Termites Make A Meal Of Homes In Outer Brisbane Suburbs
With Brisbane witnessing a significant population growth in the last few years, there is a need for more houses , especially in the suburbs.
Yet, termites remain a problem even today for most house owners. And it just seems to be getting worse.
I recently sat down for a coffee with Michael Higgins from Pro Termites to discuss his thoughts on the increase in termite activity.
Disturbing the colonies of termites is just one of the reasons for this fast-spreading menace. Couple that with the hot and humid weather conditions and rain – and you’ve termites growing rapidly.
There are seven species of termites all over Queensland and the most destructive one is known as coptotermes acinaciformis which accounts for 70% of the damages that are happening. They enter the houses through the surrounding gum trees and start nesting under the walls and soon enough eat the house away.
This area faces a greater threat.
On average, it’s worth $10,000 of the damages in houses. However, Brisbane and the surrounding suburbs face a greater threat because of the following:
- The climate favours the growth and spread of termites.
- The giant termite, that is also known as mastrotermes darwiniensis, is found here which can tear its way through rubber tires and bitumen.
- Once these monstrous termites enter your house, the chemical methods will not be able to stop them.
- The changing weather conditions are making it more favourable for the termites to spread and so no surrounding suburb is safe from them anymore.
How to avoid severe damages?
The homeowners need to look for signs that reveal termite infestation such as thin mud tubes, approximately the thickness of a pencil, that run all over concrete or move from the soil to the wood.
Have your house inspected for such infestations annually or even once in six months.
Do not keep timber stacked up around or against your home. It is an open innovation to these termites.
Those who own a brick house should not have a garden built around the walls and drain holes should be kept covered.
Using stump caps will not stop them but will make it easier to detect them.
Check for hollow sounding timber in the house and sections that have moisture trapped beneath them as termites love humid conditions.
If you detect small lumps of wood powder, sagging and crumbling doors and walls and tiny holes in wood, it might be time to call for the experts.
Don’t keep a log in the garden hoping that it will keep the termites away. While they will start nesting there, they will not stop looking for new places.
With the termite problem becoming prevalent, the government is being urged to declare termite prone areas in addition to the flood and bushfire prone ones. The very high-risk areas exist in the southern and northern parts of Queensland which also extends to Brisbane.
If you have a house out here, keep an eye out for the termites who would be more than happy to be the unwelcome intruders.
Guide to Integrated Pest Management
Procedures, How it Works and Benefits
Integrated pest management (IPM) is a process of pest control strategies that rely on methods that are friendly to the environment. The ecosystem is designed to self medicate for long-term pest prevention. We can harness these biological tactics including habitat manipulation and use of resistant varieties.
How does it work?
Integrated pest management does not employ a single method to manage pests, but several methods. Therefore, this in whole is not a single procedure that you can say is designed for pest control. Our friend Travis McIntyre from No1 Pest Control Brisbane helped us with some great advice on IPM techniques and methods to implement.
1. Come up with action thresholds
The first step in effecting integrated pest management is developing an action threshold. This is an indicator that should inform you whether it would be necessary to embrace control measures. Spotting a single pest many not necessarily get you to launch a pest control program, but with justifiable populations you could set out to exterminate them.
2. Identify and monitor pests
Second step is to study the kind of pests you will be dealing with. Note that not all of them may require control as most of them may be beneficial. You need to monitor the pests to identify their nature accurately in order to make the right pest control decisions. This process is necessary as it also helps you to know whether it would be necessary to use pesticides.
3. Prevention measures
Next step is to doing proper management of the crop, indoor space, or lawn. This is to ensure the pests don’t grow into a threat. Agricultural methods applicable could include rotating crops and growing pest-resistant varieties. At home, the prevention measures applicable could include clearing clutter and identifying the food most likely to attract pests.
4. Control measures
With the steps above satisfied, the next thing you need to work on is control measures. This is especially necessary where prevention and other methods fail. For this you could use less risky pests that are effective, which could include chemicals like pheromones that discourage pest mating. Mechanical control methods like weeding and trapping could also help.
