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The Pest: Termites

Termites sometimes known as ‘white ants’ live in colonies that, at maturity, number from several hundred to several million. Termites mostly feed on dead plant material, generally in the form of wood, leaf litter, soil, or animal dung. Some indications you may have termites include:

  • A temporary swarm of winged insects in your home or from the soil around your home.
  • Any cracked or bubbling paint.
  • Frass (termite droppings).
  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
  • Mud tubes on exterior walls, wooden beams, or in crawl spaces.
  • Discarded wings from swarmers.

The Threat:

The damage from termites is significant, causing serious structural damage to buildings, crops or plantation forests. Once they have invaded a building, they do not limit themselves just to wood, but also paper, cloth, carpet, and other cellulosic materials. The resulting damage from termites can cost millions of ringgit every year.

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  • No injuries after classroom ceiling collapses, thanks to alert school authorities

    MELAKA: Eagle-eyed school authorities at SK Convent Infant Jesus (2) here averted possible injury to pupils after they shut down a section of the century-old building on Monday.

    Moments later, the ceiling of the section came crashing down over an empty Year One classroom.

    Melaka Fire and Rescue Department officer Hafidzatullah Rashid said 19 personnel from the Jalan Kubu Fire and Rescue Department station responded to a call from the school’s management at 10.55am.

    “None of the teachers or pupils was injured. Preliminary findings reveal that termite infestation was the cause for the ceiling’s collapse,” he said in a statement.

    “We executed some clean-up work and also did checks to ensure that other parts of the building were safe,” he said.

    It is learnt that the pupils were temporarily placed at the school’s library and audio-video room.

    State education department director Abu Bakar Sahari said the school management had been asked to temporary vacate the affected areas on safety grounds.

    “No injury was reported,” he added.

    The school has four building blocks with a student population of 463 and 41 teachers.

    source from: The Star Online

  • Apartments Infested By Termites In Sibu At Crisis Level
  • THE problems of termites attacking wooden structures in the walk-up flat at the Sibu Jaya new township is reaching a crisis level.

    Sibu MP Wong Ho Leng said he could see the termites and even hear them eating the wood when he inspected some of the apartments at the flat recently.

    “Many wooden window frames have been badly attacked by the termites. Some have fallen to the ground,” he told a press conference in Sibu yesterday.

    He urged the Sarawak Housing Development Corporation to investigate and determine the extent of damage and find out if the contractors had breached the contract by using wood without anti-termite treatment in building the apartments.

    “Ninety five per cent of the residents are Dayaks and Orang Ulu who migrated to Sibu in search of a better living from the Song, Kapit and Belaga areas. They do not have the means to repair the apartments and destroy the termites, which is difficult and costly,” said Wong, adding that most of the occupants were low-income earners.

    All together, there were 19 blocks of four-storey flats with 1,520 units, said Wong, adding that many residents bought the flats three to five years ago.

    The Sibu Jaya new township is located 26km from Sibu town.

    Wong, who is also the state assemblyman for Bukit Assek, said it was important for the state to formulate laws that compel contractors to use only treated wood in housing projects.

    “Only laws can protect house buyers irresponsible contractors,” he said.

    Asked to comment on the recent sacking of Klang municipal councillor Tee Boon Hock for allegedly using a state exco member’s official letterhead and seal to obtain contracts for his cronies and a family member, Wong, who is Sarawak DAP chairman, said the DAP did not tolerate any form of corruption, nepotism and cronyism.

    He said the DAP disciplinary committee’s swift action to sack Tee was proof that the DAP’s stand on corrupt practices was clear.

    Wong said the disciplinary committee’s decision to summon Selangor Speaker Teng Chang Khim over his Tweeter remark “OMG! Real culprit freed” did not mean a gag order had been imposed on party leaders and members.

    “We practise freedom of expression. Teng was called because the committee believed he could shed more light on the issue,” Wong said.

    Later, he introduced his new special assistant Paul Ling to the press.

    Ling, 28, is a computer engineering graduate from a British university.

    He worked for one-and-a-half years in Canada before returning to Sarawak to join politics full-time.

    He is also taking up a correspondence course on law.

    source from: The Star Online