Pest inspections/treatments may appear to be expensive for a strata committee. However, they are an essential part of any good maintenance programme within a strata complex.
Pest activity can affect roof voids, subfloors, interior and exterior areas. Common pests include but are not limited to:
- termites (white ants)
- wildlife (possums, birds, lice, snakes etc).
The cost of ignoring pest control can be devastating, especially if pests such as termites (‘the hidden destroyer’) become unwelcome tenants.
The upfront cost for annual inspections may turn out to be a small investment, relative to the potential for thousands of dollars of damage from a termite infestation – especially considering that most insurance policies do not cover termite damage. Suggestions are that one-in-four Australian homes are affected by termites in their lifetime.*
Strata committees can undertake effective pest control measures, thereby protecting against unforeseen expenses and damage, with regular inspections. Inspections will identify pest activity and potential threats.
In addition, it may be possible to negotiate costs for both common property and the inside of lots to be inspected and/or treated at the same time, offsetting some of the costs and employing effective pest control measures across the whole strata complex.
Strata committees and lot owners can take a proactive approach to help reduce the risk of pests. Several easy steps include:
- Remove any decaying timber (to prevent nesting sites for snakes, mice, rats and other pests).
- Keep bins closed and empty them when they are full.
- Keep common areas clean and tidy to prevent rodents and insects from gathering.
- Be aware of termite risks such as wood chips in garden beds; keeping garden beds away from external walls; removing old timber, cardboard or newspapers; and avoiding accumulation of rubbish that may attract termites.
- Ensure outdoor common property areas such as picnic benches and barbecues are clean and free of food and waste.
- Ensure that faulty plumbing, leaking pipes, guttering or broken tiles are repaired.
- Ensure that damaged roofs or loose tiles are repaired.
- Ensure access points are blocked to birds or possums.