Honolulu church stained glass termite_450_388
Stained glass termite HNL

This is a general guide to termites to help people with pest issues, be an introduction for students, and also to be a resource for the just plain curious (like me and possibly, you).

What’s here?

You’ll find a jumble of information built mostly from all my email answers to 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.


In my part of Southern Australia (yes, I probably live on a different continent) it is cold and my termites are very restricted in their activity.  In the Northern Hemisphere activity is still high. It is flight season in many locations. Do keep your night lights off/low and your screen doors shut. 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

Don’s been busy in several States and countries most recently looking at the jawed Termitidae in North Queensland. Apart from contract research and the usual consultancies, there’s pest manager teaching at Melbourne Polytechnic with a second set of classes covering the Australian licence 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 welcome.

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. If you missed it, there’ll be an article in the next Professional Pest Manager.

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 the management standard, AS 3660.2 (2000) which has to transition from “Guidelines” to mandatory provisions and so is, once again, up for a near-complete re-write.
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.

Mound with test units (wrapped)
An early Blockaid field trial, Townsville

Basically, I do various tasks for various people which sees me moving around a lot another tech update day with Conquer Termites. Despite that, emailed questions should get an answer within about 3 days.

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 17 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 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.