5 Gardening Practices that Encourage Termites to Invade Your Home

  • By Tonya Davis
  • 17 Oct, 2017

While out digging in your garden this spring, be aware that you might not be the only one excavating the soil under your feet. There could a subterranean termite nest nearby and you wouldn't even know it—at least not until you do something that attracts their attention.

Termites are forever foraging in all directions looking for their next meal. In fact, even if a termite nest that is located three properties away, your gardening practices could still act as a dinner bell to a nest’s ever-roaming workers.

If you use gardening practices that provide both wood and moisture, your home could be on the brink of invasion. This guide discusses five gardening practices you should avoid because they invite termites to your home.

1. Incorrectly Applying Mulch

Mulch comprised of woodchip or bark can attract foraging termites. When mulch is laid on the ground, not only does it provide food for termites, but it also creates a moist and humid environment. These are the ideal conditions for termites. As they travel through their tunnels under the soil, they sense moisture and heat. At short distances, they also detect decaying wood.

If mulch is placed up against the foundation of a home or any wooden structure, woodchip mulch will provide termites with a bridge that they can use to invade a home or building. Similarly, mulch also gives termites a safe crossing over chemically treated soil that the termites would otherwise not be able to cross.

By using woodchip that contains natural insect repellent, such as tea tree, and keeping mulch away from the permitter of your home, you can prevent a termite invasion.

2. Planting in the Wrong Location

Plants or shrubs planted next to a home will have a similar effect to mulch. Once they grow large enough, the branches and leaves on plants and shrubs will come into contact with a home's siding, providing termites easy access to that home.

Plants should be about 500 mm  from the foundation. This stops termites from bypassing the chemical barrier while at the same time giving mature plants more sunlight. Larger shrubs and trees should be kept even further away from the foundations.

3. Allowing Vines to Grow on Your Home

Vines and climbing plants should not be permitted to grow on the walls of your home. Tunneling termites will use the vines to access all areas of a building. The termites will be concealed in the shadow provided by the climbing vines.

4. Using Wooden Borders to Edge Your Beds

Termites eat wood, so when Australian gardeners use wooden borders to landscape their gardens, they are inviting termites over for breakfast, dinner and lunch. Unfortunately, their home could end up as the dessert.

5. Leaving Sprinklers to Soak the Soil Near Your Foundation

When sprinklers soak the ground around the foundation of a home, the ideal conditions are created for termite infestation. Termites require moisture and wood and if the soil around your home is drenched by your sprinklers, nearby termites will investigate.

The same goes for the walls of your home. Moisture-laden walls, especially timber walls, could bring a horde of termites to your home.

Choose Your Termite Inspection Company Wisely

When buying a new home, ensure that you hire a termite inspector to check for termite activity. Many homes have been purchased without a thorough inspection, and then the new owners realize there is extensive termite damage.

If you are buying a new property or are worried that your home is about to come under attack from a nearby termite colony, you need a reputable and experienced termite inspection service. The professionals at Expect the Best Pty Ltd serve the Sunshine Coast and can provide termite inspections, termite control services and more. Contact their team today. 

Why is my home attracting Termites?

By Tonya Davis 17 Oct, 2017

While out digging in your garden this spring, be aware that you might not be the only one excavating the soil under your feet. There could a subterranean termite nest nearby and you wouldn't even know it—at least not until you do something that attracts their attention.

Termites are forever foraging in all directions looking for their next meal. In fact, even if a termite nest that is located three properties away, your gardening practices could still act as a dinner bell to a nest’s ever-roaming workers.

If you use gardening practices that provide both wood and moisture, your home could be on the brink of invasion. This guide discusses five gardening practices you should avoid because they invite termites to your home.

By Tonya Davis 27 Sep, 2017
When you live in a country that is inhabited by over 350 species of termite, it is wise to ensure that your home is protected from its foundation to its shingles. While only about 20 of those species can severely damage your home, these species cause more combined damage than  fires" target="_top">fires , floods and storms

Modern homes are now constructed with built-in termite barriers, and homeowners are taking more precautions than ever before.

However, if your home provides enough heat, moisture and delicious wood, nearby termites will stop at nothing to get to it. One area of the home that often goes unguarded and unnoticed is the roof. Whether subterranean or dry-wood termites, if the conditions are right, these pests can and will cause severe damage to your home.
By Tonya Davis 15 Aug, 2017
Are you planning to sell your home? Your to-do list is probably pretty long already, but there's one important job you can't afford to ignore: arranging a termite inspection.
By Tonya Davis 26 Jul, 2017

As a home owner, you understand how potentially serious a termite infestation can be. What you may not know is how qualified exterminators  inspect domestic buildings.

Unfortunately, in some cases, home owners inexperience leads to them accepting inspections that aren't as thorough as they should be.

In this blog, we guide you through the inspection process so that you know what to expect as an exterminator identifies and evaluates any termite problems in your home.

By Tim Flinders 15 Jun, 2017
Termites are one of the largest threats to residential properties throughout Australia. Experts estimate that two of every three homes will have a termite problem at one point and that one in every three homes currently has termites.

This high attack rate means that termite infestation is one of the most overall costly problems facing Australian home owners. In 2012, reports showed that termite damage repair and removal costs averaged 1.5 billion dollars each year.

If you live in Queensland specifically, your home is considered to be at extreme risk for termite infestation.

