How to reduce the risk of termites eating your home!

14 Sep. 2018

IAs the weather in Perth warms up flying termites, known as alates, are on the move.

The alates await the sunny spring weather so they can emerge to find a new locations & establish brand new termite colonies.

The risk of termites should not be underestimated. Of all the pest we are likely to encounter, termites have by far the greatest capacity to damage our homes!

If you find termites in or near your home, do not disturb them or spray with any form of home pest control products, as that might hinder effective treatment by a pest control professional. 

If termites are inside your home, the matter will almost certainly require urgent attention. However, if termites are located outside the house and there is an up to date termite barrier in place around the property, there may not be much or anything to worry about. 

It is always recommended upon finding termites to contact a Pest Control professional for help & advice.

To protect your home from termites we strongly recommend having a termite barrier installed and regular inspections. In addition to this there are some simply things you can do around the home to reduce the risk of termite attack (see below): 

Drainage

  • Moisture is as important to termites as food. They can’t survive for long in a dry environment, so reducing moisture near the perimeter of home is a useful termite management strategy.
     
  • Keep gutters and down pipes free of leaks and blockages to allow for effective drainage of rain water.
     
  • Direct water from downpipes and the discharge from air conditioners and hot water systems away from the house as best you can. Use elbows and pipes to re direct water into soak wells or at least away from walls a little using spoon drains.
     
  • Paving should be level or graded away from the house so that water doesn’t pool against walls.   

 Gardens

  • Ideally, gardens should not be established against the perimeter of the building. Mulch and moisture will attract termites to the area and raised soil levels can provide a bridge over termiticide treatments.
     
  • If your property does have garden beds against the perimeter, keep the soil levels low and in particular, keep soil levels below weep holes in the walls. 

Attachments to buildings 

  • Attachments such as pergolas, decks, ramps, and steps can also provide a bridge over termite barriers and provide concealed entry into your house. Ideally there should be a gap between the attachment and the building to provide a termite inspection zone
     
  • If a structure has to be attached to the house itself than make sure you use  non-timber products or termite resistant timbers and use metal stirrups where possible under timber posts.

Subfloors

  • Airflow through subfloors reduces humidity and temperature, thereby making the area less suitable for termites and decay. 
     
  • Ensure that areas under floor are cleared of  timber off cuts and any other wooden items. It’s best to not store any items in subfloors whether they are wooden or not, as it reduces ventilation and hinders inspections.  

    Ensure there are adequate entry points for a person to enter the sub floor to inspect for timber pests and to apply chemical barriers when needed.

    Entry points are sometimes through traps in the floor inside the house and sometimes through the side of the house from the outside. If there is insufficient space between the ground and the floor for a person to enter, its sometimes necessary to have a floor trap in every room.

Storage Practices

  • Firewood and other loose timbers should be stored above the ground if possible and/or as far away from the house as practical.
     
  • Never store timbers directly against the perimeter of the house.
     
  • Non timber items such as spare pavers, bricks and tiles should also be stored away from the perimeter of the house as they allow for the build up of moisture, provide a bridge over termite barriers and hinder inspections for timber pests.   

Sheds

While your house will probably have a termite barrier installed, your shed and other outbuildings almost certainly won’t. There is little or nothing to prevent termites from attacking stored wooden items within outbuildings or the structure itself if it’s made of wood.

  • Keep wooden and cardboard items off the floor on shelves or hanging on hooks.
     
  • Another idea is to store items such as rakes and brooms standing handle down in plastic or metal buckets or bins.
     
  • Keep the area well organised and tidy as reducing clutter increases the chances of noticing termites before they have done any damage.              

For more help & advice on keeping your home free from termites contact Termico Pest Management today on 08 9443 9451.

Termite Prevention Hints & Tips

Download our Termite Prevention Hints & Tips here.

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