Steps to help abate termite infestation

By Karen Fallon

The presence of termites at two homes within a central neighbourhood in the town were reported to council at Monday’s meeting.

Two certified pest control companies confirmed the presence of termites found in two adjacent homes, notes Stephen Brown chief building official in a report to council.

A third house was inspected and termites were not discovered.

In the neighbourhood where termites have been confirmed, notices will be sent to surrounding homeowners recommending that their properties be inspected, says Brown.

When it comes to Essex County and termites the problem area has traditionally been around Leamington.  The presence of these insects within the Amherstburg area has been relatively unknown, indicates Brown.

After consulting with experts, he notes, it is indicated that termites “have been slowly spreading along the lakeshore due mainly to the changing climactic conditions such as the mild winters and hot summers experienced the last few years.”

The termites found in the area are the subterranean variety that can only survive under certain climactic conditions.

According to Brown, the Ontario Building Code makes provisions for protection from termites “where they are known to exist.” These stipulations increase the distance that untreated wood can be from the soil. This applies to foundation wall heights and crawlspace depths.

“It is where we have additions that we have to be especially careful,” said Brown. “When people come in for permits for additions they will be notified that they should check the existing parts of the building…we could possibly recommend that they have an expert come in and test the soil.”

Recommendations for homeowners by Brown indicate that: “Property owners should ensure that untreated wood is kept a minimum of 6 to 8” away from soil contact. And special attention should be made to prevent stacking of such items as wood scraps or firewood against or buried by adjacent to a building.

One indicator of termite infestation is the presence of a mud tube leading from grade to unprotected wood material. Termites cannot survive outside of the ground or within the wood material and form the mud tubes to gain access to the wood.


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