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ECU researchers tackling termite infestation

Wednesday, 04 August 2010


With termites estimated to cost Australian home-owners up to $1 billion each year, it has never been more important to tackle the issue of termite infestation head on.

Termite presence is often unknown to residents, causing considerable damage to houses and costing thousands of dollars in chemicals and repair cost.

ECU researchers are leading the charge, with an innovative new electronic device that uses acoustic technology to detect the presence and activity of termites. A previous version of the technology has been successfully used in the last two years by the Department of Agriculture and Food to detect the European House Borers.

Project leader, Associate Professor Adam Osseiran from ECU’s School of Engineering, says the wireless device, called bugFinder, detects the termites, sounds an alarm, and records details of their presence, and activity.

“The crucial part of bugFinder is its wireless ability allowing it to detect and record termite activity in remote or inaccessible areas that traditionally have not been able to be accurately screened.

 “Termites cause great damage to our dwellings and to the building industry in general,” said Professor Osseiran.

“After two years of intensive development, this is the first time a state-of-the-art device can detect termites at 100 per cent success rate at any time of day and night, and signal the presence of termites before they can create any damage, which is a huge breakthrough.”

Over the coming weeks ECU’s research team will be contacting selected sites in the public sector, including schools and hospitals to offer termite inspection as a free service to the community.


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