Introduction

Honolulu church stained glass termite_450_388
Stained glass termite

This is a general guide to termites which aims to

  • help people with termite pest issues,
  • introduce termites for students, and also to
  • be a resource for the just plain curious (like me and possibly, you).

What’s here?

A jumble of information derived from answers to termite questions from people around the world. You can learn lots about termites, what they are and what they do, about avoiding termite problems, how to get rid of termites if you have them and how not to get rid of termites. Please read this disclaimer. If you need expert work done, check here.

Now

In my part of Southern Australia (yes, I probably live on a different continent) it is hot and we’re half way through summer.  In the Northern Hemisphere it seems to be warming early (though there is some disagreement). If you have any concerns, right now is a good time to have your home professionally inspected. If you are super-confident, infallible (& rich enough to bet-the-whole-house) then, by all means, do your own inspection.

Where’s Wally Don?

Wet mound sculptures CNS airport Copyright Don Ewart 2014
Amitermes mound sculptures Cairns

Apart from contract research and the usual consultancies, Don’s been teaching at Melbourne Polytechnic with classes covering the Australian pest management competencies, specialist termite skills and the units to achieve a Certificate III qualification  Teaching is mostly done in day blocks with the learning manual tasks and more of the lessons available online, any time. Classes run through the year and are cost competitive. International students are most welcome.

Doing Stuff

Heavily into working on the update of the Australian subterranean termite management standard, AS 3660.2 (2000), which has to transition from “Guidelines” to mandatory provisions and so needs a near-complete re-write. Recently presented to a big audience at the Rapid Solutions Risk Management Conference to explain how the Australian termite provision for new construction as set out in AS3660.1-2014, the Building Code (NCC) and the Codemark certification scheme can be best followed. Finished off a chapter looking at how termites respond to climate change in the works for CABI.

2014 saw the long-awaited revision of the Australian Termite Standards with AS 3660.1:2014 Termite Management, Part 1: New Building Work and AS 3660.3:2014, Termite Management, Part 3: Assessment criteria for termite management systems published and accepted into the 2015 Australian National Construction Code (download the NCC for free).  Now we’re revising
Did two technical book chapters in 2014: Urban Timber Timber Pest Beetles: Risks and Management, and along with Laurie Cookson, Termites and Timber in an American Chemical Society Symposium Series on the deterioration and protection of sustainable biomaterials. There’s another on the way looking at how termites respond to climate change in the works for CABI.

Mound with test units (wrapped)
An early Blockaid field trial, Townsville
Not repellent
This ‘treated’ timber is not repellent

Why Dr Don’s Termite Pages?

Working at CSIRO, about 20 years ago, I was spending far too much time answering telephone queries from the public (instead of getting my own work done). So I created a dawn-of-the-web homepage hoping to make my answers accessible.  When I started this site, Alta Vista (the original search tool) indexed only 35 pages that contained the word “termite” in the whole of the web. Now Google report well over 12 million pages that include  “termite”. Unfortunately, lots of those termite pages don’t necessarily deliver anything helpful to you. Some talk utter rubbish. Be very wary out there, particularly where people are trying to sell you stuff.

For the first few years after CSIRO these pages were at Labyrinth and some old links still point there. Please let me know if you find any of those old links. The move to drdons.net meant I have a lot more control but that move and this update has cost a lot on the Page ranking scale.

When this all began, back at CSIRO, each month only about a thousand people would drop by. Now the site averages thousands of hits per day. I wish that 2 million people would also read my research papers! Please feel free to drop me a note.