What do you know about termites in Australia?
Chances are - very little. In fact, you may not even know you have termites in your home, until it is too late. Our most important termite species live in underground nests containing up to two million wood eating termites. That's a lot of hungry mouths that travel 100 metres, or more, in search of food. And your home provides them with a smorgasbord to feast upon. The trouble is, as the termites travel underground, and enter your home by concealed mud tunnels, you may have no idea they're ready to devour your place.
Termites get right inside the timber to feed. So they may be feasting away, hidden in your walls, or hollowing out the support timbers in your roof, without you knowing. They could also be dining on the timbers in your subfloor.
And please don't think that just because your home is built on a concrete slab you're safe from marauding termites. Termites build shelter tubes over the edge of slabs, or enter through shrinkage cracks and around pipes. When they're hungry, and that's all the time, nothing will stop a termite grabbing a quick lunch.
Protecting your Home
Any structure can be attacked by termites. Periodic maintenance should include measures to minimise the possibilities of infestation in and around your home. Factors which may lead to infestation include:
1. Edge of concrete slab concealed
Ensure the edge of your slab is fully exposed
2. Weep holes blocked
Ensure weep holes are fully exposed.
3. Less than 400mm clearance
Try and improve ventilation to these areas.
4. Earth/Wood Contact
Remove all such contact areas by lowering or digging away the soil. Use metal stirrups to mount pergolas, etc.
5. Damp areas
Remove moisture sources, repair leaking downpipes, taps, etc and grade soil to ensure run-off.
6. Form-work & scrap timber
Remove all scrap timbers and do not store any timber adjacent to the house.
Remove or have test drilled and checked by a timber pest manager
Try and avoid using mulch on garden beds adjacent to the house.
9. Tree branches touching the structure
Remove all such occurrences.
10. Wood rot
Replace any decayed timbers.
11. A full Inspection and Report should be carried out every six months
Regular inspections DO NOT stop attack, but may limit the amount of damage by detecting problems early.
12. Engage a professional pest controller who is insured to provide a management program
There is no way of preventing attack. The provision of a complete termite barrier will impede and discourage concealed entry into a building. It cannot prevent attack. Termites can still bridge or breach barriers but they can be detected more readily during routine inspections.