White ants are the silent invaders of our homes that many homeowners fear. It’s understood that one in three Australian homes will be infested by white ants every year.
The experts at VIP have detailed below some important considerations for home owners:
Where can white ants be found?
White ants can appear not just in our homes, but also in nearby trees, old stumps, sleepers, poorly disposed building materials and areas with moisture such as near a leaking hot water service. They build nests from which they will travel up to 100 metres seeking cellulose, commonly found in timber. Unfortunately this timber is often the framework of someone’s home!
There are a high number of cases in urban areas, as white ants can be attracted to established homes, however this doesn’t mean that new developments are safe. Growing suburbs such as Berwick in Melbourne’s outer south east, or new estates in regional centres such as Bendigo, are just as prone to white ants. VIP offer inspection services across metropolitan Melbourne and regional areas including the Mornington Peninsula, Latrobe Valley and Castlemaine amongst others
What are the risks?
White ants can enter properties undetected through difficult to reach locations. A space as small as 2mm is all that’s required- this could be a crack or an expansion join. In such joins white ants are known to have eaten through rubber compounds sealing joins. When in a property they can move unnoticed in walls or under floor tiles.
Home owners are at great risk should they not have a white ant management plan. Not all insurance covers the cost of repairs, which can be tens of thousands of dollars.
Preferring a humid environment between 25 and 35 degrees celsius, white ants are able to find both a warm environment and food inside your home. There are cases of power failures as a result of white ants chewing through electrical insulation in their pursuit of warmth. Other signs of white ants include: mud tunnels, dropping doors, sagging floors, and cracks in paint or plaster.
Whilst the potential for major structural damage is at the forefront of most people’s minds, furniture, fabrics, soft plastics and foam insulation are also at risk.