Termites - Top Tips

Date: 16 May 2017

With claims that one in every four properties are likely to come under attack at some point, the termite remains the most dreaded of all household pests. Chris Short from the Association of Building Consultants shares his top tips on keeping your largest asset best protected:

  1. Check it out – have a regular pest inspection done by a qualified and trained professional at least yearly. They can advise on the best defence to have in place, including traps or another option.
  2. Get tidy – Avoid storing untreated timber, such as winter firewood, up against the home. For older homes that have suspended floors, make sure that there is no timber stored on the ground underneath the house, and remove any as a priority.
  3. Sleepers - Hardwood timber garden sleepers attract a termite infestation, so replacing them with termite-resistant materials, such as treated pine or masonry, is money well spent.
  4. Just vent – It is important that venting inlets to the sub floor are not blocked because they allow free air flow under and around the house to keep the area dry and make it less attractive to termites. Gaps around the base of brick walls are known as weep holes, and allow ventilation into the cavity and the escape of moisture, so always keep them free of dirt, garden mulch or any other obstruction. Blocked weep holes are an invitation to white ants.
  5. Deadly drips – Because damp soil attracts termites, make sure that drainage pipes from hot water systems and air conditioners are not dripping into the soil. Fix any leaking taps, pipes and downpipes to keep the ground around the house dry.
  6. Thinking caps – Make sure that any posts on a timber deck, pergola or gazebo are placed on metal stirrups, and there is at least 75mm clearance between the base of pergola posts and finished ground level.
  7. Concrete dangers - concrete slabs can be conductive to termites; unless a termite prevention system was installed when the house was built and has not been damaged or compromised over the course of time.
  8. Mud menace – if you spot a termite mud tunnel or what looks like fly specks around the home, resist the urge to destroy it. Instead, arrange for a professionally qualified pest manager to come and give advice as to what needs to be done.
  9. Maintenance matters - Keep the home as maintained as well as possible by painting exterior surfaces and keeping them in good condition.
  10. Get a building inspection – if you are planning to buy a home, having it thoroughly inspected before signing on the dotted line is an investment in your peace of mind.