Benefits of integrated pest management
- Helps to enhance the cost-effectiveness of pest control programs
- Shields workers, neighbors and the public from the risk of using pesticides
- Ensures healthy plants and sound structures
- Prevents air and water pollution by use of pesticides
- Helps to protect non-target species that are beneficial to plants
- Adoption of ecologically benign management tactics reduces risk to the environment
- Gets rid of the need for pesticides by ensuring natural methods are used to control pests
- Helps to maintain a balanced ecosystem by protecting useful pests and eradicating destructive species
What are the downsides of integrated pest management?
Besides all the benefits you have noted about integrated pest management, there are also several challenges that make this solution a bit of a disadvantage:
- There is need to have all those involved educated about the different procedures applicable, and this can take time.
- IPM requires close monitoring, which could eat up a lot of time and energy because there are many methods applied to give good results. There are different pest types and each has unique control methods.
- You need more resources to substitute for pesticides.
Management approaches for increased effectiveness
For better effectiveness and to ensure speedy eradication of pests, a few methods are combined and applied at once or separately. Some of the pest management approaches you could try combined include the following:
- Biological methods. This includes using natural enemies – which could include predators, parasites, competitors, and pathogens – to control pests and prevent their damage.
- Using cultural methods. These are control practices that include practices that help to reduce the establishment, dispersal, survival, and reproduction of pests. A good example includes changing irrigation practices, which could help to deal with pest problems because the presence of a lot of water may create a suitable environment for pests and weeds to thrive.
- Chemical methods. With chemical methods, you use pesticides, but only in places where all other methods cannot work and this is the only effective solution available that guarantees a long-term solution. While using chemical control only chemicals that cannot be harmful to the environment and people are prescribed.
- Physical/mechanical methods. In physical methods the pest is killed and blocked directly, either through making the environment unsuitable for the pest or using traps.
If you have any questions please leave them in the comments section and we will respond shortly. Thanks for reading.
Rental Bond Fact Sheet
Finding rental property in Australia is currently competitive and stressful. In most cases, property owners require tenants to pay an upfront housing bond.
Otherwise known as rental bond and this can be a shock and financially crippling to many. In the fact sheet below, we explore some of the basics of rental bonds. To get help from professional cleaners visit Pro Bond Cleaning Brisbane and get everything done for you. They also provide a full bond back guarantee so you can rest easy knowing you’ll get your money back.
What is a rental bond?
A rental bond is a security deposit paid by tenants to lessors at the start of every tenancy. The bond is used as security to protect property and breach of contract. The bond cushions the lessor against property damage.
If you rent in Queensland, the RTA holds your cash until your move out. The Residential Tenancies and rooming accommodation Act 2008 outlines the rights and responsibilities of tenants, property managers/agents,property owners/landlords in Queensland.
Aside from outlining the rights and responsibilities of lessors, the act sets out clearly what parties in the tenant agreement can do and cannot do.
It also addresses how to handle issues during the tenancy and explains what measures can be taken in case one of the parties breaches the agreement.
Agreement-form 2 with all signature records and the amount you’ve paid. They then have to send the rental bond and the forms attached to RTA. It’s an offense for the property owner not to lodge your bond with the RTA.
Do I have to take a bond?
The “act” does not require for the tenants to pay the rental bonds, but most of the lessors take the bond money as security for their property.
At the end of the tenancy, They may require to claim, full or part of the bond if the tenant costs them money by damaging property, breaching their agreement or owing rent.
Since rent is also subject to increase, so does the rental bond. However, you can never be asked to pay more than the maximum bond.
Additionally, the bond can only increase once In 12 months, and you’ve to be issued a written notice at least a month of the bond increase.
I cannot afford the bond
In the current economic times, this is a common scenario, but it should not stop you from accessing the property. If you’re not able to raise the bond, there’re two options at hand;
- Pay the bond in installments-this is if the lessor agrees to the part-payments.
