Tuesday, 25 October 2011

I have termites in my Home. What do I do?

Protect and Rescue your home from Termites
In this blog I will show you how to :
a) Prevent a termite infestation in your home and  
b) How to get rid of termites effectively once established.

Termites are one of the major causes of damage to homes in Australia. It costs homeowners across the country time, MONEY and inconvenience to repair and rebuild what they have lost.

Often it is not just the monetary cost that’s upsetting, its the shock when homeowners find that termites are devouring their valued homes from right under their noses. 

Facts on termites:
A Termite Colony can be made up of anything between 350,000 to well over a million little white insects.
A single termite queen can lay thousands of eggs per day to repopulate her colony and termites will travel up to 50 meters or more to reach a food source.
Termites need these  
Three conditions to survive:
1. Food Source: Termites primary source of food is any material that contains cellulose and since wood contains a great deal of cellulose, termites devour wood eagerly.
2. Water: Termites need a water source or any water to survive. They are attracted by water and humid conditions.
3. Place to call home: Termites build their colonies in the ground. Building tunnels and systems called galleries, these can extend up to three feet under the ground. They create tunnels from their underground living areas to above ground food sources.

To minimize the risk of a termite infestation you must eliminate these three conditions above, we can do this by:
  • 1.    Fixing all water leaks in and around your home this may be leaking taps inside and outside, showers, pipes and any pooling of water you may have around the home.
  • 2.    Tidy up gardens and trees, prune back and clear bushes of heavy foliage from around your home.
  • 3.    If you are building a new garden or landscaping ask your local nursery to help pick plants that are Termite resistant such as Hook Thorn, Neem, African Fan Plant, White Cedar Black Wattle and Hot Chili Pepper Plant to name a few.
  • 4. Any type of wood, keep away from the home. For example, do not store chopped wood for fireplaces against your home or near your home. If you must place wood near your home then use a physical barrier. Lay concrete under the wood. Termites cannot chew through well laid concrete. Even lifting the wood off the ground would be beneficial.
  • 5. Use treated timber whenever possible. Also a tip I have learnt in the industry,  if you have exposed piers under your home paint them white, so you can see termite track marks easily, and use this as a call to take immediate action.
  • 6. Avoid using wood chips and mulch near your home.
  • 7. Remove dead trees and old stumps
  • 8. Keep all gutters Clean of debris, Clogged gutters can create a water source or damp spots, termites love this. Also install a good Gutter Guard system, this gets rid of leaf litter and dampness in your gutters.
  • 9.Seal in holes or cracks around your home. 
  • 10. Arrange a regular termite inspection at least once a year especially early spring to late summer.!

If you find an infestation:
1. Do not disturb them. 
2. Do not panic, but you do need to move quickly.
3. Call in a Professional licensed Tradesman. Licensed Pest Controllers are trained how to inspect the entire building for termite activity. 
4. The Pest Controller might treat this infestation in a few different ways depending on the: 
a) Type of building involved and where it is located,
whether they can:
b) Find the nest or not,
c) What type of termites they are dealing with, 
and:
d) How serious or advanced the problem is.
5.  They may use bait to kill off the home or colony
6.  Use Barrier treatments
7.  Or a Chemical Treatment
Also they will most likely, devise an action plan to control and monitor the property. A Specialist in this instance is a no brainer. 
8. If the trouble with termites was not at your home but a neighbors home, you also have a risk of becoming a victim of a termite infestation. Get yearly or even 6 monthly checks. It does not cost allot and will give you piece of mind.


The most important rule to remember is once you find that you do have termites you must move quickly to minimize the damage.
    
      www.leafsmart.com.au