Nelson Bustamante: Anti-Termite Treatment – Types, Chemicals, Prevention and Safety

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Anti-termite treatment is a crucial chemical procedure conducted for soil, masonry, wood, and electrical fixtures to establish a chemical barrier against subterranean termites, both before and after construction. This article delves into various facets of anti-termite treatment, encompassing anti-termite chemicals, pre and post-construction procedures, preventive measures, safety protocols, as well as advantages and disadvantages associated with this essential aspect of building maintenance.

termite control
Fig 1: Protection methods from termites.

Anti-Termite Chemicals

The chemicals utilized for anti-termite treatment in buildings adhere to the standards outlined in Indian Standards (IS 6313 Part-3), which include Chlorpyrifos 20 EC and Lindane 20 EC. These chemicals are formulated into water emulsions for soil treatment and oil or kerosene-based solutions for wood treatment, ensuring comprehensive protection against termite infestation.

Pre-Construction Anti-Termite Treatment

Pre-construction anti-termite treatment involves several meticulous steps:

  1. Foundation Treatment: Excavated foundation trenches and pits are treated with an anti-termite chemical, ensuring thorough coverage up to a height of approximately 30cm, at a rate of 5 Liters per square meter of surface area.
  2. Flooring Preparation: Prior to construction, the earth surface is cleared of debris, leveled, and prepared for treatment.
  3. Application Process: Holes are drilled at specific intervals, into which an emulsion of the appropriate concentration is poured. Additionally, surface spraying using pressure pumps and sprayers ensures comprehensive coverage, allowing the chemical to permeate the soil effectively.

It is imperative to note that pre-construction anti-termite treatment should be undertaken by approved specialized agencies, particularly in termite-prone regions.

Surface anti termite treatment
Fig 1: Surface anti-termite treatment.

Benefits of Pre-Construction Anti-Termite Treatment

  1. Cost-Effectiveness: Pre-construction treatment incurs lower costs compared to post-construction alternatives.
  2. Ease of Access: With fewer obstacles during construction, pre-treatment ensures better accessibility to all areas, enhancing the effectiveness of the treatment.
  3. Proactive Protection: By addressing termite infestation at its inception, pre-construction treatment prevents potential damage to the building structure, emphasizing the adage that prevention is indeed better than cure.

Post-Construction Anti-Termite Treatment

  1. Thorough Inspection: A comprehensive inspection precedes any treatment, identifying the extent of infestation and the entry points for termites.
  2. Extermination Process: Targeted extermination within the building entails locating and eliminating termites in concealed areas such as ceilings, electrical fittings, and conduits.

Preventive Measures

Soil treatment establishes a chemical barrier between termites and the building. External soil surfaces in contact with the building are treated with chemical emulsions to a specified depth, effectively deterring termite ingress. Additionally, treatment of cracks and voids in flooring and woodwork junctions further fortifies the building against termite intrusion.

Fig 2: Anti-Termite treatment in foundation.

Strict adherence to safety procedures and regulations, including the utilization of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and induction of all personnel, ensures the safe execution of anti-termite treatment activities.

Advantages of Anti-Termite Treatment

  1. Immediate and long-lasting protection against termites, rodents, and pests.
  2. Effective and relatively inexpensive compared to alternative methods.
  3. Prevention of gaps in the protection barrier, mitigating the risk of termite infiltration.

Disadvantages of Anti-Termite Treatment

  1. Potential water contamination in proximity to water bodies.
  2. Structural implications such as reduced strength due to drilling.
  3. Risk of future infestations due to oversight or incomplete treatment.

In conclusion, comprehensive anti-termite treatment is indispensable for safeguarding buildings against the pervasive threat of termite damage, necessitating meticulous planning, execution, and adherence to safety standards.

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