Termites are small creamy coloured ant-like insects that can wreak havoc in a timber home. Despite their small size, termites can eat their way through timber structures with apparent ease. In their natural environment these creatures assist in the recycling of organic matter back into the soil, but in your home they can be highly destructive. They are often difficult to detect as they avoid light and stay hidden by eating timber out from the inside while leaving a thin protective layer to protect them from light.
For this reason it is important to have regular inspections of your home. Certified inspectors like Trusted Pest Management are trained to detect termites and will check all accessible timber and entry points to your home. Your local council or pest expert will be able to advise you on the recommended frequency of inspections. If termites are detected, pest control operators will be able to give you advice on what to do next.
Beware of Entry Points
There are many simple-to-implement strategies that will help prevent termites from entering your timber home. Firstly, you should be aware of entry points to your home; termites can enter via any organic material. For this reason you shouldn’t store timber or stack branches and logs near or under your home. Remove all timber, dead leaves and other material away from your house.Make sure bushy plants are kept away from the structure of your home by allowing a minimum clearance of 30 centimetres. Also remove any dead tree stumps and be wary of planting trees with extensive root systems too close to your home.
Don’t use untreated timber as garden borders and if you have a timber fence you need to be aware that termites may enter the palings under the soil surface without detection. You can buy galvanised post shoes to ensure that timber is above soil height. Alternatively, use timber treated for termites for fences and gardens. The addition of an outdoor area, pergola or patio can create a new entry point for termites, so if you are building any extensions to your home be sure to apply termite protection barriers.
Damp environments will attract termites. Check to ensure that taps, pipes and overflow pipes are sound; if they are not you should repair them to reduce moisture levels. Make sure run off from your hot water system and air-conditioning is directed away from your home, and ensure any ventilation is clear and unblocked by employing extraction fans where necessary. If you do not have an effective ventilation system you should consider installing one. Products like Envirofan will provide excellent sub-floor and roof ventilation to keep your home free of dampness. The installation of ventilation represents excellent value compared to trying to rectify a home suffering termite damage.
With regular inspections and adherence to these prevention strategies you will be able to minimise the threat of termites in your home. If you have any concerns or questions about termite infestations you shouldcontact your local council or pest control operator for advice.
Sarah Smith – commons.wikimedia.org