Soil Poisoning

Builders and Buyers Need To Ensure Effective Soil Poisoning


Physical barriers and other methods may be used in combination with soil poisoning. However, the latter remains one of the most commonly-applied and effective ways in which to protect a home from the damage that may result due to an infestation of subterranean termites. Ideally this is a task undertaken by the builder as a pre-treatment prior to commencing construction. All too often however, a builder will elect not to incur the additional operating expense of such treatment and may either decide to omit the procedure altogether or perhaps to provide only the most cursory protection.


In high risk areas such as those situated along South Africa’s coasts, municipal bylaws will commonly stipulate that such pre-treatment must be undertaken as part of all new construction projects in the area. This still, however, offers no guarantee that a cash-strapped builder won’t resort to the use of cheaper but less effective termiticides or of normally-reliable solutions that have been over-diluted in order to cut the cost.


Even if you, as a new home buyer, should undertake to cover the extra cost involved so as to ensure that the correct quantity and quality of soil poisoning products and methodology are used, this could prove to be money very well spent. Apart from the fact that the damage must first result before an infestation is detected, working on a completed property will inevitably involve disruption to one’s living routine. Perhaps even more significantly, implementing these corrective measures that will require drilling and injection is almost certain to cost at least twice as much and perhaps even more than an effective pre-treatment.


In general, even the most reliable professional treatments will only be designed to cover a surface area a little larger than that of your home. This then means that if, at some later date, you may plan on an extension or perhaps to add a garage, the newly poured concrete slab that will provide the foundation, is not sufficient to protect the new structure unless you first apply a suitable chemical treatment to the sub-floor.


It should also be borne in mind that soil poisoning is not a lifelong guarantee against infestation. In practice, the use of a substance that was able to retain its toxicity indefinitely would not be permitted. A good quality termiticide will continue to be effective for anything up to 10 years or more but it is generally deemed advisable for homeowners to arrange for re-treatment of the exposed areas every five years to supplement the effect of the physical barrier provided by the concrete base.


Occasionally, suspended wooden planks with a crawl space beneath may be used in constructing floors. This type of floor is far more vulnerable the need for a termiticide pre-treatment is vital.  However it also makes the post-construction application somewhat easier when required. In the case of the hollow concrete blocks that are often used for economic housing, these provide multiple access routes for the pests and so additional dosage is strongly recommended.


From the facts shown, it is clear that applying an anti-termite treatment to a site prior to construction is an invaluable precaution. For peace of mind, however, you need to ensure that soil poisoning is undertaken by an SAPCA-registered, pest control specialist.

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