Another option in the in the fight against subterranean
termites is the use of non-chemical control means. Often referred
to as mechanical barriers or physical barriers,
non-chemical barriers offer the advantage of indefinite longevity without
pesticide use. Given proper installation, mechanical barriers should maintain their effectiveness
over a longer period of time than conventional chemical (pesticidal) barriers.
This is one of the concepts behind TERMI-MESH, developed by TERMI-MESH Australia Pty. Ltd.
TERMI-MESH is a marine grade 316 stainless steel wire
mesh which protects the foundation and lower structural
members of a house or building from termite penetration. The aperture size is too
small for the termites to crawl through, and the material
is too hard for the termites to chew. It doesn't kill
the termites; instead, it physically prevents them from
coming up from the ground and making contact with the
foundation or structure.
In 1997, Dr. Ken Grace concluded two
year-long field tests in which several TERMI-MESH units were placed in
heavily infested termite collection traps and underground. After one year,
termites had not directly penetrated any of the TERMI-MESH material. This
study reveals, however, that proper installation methods are critical in
preventing termites from circumventing the edges of the barrier. Careful
installation or application are essential when using any physical or