- Take out a bond loan. You can contact Department of Housing and Public Works for more information on rental bond loans.
Tips to avoid disputes
- Always ask for receipts after making payment.
- Read all documents carefully and never sign incomplete forms.
- Always keep copies of your receipt for rent or bond payment.
- Before leaving, give a written notice.
- Leave the room clean, and in a similar condition, you found it.
- Notify RTA o your new address
It’s not always imperative for lessors to go for rental bonds. Many landlords require a bond because they’re not sure of the tenants intent and for the sake of their property. However, with property tenant screening, there’s no need for the bonds.
The Best Domestic Plumbing Hacks
Hiring a plumber every time you need something repaired in the house can be very expensive. You can be sure that some of these things happen so often, you get sick of calling the plumber. Take a leak or a dripping water pipe for instance. A drop of water becomes a gallon in a very short while if the drip is continuous. This will waste your water and the money that you spent paying for it. And that’s not all. The leaking water can cause damage to your floor and the humidity might sometimes make your walls to be discolored and even cause mold to develop. Keep in mind sometimes DIY plumbing won’t be enough to solve your plumbing problem. If the problem requires special plumbing tools you’ll be better off calling a licensed plumber. Local companies like Pro Plumber Brisbane provide 24 hour services, 7 days a week. So if you don’t keep like turning a wrench and getting wet on the weekend, call in the professionals.
Here are some eight DIY plumbing hacks that you may find useful.
Five DIY Plumbing Tips (Hacks)
1. How to unclog a drain
Drains can be a nuisance. They block every other time because of the hair and other debris that pass through them. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent a drain from blocking, unless you never drain anything, because even water on its own can cause clogging because of calcium deposits. However, the good news is this is fixable though:
- Pouring a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down the drain. They react very wildly when combine, making it able to clear out the drain.
- Unscrew the pop up drain, (if there is one) and remove whatever was causing the clog and screw it back on.
2. How to fix a leaking or dripping water pipe
Whenever there is a leak in the house, nothing good can come out of it. Not only can it leave stains, but the dripping sound is extremely annoying. Luckily, a leak can be fixed using simple methods on your own.
- Try to rotate the ball valve, because the problem could be that something got a little loose.
- If the first tip did not work, maybe you need to replace the O-ring. Remove the body of the tap using either your hands or a spanner, and you will see the head of the washer. Screw it off and reach for the O-ring, then remove it with a screw driver. Once it is off, put in the new once and apply some lubricant (optional) before putting the washer back.
3. How to fix a shower head
Because we sower every day, and even more than once each day, showers cannot are most likely to need fixing at one point or the other. They are also very easy to fix too. Unscrew the shower head, clean out the threads on the shower arm using a brush and install the new shower head.
4. How to fix a garbage disposal
Many things can cause the garbage disposal to have problems with the way it works. Here are a few tricks to fix it.
- The GFI might have tripped, or the disposer might have stopped. Try pressing the reset button for each.
- If the disposer is jammed, use the jam buster tool and turn the hex fitting back and forth at the bottom to loosen it and fix the jam.
- For objects that have fallen inside the disposer, unplug the disposer, get it out and put it back in. this will allow the disposer blades to go back to spinning freely.
5. How to fix low water pressure
When you have low water pressure, the problem could be that the aerator is getting some calcium build up. Remove the water outlet and clean the aerator of the calcium and put it back in.
Every home has a challenge that involves draining. Some of these challenges can be recurring to a point where you feel like they are normal and you have to live with them. If this is the case call a professional plumber or it will cost you in the long run. Remember, if you have a serious plumbing issue, you will need to call a licensed plumbing contractor. It is illegal to fix some things in your house so make sure you verify that it is okay to fix them. Fixing something without being certain of your abilities might only make it worse so do not try to prove a point. Make sure that you have the correct plumbing tools and do not wear something you like.
Further Reading > http://www.diyadvice.com/diy/plumbing/