This is one termite treatment you don’t need

House along Ninth Avenue, Railway Estate being fumigated. Picture: Evan MorganHouse along Ninth Avenue, Railway Estate being fumigated. Picture: Eva Morgan

This is a termite that we need to look out for and destroy, I’m sure you don’t want this termite in your house, or you neighbour house for that matter.

Destructive termites infest home

THE world’s most destructive drywood termite has been discovered in Railway Estate, where a Ninth Avenue family home has had to be covered in a protective tent and fully fum­igated to eradicate the pest.

Peter and Yasmin Neuhaus’s home is one of the latest victims of the destructive introduced species the West Indian drywood termite, with the family required to evacuate their Queenslander during the two-day fumigation process.

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries called in pest control specialists from Brisbane to eradicate the nasty insects, known for causing significant economic damage in places including Townsville, Brisbane, Rockhampton, Bundaberg and Maryborough.

The Queensland Government spends an average of $745,000 each year on West Indian drywood termite treatment, with house fumigation costs averaging about $42,000 a house. About 15 buildings are treated each year under the program.

Mrs Neuhaus said a neighbour’s house had been treated for the noxious termite last year and their home was inspected during a follow-up check, leading to the discovery of the infestation.

“Luckily the Government pays for it, a normal family can’t even afford to think about doing it,” she said.

“We had to pack up all the food in the house and take it out in case gas leaked into it. It’s been a big, big production.”

Mrs Neuhaus said there was only minor damage to the bottom part of the house, but her husband’s carpentry shed hadn’t fared as well, with damage to work benches. The Neuhaus family will be able to return home this morning.

A Biosecurity Queensland spokesman said a surveillance and treatment program had been in place since the pest was discovered in Australia at Maryborough in 1966.

The program had confined the pest to sites in Brisbane, Wide Bay, Townsville and Rockhampton.

“This is not an unusual incident and extensive fumigation for West Indian drywood termite is standard practice.

“West Indian drywood termite cannot be treated in the same way as the commonly occurring subterranean termite.

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