Termites are harmful pests that attack the structure of homes. Being attracted to woody substances and materials containing cellulose, termites like eating through building frames as they are commonly constructed from wood and fibrous materials that termites like to devour. Without regular inspections of the property, your home can become a nesting, breeding and feeding ground for hungry and destructive termites. Especially if your property is old, located in a termite prone area or has had an unfortunate history of termite infestations, it is essential that you engage a professional pest controller to keep termites away from your property. As the temperatures rise over the summer, termites like to swarm and are more common during this period.
Without a thorough inspection regime by a qualified pest controller, you may not even be aware that termites have infested your property. You may notice traces of a termite infestation including mud tubes, swarmer termite’s wings, termite droppings or other indicators. However, without a professional assessment you will not know for certain and may falsely presume that termites are non-existent. Expensive structural damage can occur to your property if these infestations are left unchecked, so a regular inspection regime not only provides comfort to occupants but greater certainty that the risk is being effectively managed by a qualified and licensed professional.
There are certain times when you should engage a professional termite inspector. Before you purchase a property, invest in a pest control assessment that covers termites. This will help you make an informed decision before you make a commitment to purchase a property that is ridden with termites. For a property that you own, regular check-ups as recommended by the termite controller can help to prevent infestations, eliminate existing infestations and avoid other pests infiltrating the property which may encourage termites to feast. Please note that pest inspections should not be completed in isolation, because a building inspection also helps to identify poor designs that can contribute to termite infestations.
We have developed the following termite inspection checklist to help you take active steps to prevent termite infestations or support in the elimination of an existing infestation. This checklist is by no means exhaustive, and there are always other innovative ways to help limit the likelihood of a termite infestation. Your termite controller will provide additional tips and advice which you should consider and implement in a timely manner.
Remove rotting wood
An ideal nesting ground for termites is in a tree, stump or piece of rotting wood. Discourage termites housing in sawn tree or stump matter on your property by removing them from your property immediately. The disposal of trees and stumps should be conducted in a secure and reliable manner so that no further damage is caused to the property or the garden. Rotting trees house a number of other harmful pests and can also be an unsightly feature in your garden. Check that rotting wood does not exist in the garage, shed, garden beds, behind shrubs or in other locations because termites will usually feast where wood is exposed to the environment and where moisture is present.
Maintain active ventilation
Your property will need to be well ventilated to avoid damp, humid and wet areas in and around your property. Ensure that your property is actively ventilated throughout with specific measures that have been designed to promote ventilation. Examples include adjustable windows, whirlybirds, position openings for cross-ventilation, encourage air movement and others. If your property is on stumps, make sure that the void underneath your house is ventilated and does not become a humid or damp space. Keep this void clear of debris and rubbish and ensure that a pest control company has treated that area thoroughly.
Replace building stumps
If your property is resting on stumps that have been infested by termites, replace them immediately. Termites will continue to feed and breed if left unchecked and they will move from one stump to another at a rapid rate. If an inspection reveals a stump has been attacked by termites, engage a professional to hoist the property, remove the stump and install a new concrete stump in its place. Concrete stumps are more reliable, provided greater durability and will not be attacked by termites.
Check plumbing and fittings
Ensure your property has watertight plumbing, gutters and downpipes. If moisture continuously ponds near wooden structures, an infestation is likely to occur. Make sure you look both inside and outside of your property. Common places to look include the bathroom, kitchen, laundry, and garden area. If you do suspect that water is leaking and causing wood to swell, this could be a sign that termites are nearby. If not, you are lucky and should immediately conduct repairs to avoid further damage to your property.
Remove unnecessary wooden items
Termites will feast on old furniture, wooden toys, slabs of wood left in a pile and other types of wooden items. If the items are not being used and are left out in the open without proper wrapping or protection, they can encourage termites to feast. Make sure that you securely dispose any wooden items that you do not need in case termites have commenced an infestation that you cannot see.
Seal entry points
If your property has aged and you notice gaps, cracks or crevices are forming in the wooden elements of your property, make sure you seal them well. Engage a specialist who can use the right materials to effectively seal the wooden elements from being exposed to the environment and pests. Even the slightest opening or gap will be detected by termites and they will not ask your permission before commencing their feast! Do not ignore these issues with your property and get them sorted immediately.
Avoid clutter in the garden
Mulch, plant clippings and other garden matter should be disposed or securely held in a safe container. Leaving loose plant matter around your garden can provide a comfortable nesting ground for termites. Plant matter does contain cellulose substances and will attract termites if left out for extended periods of time. Make sure you garden is free from unnecessary clutter and take steps to keep it clean on a regular basis.
If you notice that something does not look right at your home, do not ignore it. Whatever the reason might be, it is worth taking a look. If you notice that wood sounds hollow, has become brittle or flaky or has swelled due to moisture, this could be a sign that termites have infested the area or have since moved on to another part of your property. Do not ignore these signs and make sure that you pay good attention to these indicators and implement remedial action in a timely manner.
Seal or paint wooden elements
If your property has a deck, patio or other feature crafted from wood, invest in periodic painting or sealing. This will assist to limit infestations as the treatment will act as a barrier that discourages termites to feast. Not only will you keep pests away from your wooden features, you will protect the feature and help it look its best all year round.
Use thermal technology
Thermal technology allows an investigation of termites’ location without the need to make inspection holes in the wall or ceiling. Termites are crafty and hard to find. A non-invasive method of detection will ensure that your home is not exposed to decomposing termites. This not only saves time because you can accurately locate termites, but avoids repairs to the home as the process does not require inspection holes to be made.
At VIP Pest Control, we conduct thorough and comprehensive termite inspections. We understand that termites are nasty critters and that you want peace of mind they no longer exist at your home. We take all measures to ensure that we have identified all nests, swarms, tunnels and feeding areas to eliminate the entire colony including the queen termite. We also offer leading termite protection and control packages using infrared and thermal imaging technology to provide a non-invasive method of detection. This safeguards the structural integrity of your property and allows their technicians to provide a targeted response. Call a friendly technician on 1800 198 041 to secure your next booking.