In this blog, we discuss the primary types of costs that termite damage can have.
By Tonya Davis 09 Jun, 2017
Termites are surprisingly common in Australia, but many homeowners don’t worry too much about them, thinking that they aren’t that much of a threat. However, you may not realize just how much money they could cost you.

It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to termites. Learn how likely you are to get an infestation, the true costs of damage and what you can do to prevent problems.
By Tonya Davis 21 Mar, 2017

Our weather conditions here on the Sunshine Coast make our climate one of the most inviting to termites. Because the Sunshine Coast has high humidity, high temperatures and no real cold snaps, the termite activity and numerous destructive species here mean that we have to be on the lookout for termite trouble all year round.

Termites are perhaps the most secretive and destructive type of insect that commonly infests homes. Termites primarily live, travel and eat through the inner layers of timber, so they can be difficult to spot.

In this blog, we list seven warning signs that may actually be visible in your home.

1. Mud Trails

While termites spend most of their lives inside wooden structures, they may create entrances and exits that are sometimes visible to the human eye. You may observe mud trails (termite galleries) at times, but more often, live termites will conceal themselves in the structural timbers of wall cavities or below ground level.

2. Hollow Timber

When termites eat timber, they may consume the inner layers of the wood without damaging the outermost layer. If you suspect that your home may have termites, lightly tap the suspect timbers with a solid object.

Hollow timber will sound empty and create a dull thudding noise. Taps on termite-damaged wood will sound different than taps on any other wooden surface in your home.

3. Insect Swarms

If you notice swarms of what look like flying ants around light fixtures in your home, these winged insects may actually be termites (alates). A swarm of alates indicates that a termite colony has matured and some of the insects are leaving to establish new termite nests.

Swarms are most likely to occur during damp or humid conditions. If you can, catch one of these insects for a professional termite identification. Termites look distinctly different from other common flying insects like ants and beetles.

For example, termites tend to be a lighter color than other common insects and have no discernible 'waist', unlike most ant species.

The termites that you may see swarming are the insects in the colony capable of reproduction. When these swarms leave an established colony to find a new place to settle, they intentionally shed their wings upon landing since they will no longer need to fly.

You may notice piles of insect wings around your interior or exterior walls if your home has become newly infested by a colony of termites.

4. Paint Damage

If you have a termite infestation, the termite activities may become visible due to paint warping. Specifically, you may notice that your paint begins to look malformed, bumpy or stained or to feel spongy when touched.

This malformation occurs when the wood underneath the paint has been consumed or weakened to the point that the timber no longer supports the shape of the paint.

5. Pinpoint Holes

When termites have built up in sufficient numbers behind your wall linings, you may see pinpoint holes on the wall surface. These holes are usually blocked up with termite muddings on closer inspection.

6. Sagging Floors

One of the most significant threats of a termite infestation is that the damage will affect a home's structural stability. If you have termites in your flooring or subfloor for a long period of time, your walking surface may change dramatically.

You may observe sagging, sponging, creaking and crumbling in the affected areas.

7. Cracked or Warped Wall Linings

The presence of cracked or warped walls or ceilings may be an indication that the structural integrity of your home has been compromised.

If you notice any combination of these termite warning signs, schedule a termite inspection  as soon as possible. 
By Expect the Best 22 Dec, 2016

They destroyed a house in Buderim, see our last post

By Expect the Best 21 Dec, 2016

Termites turn roof timbers to sawdust: Termite expert Ben Herbert reveals extensive damage in the roof of a Sunshine Coast home. 

IF YOU thought the revelation this week a Buderim home was declared uninhabitable because of termite damage was an isolated incident - you would be wrong.

Sunshine Coast pest inspector Ben Herbert, from Expect the Best termite experts, said he was called out all the time.

"Once, every couple of months, a home on the Sunshine Coast is declared uninhabitable," Mr Herbert said.

Most, thankfully, can be rescued without knocking the entire home down, but it comes at a considerable cost.

Mr Herbert sent through a video of a pest inspection in a roof cavity. At first glance it looked perfectly normal.

But a gentle tap from Mr Herbert and the wooden truss holding the roof up crumbled like a piece of dry bread.

"It's been a very long season this year, mostly because it has been so warm," Mr Herbert said.

"When I talk to other pest controllers on the Sunshine Coast, they are also very busy."

Mr Herbert said most people - as in the case of the 12 Raintrees Ct, Buderim home owners - are blissfully unaware their most valuable asset is being destroyed bite by bite.

"In less than 5% of cases there is evidence of termite activity where they will come out into open views," he said.

"Mostly it happens underground. That is why brick veneer homes on a concrete slab are so vulnerable. You can't go underneath and see what is going on."

And if you can hear them, you know you are in deep trouble.

"Occasionally can hear them, when they have built up in large numbers the soldiers in it bang their heads on the side of units and that makes a rattle."

Mr Herbert said it only happened "once every year or couple of years" that he saw a home that had to be demolished.

This week along he has had three "active" termite calls.

Source:  http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/watch-coast-roof-crumbles-from-termite-damage/3042127/

By Website Team Technicians 15 Dec, 2016

Termites are a perennial problem for many Australian homeowners. Sunshine Coast homes are particularly vulnerable to termite attacks due to our warm climate and the high population of subterranean termites along the state's coast, but any home built from timber is at risk of termite infestation. However, some homes seem to suffer from more frequent attacks than others.

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