Tips to Minimise Termite Attack

Homeowners have a big role to play in reducing the chance of a termite attack on their property. Every successful termite management plan involves the homeowner maintaining the property and making their home “termite unfriendly”.
With 1 in 5 homes in NSW are likely to suffer a termite attack and termite damage not covered by home insurance, it makes sense to do everything you can to protect your home. And don’t think just because your house is new that you’re safe… CSIRO report that 1 in 5 homes will be attacked within the first 5 years after construction!

So what are these maintenance actions and potential issues homeowners need to keep an eye on??

Conditions That Favour Termite Infestation And Attack

Subterranean termite attack is often unwittingly encouraged by human interventions in providing termites with moist conditions ideal for their establishment and development. While reducing available soil moisture close to a house does not eliminate the risk of attack, drier areas are certainly less attractive to most subterranean pest species of termite.
When a Pair of reproductive termites have mated and are seeking a site to establish a colony, they are exposed to many components of the environment. Unless their basic requirements of FOOD, SHELETR and MOISTRE are quickly met, they die. Of the many thousands of alates (reproductives) that leave the parent colony during the colonizing flight, few, and often none, succeed in establishing a new colony.

Reducing termite hazard around buildings and property means lessening unnecessary soil moisture by improving drainage and removing wood in the soil, dead trees and stumps

Susceptibility Issues with Termites

Common examples of susceptibility issues that may lead to termite attack :

Timbers in contact with ground and/or concrete such as door jambs, posts steps, weatherboards, bottom plates (e.g. in garages) floor frame timbers, subfloor partition timbers, old formwork timbers, stored timber and timber debris in the subfloor, additions such as pergolas that are attached to other structures.

Yard timbers in contact with ground; for example, sleepers, retaining walls, garden bed edging, paver edging, other landscape timbers, fence palings, stored firewood, wood chip garden mulch, stored timber and timber debris, trees and stumps.

Excessive moisture sources, such as leaks form showers and other plumbing defects, hot water system overflow (especially adjacent to a concealed slab edge), defective storm water disposal, air conditioning discharge pipes, overlay generous garden irrigation systems, roof and /or flashing leaks(e.g. around chimneys), poor subfloor ventilation and rising damp in walls.

Soil or paving levels built up above slab edges, weep holes and/or vents.

Termite Treatment & Control - OzPest Solutions
Termite Treatment & Control - OzPest Solutions

How to recognise termites

Here are a few signs that termites might be wreaking havoc on your home:
  • Mud shelter tubes and mud packing they build for protection (pictured). These can sometimes be seen in and around brick foundations or in architraves and other excavated timber.
  • Hollow sounding timber (meaning termites have eaten away at the timber internally).
  • Sagging floors or doors.
  • Easily damaged skirting boards, window sills, door jams or architraves (due to termites reducing the structural integrity of timber and hollowing these items out, a small knock to these areas can cause damage).
  • Cracked paint or plaster (termites eat away at timber they attack and reduce the structural integrity causing cracks in paint or plaster sometimes only leaving a thin outside layer of paint intact).
  • Power failures (termites are attracted to the warmth of electrical fittings behind walls)
  • Flight holes in trees
Temperature and rainfall seem to have the largest impact on termite activity, followed by the house’s age. If you stumble across a termite nest on your property, don’t disturb it until you’ve determined an appropriate termite management plan with a qualified pest manager. Once disturbed, termites might abandon the area, move elsewhere and remain undetected.
Termites don’t just eat away at structural timbers, they can also chomp their way through furniture, paper products, fabrics, clothing, footwear and even non-cellulose materials like soft plastics, building sealants and rigid foam insulation.

Why is professional termite control so important?

Termites are not a problem that any homeowner wants to face during their lifetime. However, these wood-chewing pests can cause thousands of dollars in damage to a structure with little or no warning. What is more, is that areas within the Newcastle, Maitland and Hunter Valley Regions are, as a majority, deemed high risk zones for termite infestation, which places a significant emphasis on the importance of business owners, investors and homeowners to include preventative measures (such as termite inspections and treatments) to their dwellings. Termite inspections can save you thousands of dollars on repairing structural damage in a termite infested property.

The services that OzPest Solutions provide, encourage you, as the business owner, investor and/or homeowner, to feel a sense of security and peace of mind in selecting us to detect, remove and control the termites that may be occupying your dwelling. Prevention is key when it comes to termites and with advancements in termite baiting and control technology through systems such as Sentricon® and Termidor® we can detect termites sooner and prevent them from damaging your home.

OzPest Solutions recommends that Termite Inspections be carried out annually, as a minimum standard (as advised by Australian Standards); and, in cases were previous termite activity has been identified, and in high risk areas such as the Newcastle, Maitland and Hunter Valley Regions, it is recommended that Termite Inspections be carried out more frequently per year (every 6-12 months) due to the heightened risk of attack and associated risk of damages.

Is it almost time for your property to have its annual Termite Inspection? Are you someone who has not had your property inspected for termite infestation? Do you live in an area that places your property at high risk of termite infestation? Has your property experienced termite infestation, before?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is time you contacted our team at OzPest Solutions. Our Pest Technicians and Administrative Staff are passionate about sharing knowledge and answering any questions, queries, or concerns you may have regarding any treatments and inspections, in addition to general information regarding pests and termites.

Call or email our knowledgeable and experienced team now and rest easy knowing that we will inspect and treat any infestations promptly and thoroughly.

After your Inspector has thoroughly inspected your home inside, outside, over and under, they will review the following with you:

Inspection findings and observations related to any termite evidence and conditions conducive to infestation which increase the risk of termite attack

Inspection findings that includes any evidence of termites found non active or active and all related conditions, avenues and sources identified during the inspection that may be conducive to termite attack or lead to attack in the future

The susceptibility of the property to termite infestation (subfloor ventilation and drainage, obvious damp areas, etc.) and Possible recommendations on correcting conducive conditions that can reduce the risk of future infestations

Advise and Details of corrective or preventive treatment programs/ Monitoring programs and options that are best suited for you, your home and your budget.

If we discover termites, we’ll recommend the most effective treatment method, customized to your needs and cost of all options and the expected outcomes and limitations..

Finally, our inspector may recommend an ongoing termite monitoring and or management plan, to give you the peace of mind you deserve.

Our Fully qualified termite inspector conducts a comprehensive inspection, examining your home inside and outside.

A comprehensive and thorough 1 ½ hour to 2 ½ hour inspection of the exterior and interior of your home depending on the size of the property.

A detailed interior inspection on all accessible timber elements, This may include inspection of the roof void if accessible, skirting’s, walls, window timbers, door timbers and frames, built-in wardrobes, fireplace surrounds, picture rails, exposed floorboards, stair case timbers, exposed roof frame timbers and so on. Special attention will be given to bathrooms, kitchens and utility rooms because plumbing penetrations through the slab are the more common entry points for subterranean termites.

A complete inspection of the exterior of your home for signs of an infestation, previous activity and conducive conditions, avenues and sources that could lead to a termite infestation and or attack. This will include a thorough inspection of the perimeter of the property, subfloor of the property ,exterior walls and eaves, slab edges of the home and a close examination of the foundation.

A thorough inspection of the surrounding property and yard including including , fences, sheds and/or garages (interior/exterior), trees, landscape timbers, gardens and anything within up to 25 to 50m within the property boundary and around your home to identify any activity or evidence of Termites