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?