Here in Brisbane, Ipswich and the Gold Coast, the termite problem is as common as it is in much of the world. They are by far the biggest pest threat to the lumber and framing in your house that exists.
House frame damage can seriously weaken its structural strength. If left unaddressed, the frame damage can actually make the dwelling unsafe for habitation.
The sooner homeowners respond to this potential threat the better off they are. Catching the infestation early is the key to minimizing their damage.
The cost to repair the skeletal structure or framing damage to a home is amazingly high. Over the years, we here at Bennetts Services Pest Control have seen firsthand the extent and expense termites have caused.
We offer this information as an educational courtesy to alert unsuspecting homeowners of the reasons termites are attracted to homes.
We hope they will act before their houses become infected with this destructive pest. Check for these commonalities that signal termite invasions. Eliminating or at least addressing these causes helps tremendously.
Termites are subterranean which means they live in the soil. Like every living thing, they need water to survive. They are attracted to soil that is damp since that is their ideal environment. Damp soil also helps them make their ideal tunneling substance, mud.
Walk the perimeter of your dwelling and look for moisture near the house. Pay special attention to the area within one or two feet of the house foundation. Inspect for any old water stains and evidence that water has recently settled and dried next to the house.
Plumbing leaks are one of the most common causes for standing water, and standing water will keep the soil wet. Termites can sense and find wet soil.
Check the plumbing in your house first by searching out moist or wet spots in the soil directly beneath your water pipes.
Keep in mind that some water leaks are water-use leaks. The pipes servicing them do not leak until they get used. Check under sinks for leaks with the water running. Have someone flush the commode while you are looking directly at the commode plumbing under the floor.
Poorly prepared building sites usually have rain drainage issues. If you have ever wondered why homes and buildings are built on flat mounds of packed soil, this is why. Builders construct on elevated earth to give the structure sufficient drainage.
Without drainage, water accumulates around foundations. This causes premature sinking. Sinking causes cracks, and cracks are open-door invitations for pests. Damp cracks in foundations draw termites like magnets.
Stagnant Air or Weak Air Flow
Crawl spaces need ventilation. This ventilation keeps the air moving underneath the house. Moving air helps keep these spaces dry, and dry soil is basically a desert to the termites who need moisture to thrive.
Check your foundation for proper and sufficient ventilation. You should have a vent about every six to eight feet depending upon the structure type, where it is located and the general climate.
Firewood that is stacked on the ground, or even near the ground is a potential haven for termites. Termites feast on most types of wood. Think of wood as the termite’s filet mignon; they love it so much they eat little else.
Leaving firewood stacked on the ground for extended times, as in over the summer, is very likely to attract termite colonies. Check your stored wood for any bore signs or dirt trails.
Old Tree Stumps and Construction Lumber
Tree stumps left to rot in the yard can harbor termites. If you have tree stumps, especially stumps near the house, get rid of them.
Old, unused construction lumber left long enough is also a termite home source. We have seen termites infest construction lumber left on the ground and near the house within days.
Wood Products Like Paper
Termites not only love wood, they love it so much, they consume anything that has wood in it. Paper is a wood-based product. Do not store old newspapers and other wood products in crawl spaces or garages. Termites will find them, and then the destruction starts.
The professionals at Bennetts hope this article has been eye-opening for unsuspecting homeowners. The threat and damage pests like termites pose can be costly if ignored.