Centre Wellington ready to begin termite program

ELORA – Termites in Centre Wellington are officially on notice.

After identifying active termite zones in the township, staff presented council with a plan to address the problem on March 28.

Managing director of planning and development Brett Salmon said 259 properties in Elora and Fergus have been identified as having active termite activity, referred to as the “red zone,” and 219 properties are in the adjacent “blue zone.”

Salmon said best practice is to treat the active areas with nematodes and to clean up all dead wood on properties to eliminate food sources and breeding grounds for termites.

He proposed a program of treatments and wood clean-up in spring and fall in the red zone, moving methodically through neighbourhoods over the next five years. Once the red zone is complete, treatment can begin in the blue zone.

Staff is preparing a request for proposals. As well as providing the treatments, the successful vendor will also provide an education component for residents and collect data on resident compliance.

The vendor will also provide preferred pricing for residents to inspect and treat termites in their homes.

The township program will only treat termites outdoors; residents will be responsible for dealing with termites inside their homes.

Council has already allocated $80,000 per year for the next five years for the program.

Salmon said the township will assess the results after five years and decide then if further action is required.

“We think this will provide a valuable service to the community,” he said.

Councillor Ian MacRae wanted to know if landscapers and landscape supply companies will be included in the education program.

He was concerned about the widespread practice of using wood chip mulch in gardens, which is fine if there aren’t termites but disastrous if there are.

“It’s not on our radar to be honest,” Salmon responded.

“We could consider it as part of the education program. But it’s really incumbent on homeowners.”

Salmon added letters will go to homes in the red zone explaining what’s happening and once the vendor is selected, specific details, such as dates, will be communicated as well.

“It’s a long-term, slow-result-type plan,” said councillor Kirk McElwain. “But I’m happy to see it.”