need to protect water features and pets that stay outdoors or near windows. If a treatment requires you to leave, it would be only for a few hours.
Termites Disappear Completely Immediately After Treatment
Another myth is that the termites will disappear completely right after treatment. Termite numbers will drop quickly, but you may see them for weeks afterwards, and that depends on the treatment. If the treatment includes bait stations, for example, you might see more termites because the baits attract them. After a treatment meant to kill termites, you might see some as they leave. The key is to see fewer over a short period of time, and eventually seeing none.
Treatments Last Only a Short Time
One more misconception is that treatments are short-term; once your home is infested, you're just kind of holding off damage. That's not true. Some treatments, such as barriers (both chemical and physical), can last for a good five years or more. And if you do have your home treated, add a barrier if the home doesn't already have one. As mentioned, these can be chemical or physical. Speak with termite treatment companies to find out how each type works.