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How to Avoid Termite Trouble

 

Termites or “white ants” are small insects that can cause quite a bit of grief for home owners. In Australia, there are over 300 species of termites but the Coptotermes is most dangerous in terms of home infestations.

What makes termites dangerous?

Often called the “silent destroyers”, you might be wondering what is it that make these tiny creatures so dangerous to our homes as opposed to other common household pests? The answer to this lies within their eating habits. Termites feed off cellulose, an organic compound found in plants and common human building materials like wood. They prefer eating wood to obtain their nutrients because they can breakdown fibres in wood that other organisms cannot. Thus, providing them with a food source largely overlooked by most species.

People fear them because most don’t realise they have a termite problem until major damage has already been done. Termites love to live in humid and warm places with plenty of wood to eat making most Queensland homes the perfect place for termites to set up camp. As the termites eat away at your home, they can cause serious physical damage that can compromise the integrity of your house and cost thousands in repair work.

How can I prevent termites?

The saying “prevention is better than a cure” couldn’t be more true when it comes to termites. To make sure you never have to feel the fear of a termite infestation, here is a list of things to keep in mind that can help prevent a termite infestation:

Physical Barrier

This is a physical layer of protection between the soil on the ground and your home. Generally, these are made out of a stainless steel mesh so termites have difficulty gaining access to the house. This in conjunction with a concrete slab under the house can help protect your home physically. However, because physical barriers won’t kill any termites that might be living in the soil they are not 100% effective.

Chemical Barrier

This is a chemical treatment put into the soil surrounding a home. While deadly to termites, the chemicals used are completely safe for humans, pets, native animals etc. The chemical barrier is slow acting and spread from one termite to another until the colony is fully eradicated. It is important to keep in mind that there are different chemicals that can be used for this type of barrier and it’s important to speak with a professional to find out what is best for your home.

Wood Waste/ Storage

Never bury or leave wood waste in your yard as it will attract termites. Also, try not to store things like timber or firewood close to your house.

Placement of Mulch

Mulch is like a buffet dinner for termites however is used in most home gardens. Instead of completely getting rid of mulch, be mindful of where you put it. Try not to use it anywhere that is directly adjacent to your home.

Control Leaks

Termites love humid, moist conditions so make sure to fix any leaks around your home and get rid of any stagnant water.

Heavy Plant Growth

Remove any dense plant growth near your house and move it to further away in the yard. The thick vegetation holds large amounts of moisture which will attract termites.

If you think your might have termites or want to prevent them, contact APM Solutions directly on (07) 3828 2020 for a competitive quote on an inspection or treatment.

Termites love Brisbane’s weather

As much as Queenslanders don’t like the rain, unfortunately termites do. Which isn’t great news for home owners and investors, considering some parts of Brisbane had their wettest June since 1967 according to the Bureau of Meteorology. In fact, Alderley recorded nearly four times the average June rainfall.

Combine that with the warmer than average days and nights we’ve been enjoying recently and you have the perfect termite breeding ground, which is often invisible to the eye.

Therefore, homeowners are advised to be extra cautious coming into Spring and at the very least, remove all timber from around the house that is in contact with soil, any dead trees or stumps and fix any leaking pipes or systems running near the house.

Whilst this is a great start to prevent a termite attack, it won’t do much if they have already made their way into the valuable house.

The only way to find this out before the repair bill enters the thousands of dollars is to engage a termite technician to conduct a thorough inspection using thermal imaging cameras etc.

If you’re lucky enough to get the all clear, but live in a risky area, the best protection you can provide your house is a chemical soil barrier which will offer long term prevention.

However, if termites are present, you will need to eradicate them first before definitely installing a chemical soil barrier at a later date.

If you have any questions or concerns or you would like to book a termite inspection, please don’t hesitate to contact us.