Termites are timber eating bugs which are underestimated by the vast majority of homeowners in Australia. The result is damage to property worth over billions of dollars. Around 33% of all homes are affected by this epidemic that tends to go undetected until it’s too late. Those that do care about the structural integrity of their house, end up spending a fortune in eliminating the annoying bugs.
According to various surveys, Australian home and business owners spend more than $1 billion annually on termite treatment programs and costly repairs to their properties.
But as the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.
So the real question is: how can home owners prevent termites from swarming into their house in the first place?
The answer has two parts to it: first you have to understand what makes termites tick, why they’re attracted to your house in the first place, and second, how to destroy the conditions that encourage their growth.
So why are they attracted to your home?
Termites are very hungry creatures – always dining 24 hours a day without much break. Food is a scarce utility and not always abundant. So termites are always looking for large quantities of food (wood), and their search eventually ends at your home. They’re looking for wood (which contains cellulose) and moisture. They pass through small cracks, tinier than the width of your hair to enter inside and start their crazed feeding frenzy.
While subterranean termites require constant contact with soil to enter inside your house, drywood termites are not bound by this limitation and can attack your house from any opening. Whether it is the attic, floor or the traditional foundational cracks that their cousins use to enter, they can find their way in one way or another.
Because the cracks are so tiny and require careful inspection to be discovered, it is wiser to find alternative ways of minimizing the entry of these little critters.
Reduce the chances of termites entering your house
1) No more wood contact with the soil
All the wooden structures of your home should be at least four inches above the ground to prevent contact from termites and providing them an extremely easy access to food and moisture. Because if you don’t, all they have to do is creep up from beneath the earth and latch onto the wood and voila! A brave new world made of food awaits them! Usual culprits include doors, window frames and furniture.
IF there are dead tree stumps lying around, immediately discard them and move them as far away from your property as possible. All dead vegetation, firewood debris and similar littler should be disposed off as a priority.
2) Get rid of the moisture!
Places around the house that contain a lot of moisture such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundries attract a great deal of termites. Make it a habit to frequently cleaning the gutters, wipe floors and sinks, repair leaky pipes around the house and any other possible sources which could lead to water or moisture gathering in your place.
Additionally, if the lawn has sprinklers lying around, adjust them to prevent the water from splashing onto the foundation, and if you just can’t help it, then at least ensure that the foundation is sloped so that any water surrounding it flows away outwards – not inwards.
3) What to do when you have identified a termite infestation
It can be tempting to take charge of the situation and clean up the house yourself. But this can only serve to compound the problem. Instead, it is advisable to resist the urge to terminate termite activity and arrange an expert termite exterminator to help your eliminate the problem. They can identify the type of species involved in the swarm and deploy the proper termite treatment methods.