Modern Construction and Termites
Chemicals and termite control.
The first houses built in Australia were immediately attacked by termites much to the shock of the first settlers. Builders used products like creosote as the best method of defending buildings from termites. These products were only effective for a short time so most houses were built up off the ground with accessible, well ventilated subfloors.
Then in the 1950s came the era of chemicals, powerful organochlorines that sent a vapour through the soil repelling termite attack. These products
were cheap and easy to apply and it is probably this reason that builders stopped worrying about termites and left it to the pest control industry.
It was discovered that these chemicals were in fact very dangerous to humans and these chemicals were banned in 1996. This left a big problem in the industry as the replacement chemicals were much harder to use.
The termite industry has now found new chemicals that are very effective against termites as well as new techniques such as termite baiting. Modern chemicals when applied correctly will last around 10 years in the soil. They are designed like this to ensure that the chemicals will not be a hazard to non-target species.