Termites in your home
Did you know one in four houses are affected by termites? (DuPont Australia)
Termites cause more damage to Australian houses than fire, floods and storms combined (Victorian Building Commission). Many people don't realise that this damage is not covered by general home insurance.
~What are termites?
~What kind of damage do termites cause?
~How do termites enter the home?
~How do I know if I have termites?
~How can I prevent a termite infestation?
~What are my options for treatment?
~Bear Bottom Pest Control services for termites and pests
What are termites?
Termites are ant-like insects that feed on dead plant material such as wood. In their natural environment they recycle rotten timber and return nutrients to the soil but when they enter the home they become a destructive pest. Termites attack timber structures and other cellulose materials, aggressively hollowing-out timber walls, floors and ceilings causing extensive damage.
What kind of damage do termites cause?
The potential damage varies from home to home depending on the structure and severity of the infestation. Repair costs can easily surpass $50,000 and these costs are not covered by general home insurance.
Common problems caused by termites include;
~damage to electrical wiring which can put the house at risk of fire
~structural weakness caused by hollowed-out timber supports in floors such as bearers, joists and stumps
~structural weakness in the timber frames walls and ceiling
~damage to internal finishing timbers such as skirting boards, window and door frames, architraves and timber cupboards.
One of the difficult issues associated with termites is that they can remain undetected for a long period of time. Prevention or early detection is vital in reducing the damage and cost caused by termite infestations.
How do termites enter my home?
Termites forage through underground tunnels in the soil then can enter your home through:
~mud leads up the side of stumps and subfloor walls (see photos)
~cracks in, and along the edge of, concrete slabs
~weep and vent holes
Termites live and nest in the soil and can be commonly found:
~in trees and tree stumps
~in old railway sleepers
~in garden retaining walls
~in firewood stores
~inside walls of a house
~in roof void
~in timber fences
~beneath concrete slabs and patios
~beneath swimming pools
~throughout garden beds
How can I prevent termite infestations?
There are some things you can do yourself to make it more difficult for termites to invade your home:
~remove construction timbers (loose off cuts) from around and under the house
~stack timber or firewood away from the house
~expose concrete slab edges and weep/vent holes
~remove excess timbers from garden and subfloor (beneath timber flooring)
~improve drainage around entire property as termites love moisture
~ensure you have no plumbing leaks
~remove tree stumps within 50m of your property
~remove stored items from underneath house
~remove or replace timber structures that are touching the soil. For example timber decking, timber pergola posts, timber stumps throughout subfloor, timber weatherboards and timber steps.. These timbers provide easy and undetected access to enter the building.
~improve ventilation under your house by installing more vents in the exterior walls and/or by generating adequate cross flow ventilation in the subfloor by installing fans and/or air pumps.
~yearly termite inspections by a qualified technician
Unfortunately these measures aren't always enough to keep the 'white army' away. The best way to protect your home is to arrange for a preventative termite treatment through a certified and insured pest control provider. Preventative treatment gives you peace of mind knowing your property is safe-guarded from termites for up to 10 years.