Termites and What You Can Do to Reduce Infestation
Underground termites are active throughout Australia. You cannot see them and
they do not get a great deal of publicity but they cause more damage to homes each year than do floods, fires and storms combined. According to the CSIRO 1 in 5 homes will be attacked with termites causing $750 million damage per annum Australia-wide.
Termites are commonly, but incorrectly, called “white ants”. Southern Australian species are typically a few millimeters long, with a snout or mandibles for chewing. All have straight antennae, differentiating them from ants and they are most active during the hotter months of summer.
Subterranean termites exclusively live underground or hid, near moisture and a cellulose based food source. Their hid nests may be in a wooden stump, underground or in a structure. They must continually seek moisture and are rarely seen foraging. shared house infestations are found in skirting boards, timber window frames, timber discloses in addition as bathroom, kitchen and laundry cupboards where moisture is found.
Currently the number of termite species around the world is more than 2500 and so differ in their turn up and behaviour. However in general they are small insects with workers tending to a large immobile queen continually laying eggs. Termites are known to venture a large distance (up to 150 meters) from the colony in search of food and moisture.
What you can do to limit infestation
The first obvious place for termites and other pests to get in is from under or alongside the home itself. There are two unprotected spots for a home with normal slab-on-ground construction; up by the plumbing or electrical pipe penetrations and up into the wall cavities along the perimeter of the home.
It is not easy, however, to find out where termites have entered your home as they generally go into by hidden access points. You will need a pest control expert to find and treat termites, but you can nevertheless limit infestation by doing the following;
o Clear any obstacles or debris from your building perimeter to permit current visual inspection around your home.
o Remove all wood, tiles, bricks etc. stacked up against external walls of the house that may allow hid entry.
o Rectify leaking taps, condensate release from air conditioners, hot water system overflow release, etc. to reduce termite access to free water supplies.
o Review lawn and garden reticulation to direct watering away from the house perimeter and only water during daylight hours.
o Where possible, remove any possible termite food supplies – fragment timber, compost heaps, wooden garden stakes, wooden landscaping features (sleepers), etc.
o Install termite monitoring/baiting system and remember to check them regularly.
o Remove garden mulch from the building perimeter and move flower and garden beds away from the house walls.
o And of course, have regular inspections undertaken by an accredited Technician. These should be yearly or more often in areas where termite activity is high.
There are different solutions to control termite infestation depending on your problem and its extent. Before undertaking any treatments getting advice from a trained specialist is always advised as they will attempt a thorough assessment of your particular termite problem. However by following the steps listed above you should considerably reduce the risk of pest activity in your home or office.