Termites, Heights, and Woody Roof Delights: How Termites Can Gain Access to Your Roof

  • 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.

Dry-wood Termites Gain Entry Via Trees and Flight

The dry-wood species of termite, unlike other species, does not need the comfort and moisture that soil provides. Dry-wood termites often invade homes from above the ground, and you should protect your roof from termites.

Dry-wood Termites Can Invade from Nearby Trees

The native Australian dry-wood termite generally builds its nests above ground and often in the dead branches of trees. These nests can be hard to see, particularly if the branches are high up and hidden amongst a tree's foliage.

Although dry-wood termite colonies are small, only containing roughly 200 termites, with around 10 soldiers, they will invade a roof if access is made possible by overhanging branches. One way you can protect your roof from termites is by pruning overhanging branches.

Dry-wood Termites Can Invade from the Air

On warm, damp evenings, a mature dry-wood termite colony will release winged alates that fly up into the air to reproduce. After mating they find a suitable location to create a new colony.

Even if your roof is relatively dry with clear guttering, it still might provide a favourable location for a new nesting site as dry-wood termites don't require much moisture.

If the termites land on your roof, it won't be long before roof beams, rafters and eaves become home to a budding dry-wood termite colony. You should inspect your attic and roof regularly to look for signs of termites.

Subterranean Termites Can Reach Your Rooftop

One of the worst termite species for homeowners is the subterranean species, especially the highly voracious Formosan termite. If an established subterranean termite colony gains access to your home, it may only be a matter of months before they cause extensive damage.

However, unlike dry-wood termites, subterranean termites require humidity and moisture. If your guttering is clogged with woody debris such as leaves and twigs, and water has seeped into your roof space, this creates the perfect conditions for a sub-colony. The termites still have to find a way up to your roof, however. Clean your gutters to prevent termite damage.

Subterranean Termites Can Invade from Mud Tubes

Unfortunately, if termites can do so, and in an area that is hidden, such as under siding, subterranean termites will build a mud tube up your wall to your roof. Once there, they can thrive in the humid conditions provided by the moisture and heat available.

Check Your Attic for Signs of Infestation

If you live in an area known to be inhabited by termites, you should check your home and attic frequently for termite damage.  Your roof and the conditions it provides, as well as the privacy it offers, can serve as the ideal habitat for a termite colony.

Check the outer walls of your home for mud tunnels and prune any overhanging branches away from your roof. If you suspect that your roof has become home to a termite colony, you need an  experienced termite control expert  to inspect your home. Once the species of termite has been identified, the threat can be swiftly dealt with before the termites do any more damage. 

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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