Industry surveys predict 1 in 3 homes will be attacked by a termite infestation. Despite these statistics, minimising termite risk can be achieved with some research on your part and keeping up with annual inspections. You can spot a termite infestation before they cause extensive damage if you know what to look for.
Signs can include mud tubes along foundations, near pipes or in your roof space, or soil crammed into cracks in mortar or construction joints. Termites eat from the inside out, so you may find deep, parallel grooves and signs of mud inside damaged areas of wooden fences, cubby houses or garden beds.
With information and awareness, you can make sure you don’t unwittingly create environments conducive to the attraction of termites.
Here’s a list of typical termite risks you do best to avoid:
Don’t fix wooden structures like trellises or gate posts to external walls.
Don’t put mulch, wood debris, scrap timber, sawdust or firewood close to your home, especially near foundations.
Don’t stack, store or bury wood adjacent to your home. If you do keep firewood outside, keep it raised off the ground.
Don’t build gardens alongside your home, especially if you have a chemical barrier at the perimeter.
Don’t cover or obstruct weepholes in brickwork.
Don’t plant flowers or shrubs that hide weepholes or the exposed edge of concrete floor slabs.
Don’t block off sources of ventilation for areas under suspended floors; or
Don’t leave leaking pipes, condensation or any sources of dampness.
Don’t allow leaves to accumulate in gutters and drains.
ADDITIONS, RENOVATIONS & TREES CAN ELEVATE TERMITE RISK
Renovations and additions such as carports, pergolas, decks, access ramps and steps to your home may allow termites to bridge an existing termite treatment zone. Even installing something like a new hot-water system or air-conditioning unit on the outside of your home can damage a treatment zone or make it difficult to detect termite activity.
Likewise, take care when selecting trees to plant. If you plant the wrong tree too close to your home, its roots may compromise the termite treatment under or beside the concrete slab or cause the slab itself to crack.
If you notice clouds of winged ants on balmy evenings, these may be swarming reproductive termites looking for a new place to set up home. Colonising termite flights of future kings and queens typically take place when humidity is high and the air is warm and it only takes one reproductive male and female to start an entire new colony.
If you come across swarming termites, it is a sure sign that a large termite nest is close-by and your home may be at high risk of termite infestation. We recommend giving us a call to assess the situation.
These are tips that help minimise termite risk and assist prevention: