The Damage Deterrent – How to Avoid Termite Infestations

in Home Improvement

In recent years, Victoria has experienced an increasingly bad termite problem, which is not good news for homeowners. Ideal weather conditions have come together to create the perfect environment for termites to explore and breed. When there has been a wet spring and there is additional moisture, termites can tunnel easier and do more damage.

Termites can destroy your house in a matter of months if they are not discovered and eradicated. In fact, these pesky pests cause more damage to homes than fires, floods, and storms combined. The thought of termites taking over your home and causing expensive and often irreversible structural damage is not pleasant. Homeowners need to exercise caution and termite control in Melbourne to ensure any problems are addressed quickly.

Let’s take a look at a few useful tips you can use to ensure you avoid termite infestation in your home.

What Exactly Is A Termite?

Termites are soft-bodied insects, which are small in size, about the size of a match head. They have a well-ordered social system whereby the worker termite digests the wood, regurgitating it later to pass to the rest of the colony.

In Melbourne, subterranean termites are common. These termites live underground, needing humidity and a temperature ranging between 25°C and 35°C to survive and breed. Melbourne has an average humidity of 66%, which is quite high, meaning termites generally thrive from late spring to early autumn.

What is Making Melbourne’s Termite Problem Worse?

Global warming is the first thing that comes to mind as termites thrive in the heat. Too much building in the suburbs also contributes as trees are cut down to make space for homes, which in effect, provide the termites with a food source to attack. Another factor is water conservation methods, which sometimes use mulch, another food source for termites.

How Do You Know If You Have Termites?

Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to know if you have termites until they have done a significant amount of damage. What you need to look out for are floorboards, which seem to be breaking easily, cracks in wood or plaster, mud-like dust around electrical sockets, and leaking water systems. These can all be telltale signs that you have a termite infestation and need to take action immediately.

How to Prevent Termites Attacking Your Home

Moisture attracts termites, so if you have a basement, check it to make sure there isn’t any moisture down there. This is an ideal place for termites to breed so it needs to be ventilated and dry, as does your attic and any crawlspaces you may have throughout your home. If you have any problems with your plumbing, it’s crucial that you sort them out quickly as leaks can encourage termites. Likewise, make sure that rainwater flows away from your house so check your gutters every so often to make sure they are free of any debris. Finally, be aware that a dripping air conditioning unit will encourage termites so be sure to keep an eye on your AC unit.

Check your home for gaps around water and gas lines and seal them, as this is a very common way for termites to get into your house. Also, it’s important to ensure that any wood in your house is a minimum of six inches above the ground and that the timber is treated with anti-termite protection. If you are buying wood for any DIY projects, always check for termites before bringing it home.

Keep Your Home Termite Free

When it comes to termites, prevention is always better than cure. It often takes a while before a termite infestation can be recognised and by then, most of the damage will already be done. Take steps to ensure that your home is less attractive to termites by sealing up any cracks and ensuring that you remove any excess moisture from key areas of your home. By taking the right precautionary steps, you will give your home a better chance against termite infestation.

Image Credits: Homesteading

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