Is your house being visited by some unwanted guests? Rentokil Pest expert Simon Lean, shares his practical tips on termite and pest protection.
For many Aussies, our homes are our biggest assets, and naturally we want to take care of them. As we come into summer, pests are also taking advantage of the warmer weather, particularly termites.
Shockingly, 25% of Aussie homes may be affected by termites in their lifetime and the damage is often not covered by home insurance. With almost half the population actively reducing the number of chemicals they use around the home, homeowners are facing the dilemma of how to prevent termites in their homes without the use of chemicals. Luckily, there are a few things you can do.
1. Know your enemy
It’s important to know what you’re up against! Termites are one of the most common household pests, and one of the most destructive. Their prime source of food is timber, both in and around the home. Brick homes on concrete slabs are also at risk of termite attack – cracks in the concrete and weepholes are access points for termites into the home’s internal timber walls and floors.
2. Look for signs of termites around your home
There are a few tell-tale signs you can use to determine if you’ve got termites:
* The most obvious is swarms offlying termite alates (it looks like a flying white ant that’s often mistaken for moths), which indicate that a colony of termites may be close or have entered the home.
* You should also keep an eye out for small piles of papery wings, or other debris around or inside the home and look out for cracked or distorted paint on wood, hollow sounding timber and mud-tubes on foundation walls.
3. Make your home less ‘termite friendly’
Despite their destructive nature, there are steps you can take to prevent termites around the home:
* Remove debris, especially wood, from against the home and under the house – this will take away their food source.
* Close up any cracks in the foundation of your home, fix broken roof tiles and leaking downpipes as these can provide an attraction and entry point for termites.
* Fix any leakages from your hot water system, plumbing and air conditioning units, as termites are attracted to the moisture and warmth these provide.
* Keep garden mulch and garden beds away from foundations, as termites tend to forage in these areas too.
4. Have an annual termite inspection
The CSIRO recommends a termite inspection at least once a year. Termite inspections act as an early warning system; an experienced and qualified termite expert will inspect each room and wall in your home as well as the roof, sub-flooring and outdoor areas for signs of termites. Your termite expert will also identify any risks around your home and give you recommendations for termite prevention. Early detection is much cheaper than paying for extensive damage repair later!
5. Invest in a safe, non-chemical termite barrier
Over 70% of Australians are concerned about chemicals in and around the home, and their impact to safety of children and pets. However, there’s now no need to put off a termite treatment (or any other pest treatment) if you’re concerned about chemicals. Rentokil has added a new termite treatment to their suite of options. It’s safe for children, pets and the environment, acting as a protective barrier to stop termites feeding within hours.