Termites. Those little buggers can cost us all!

Ward 2 is ground zero for termite infestation in Guelph.

An infestation of termites commenced near Goldie Mill park in the 1960’s. The City enacted a Termite Control By-law and was an active participant in the provincial control program with most of the houses and other structures in the infested area chemically treated. In the 1970’s the Ontario Ministry of Environment joined the fight against termites and dispersed grants to assist Ontario municipalities. The provincial program ran for about 15 years and helped to defray the cost of chemical treatments. The two components of the provincial program: chemical treatment and breaking wood soil contact were inadequate measures to kill colonies and stop the spread of termites. The Urban Entomology Program was established in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto to develop more effective ways of controlling termites and to find alternatives to the soil termiticides.

Major research has been directed in the areas of termite biology, physical barriers, biocontrol and a method of colony level control called Trap-Treat-Release. With funding, the City of Guelph commissioned a survey of the 50 block termite management area in 1998 through 2001 by the University of Toronto. Representatives installed traps in the area of infestation, initiated the trap-treat-release technique and encouraged yard wood management. Since 2001 municipal staff have assisted residents in the Termite Management areas in areas of information and disposal options and all known activity is monitored and documented.

In the 2007 budget, Council approved new money for termite education, continued education and by-law enforcement.

If you don’t live in the termite zone, why should you care?. If the situation is not contained, termites could spread to other areas of Guelph. Even something as insignificant as buying firewood from the infestation zone and taking it home could spread termites to your neighbourhood.

The City will be working with all stakeholders in the infected area including home and business owners, Guelph Junction Railway and the Grand River Conservation Area.

Inspections are performed free of charge for properties located within the Termite Management Area by contacting Inspection Services (519) 837-5614.

Do you live in the Termite zones?

How should you dispose of contaminated material?

0 thoughts on “Termites. Those little buggers can cost us all!

  1. I really, really appreciate that the City is funding education and by-law enforcement activities. The question is: will there now be a dedicated, qualified entomologist or termite expert on staff as the inspector? or just a city worker who has been “handed the task” of inspecting. My experience thus far has been that it seems I know more about termites than the “city inspector”. I would like to think the inspectors are doing the best that they can with educating homeowners, but they have had limited time and resources up to now and have to deal with stressed out homeowners (like myself). These inspectors have to multi-task (they are also building inspectors and zoning inspectors). This does not help the uneducated home owners or home buyers. Education is the key to the success of this program. Continued vigilence of the infected zones is the only way to monitor the status of the termite situation. Continued action (i.e. dead wood cleanup) is another key to controlling thee situation. It would be nice if the City could contract Doctor Tim Miles to continue his work that he started on this situation.
    My rant is over for now. I myself am only a back-yard entomologist with no qualifications to speak of. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would know as much as I do now about termites. My hope is that the City will share more about these little pests than they do now, and continue to help the plight of the fine tax-paying citizens who have been dealt a bad hand.

  2. I am actually looking around to buy my first house. I found a very nice and reasonable house and then found out about the termite issue and sure enough the house was on an infected block. Still trying to educate myself as to the risks involved with buying a house in an infected area. Most likely I will just steer clear of the house and area…although perhaps people in the area would want another home owner who is aware of the issue, educating themselves on it and highly motivated to ensure the termites don’t continue to spread.

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