General information concerning termites in Guelph

Origin and extent of termites in Guelph

Subterranean termites are non-native invasive insects that can cause serious structural damage to homes and can be difficult and expensive to control. Termites are wood destroying insects that live in large colonies numbering several million. They forage through the soil and expand the colony’s territory as they encounter new wood items to feed on. Termites tend to spread rather slowly, depending on the availability of surface dead wood, at an estimated rate of about 50 feet per year.

Termites were accidentally introduced from the United States to over 30 Ontario municipalities. The termite infestation in Guelph was first detected in the early 1970s near Goldie Mill Park. Currently, in Guelph, there are three designated Termite Management Areas, all on the north side of the City, encompassing 869 properties. Termite populations in the existing management areas have steadily declined and appear to be eliminated on several of the managed blocks.

Preventing the spread of termites

New infestations can become established by the movement of infested wood or soil. Therefore, all residents of the City should be cautious about donating or receiving any wood items that have been sitting outdoors on the ground, such as firewood, landscaping ties, wood sheds, mulch, etc.

Disposal procedure

Residents in Termite Management Areas are required to comply with strict disposal procedures to restrict the potential spread of termites to other areas of the City. The disposal procedure is as follows:

  1. stack wood in a pile or load wood in a bin in preparation for disposal
  2. call 519-837-5614 to set up an inspection
  3. the Termite Control Officer will inspect and write a field report
  4. deliver wood to transfer station at 80 Dunlop Drive and present the field report to waive tipping fees on the first 500 pounds.

Sale of property

Group of termitesWhen selling a property in a Termite Management Area, the resident or agent is required to disclose that the property is within a Termite Management Area and obtain a termite inspection report from the Termite Control Officer. The owner or the agent (with written authorization) should arrange the inspection by calling 519-837-5614.

Real Estate Agents responsibilities

  • Know where the three Guelph Termite Management Areas are located.
  • Ensure disclosure that a property is located within the Termite Management Area.
  • Ensure the property has a termite inspection.
  • Ensure that prospective buyers are provided a copy of the termite inspection report.
  • Ensure that prospective buyers are aware that the City of Guelph has a comprehensive Termite Control Program with which residents in Termite Management areas must comply.

Landscaping and Renovation

Landscaping, renovation and new construction can also be affected in termite areas. New fences should be constructed on non-wood materials or if wood posts are used they must be pressure treated and supported above ground on metal brackets. Retaining walls must be constructed of non-wood materials, not pressure treated wood. In addition, the Ontario Building Code has specifications for construction of new buildings, porches, and decks that pertain to termite infested areas.

Comprehensive Control Strategy

Under the direction of the Termite Control Officer, the City has a comprehensive strategy for termite management and control. This involves inspections, monitoring properties with traps, reduction of termite habitat through yard wood management, area-wide colony level suppressive treatments, and limited utilization of conventional chemical treatments where necessary.

Termite Control Bylaw

Under the City’s Termite Control Bylaw, the Termite Control Officer is empowered to enter and inspect properties to investigate for termites and to prescribe measures aimed at controlling and limiting the spread of termites.

For more information

Dr. Tim Myles  
Termite Control Officer 
Building Services