Preventing Termite Attacks

 
There are two areas homeowners can focus on to reduce the chances of a termite attack. Firstly, you can alter the conditions around your home to make them less attractive to termites and secondly, you can minimize the number of areas around your home that allow the termites to get into your home without being noticed.
 
Making your home less attractive to termites:

Reduce moisture levels in and around your home

  • Ensure good drainage under and around the perimeter of the house
  • Fix any leaks – gutters, showers, taps
  • Don’t have watering systems next to the house
  • Ensure good ventilation in any sub-floor area

Reduce the available food for termites

  • Remove any waste wood from under and around the house
  • Avoid using wood mulch immediately adjacent to the exterior walls
  • Avoid have any wood in direct ground contact (unless treated timber)
  • Consider having trees stumps removed (pulled is better than grinding)
Preventing termites getting in un-noticed:

When houses are designed and built properly they should provide a physical barrier to prevent termites from getting in un-noticed. It is important to note that no system (physical or chemical) will provide a 100% protection against termite entry. They are designed to prevent termites getting in to your house un-noticed – to access your home termites have to build mud tubes to get around the protection measures. When they do so, they can be spotted by the home owner or pest professional during an inspection and dealt with before significant damage is done.

Unfortunately the actions of builders, landscapers and homeowners often bridge these protection measures and allow termites a concealed entry point. Below are some common activities that provide termites with the opportunity to access your home un-noticed;

 

Built up flower beds, grass and soil level covering the edge of the concrete slab and blocking weep holes / vents (sometimes even above internal floor level!). Decks, paths, driveways built over the edge of the concrete slab and / or above floor level.
Plants next to house not only conceal potential entry points but provide a cool, moist environment for termites.  Their roots can also acts as a highway under your home. Store goods in the roof void or under the home not only block inspections and reduce airflow, but can also provide a direct pathway from the soil to the floor timbers.

By altering such issues to expose the edge of the exterior wall, the chances of termite getting into your house un-noticed are greatly reduced.  Certainly before carrying out any renovations or improvements (including landscaping), talk to your pest professional first.

By carrying out these preventative / corrective measures you can significantly reduce the chances of a termite attack. However, termites are both secretive and persistent and so its important to put in place a termite management plan.  This involves regular termite inspections by a pest professional and the installation of a termite management system, such as the Xterm™ Termite Monitoring and Baiting System.

If you think you have termites, don’t touch them! Spraying them with insecticide or breaking open any mud tubes can disturb them, making them much harder to kill.  Call a pest professional immediately!