Termite physical barriers: Is retrofitting with Granitgard an option?
J R J French, B M Ahmed
Granite particles within the range of 2.4 to 1.7 mm diameter were recently adopted by the Standards Association of Australia as an alternative treatment to soil chemical barriers in protecting new buildings against subterranean termites. The granite substrate is sold under the commercial name, "Granitgard". However, there are many existing buildings that have no chemical or physical subterranean termite barriers, and are situated in termite hazard regions. So, the question arises, "can termite physical barriers alone prevent the entry of subterranean termites into such unprotected buildings?" This paper describes a field experiment designed and installed last year to evaluate the effectiveness of Granitgard as a termite physical barrier when retrofitted around 'simulated buildings'. The field station is located at Walpeup in the semi-arid mallee region of northern Victoria (360 km north of Melbourne), and there are several indigenous subterranean termite species at the site. The results of this experiment after 12 months test suggest that retrofitting may be a viable option. Suggestions are offered in the use of retrofitting physical barriers in future termite control strategies, with and without soil chemical barriers or bait toxicants.
Keywords: PHYSICAL BARRIER; GRANITGARD; RETROFITTING; SIMULATED BUILDINGS; FIELD EXPERIMENT; TERMITES