Termite Tips

How to help keep your home termite free

  • Garden beds should not have contact with the outside wall of the house. Keep garden beds at least 2 mtrs from the building structure.
  • Remove any tree stumps that are near the building structure as tree stumps are potential nesting sites for some termite species.
  • Use concrete sleepers in your garden rather than timber sleepers
  • When constructing timber structures, make sure any timber posts are not touching the ground. Use steel stirrups between the post and the ground height (there should be at least a 75mm gap between the bottom of the timber post and the finished ground height). Timber in direct contact with the ground is an ideal condition for a termite attack and decay.
  • Ensure there is access under the timber decks for termite inspections.
  • Store timber piles, including firewood, off the ground and away from the house.
  • Fix leaks and drainage problems as soon as possible. Remember moisture makes it more attractive to termites.
  • Run water outlets from air conditioners and hot water systems away from the building.
  • Improve any poor drainage around the building structure.
  • Houses must have an annual termite inspection (any time of year is suitable). Houses at a higher risk (ie: houses with a history of timber pests or conditions conducive to timber pests) may require inspections every three to six months. Book it in every year, just as you make a note to change your fire alarm battery.

 

Visual signs of termite infestation

Signs of a termite attack are most often not visible to the naked eye. However, once visible, signs can include:

  • Mud leads or tubing up the side of the house
  • Distorted timber door and window frames
  • Noises can be heard from some species eg chewing and clicking sounds.

If you discover a termite infestation, do not disturb it, as the termites may move making the detection and treatment process more difficult.

 

About termites

  • Termites are also known as white ants but, surprisingly, termites do not belong to the ant family.
  • Termites are found throughout Australia, but warmer climates such as Queensland are more susceptible to termite attacks.
  • Termites are always active but are the most active during summer.
  • Timber is the staple food for the termite and the timber used to construct homes makes a perfect meal.
  • Termites live in nests (or colonies) and once a source of timber is found, the worker termites partially digest the timber before returning to the nest to feed the colony.
  • Termites thrive on moisture, so damp spots make ideal conditions for termites.