When the warm weather arrives in the springtime, it brings with it 'swarmers'. Swarmers are flying termites, leaving their colony in search of mates and a potential new home. This can be bad news for you if you have wooden structures around your house and wood within it.
Left undetected and untreated, a colony of termites can wreak structural havoc on your property, leading to expensive repairs. Inside your home, termites can live in your flooring, in your roof space, and even behind your wallpaper. Outside your house, they can set up colonies in woodpiles, garden sheds, and even in your caravan or boat.
The most effective and proven way to get rid of a termite infestation is to hire a reputable local pest control firm. Although there are some DIY termite control products on the market, they are generally not fully effective, and it really is best to call in the professionals.
In the meantime, there are plenty of practical steps that you can take to prevent termites from invading your home.
Reduce moisture and damp
Termites thrive in damp environments. Damp wood and paper is particularly appealing as it is easy for the termites to chew through.
Check your home for damp, particularly in places such as your basement and loft space where moisture may go unnoticed and treat it accordingly.
Make sure that you have no leaking taps or pipework behind the walls or under the floorboards inside your home. Look at exterior air conditioning units too, as these can leak undetected, causing damp to appear on the inside walls.
Check your roof for damage
Swarmers can find an entry point to your home via your roof. Carry out an inspection to make sure that fascias and soffits are in good condition, and make any repairs that are required. If you discover any rotten roof shingles, replace them immediately.
Inspect all guttering for leaks
Leaking guttering and blocked or broken downspouts can cause water to be misdirected onto the walls of your home or underneath the roof, causing a serious damp problem. Make it a routine maintenance task to check all these areas and repair as necessary.
Check all exterior wood
Look at your windows (if they have wooden frames or sills) for signs of rot and reseal or replace as necessary.
Similarly, check all exterior wooden doors and other structures for damp or rot and treat or replace as required.
Tap wooden structures or boards. The sound should be dull. A hollow sound could indicate that termites have penetrated the structure.
Check for signs of termite activity
Have a good look around the perimeter of your home where the walls meet the ground for signs of mud tubes. These tubes are used by termites to gain access to your home.
Place a barrier of stones or concrete between the soil and the wooden portions of your property to discourage termites, and store firewood at least 20 metres away from the house.
If you spot any signs of termite activity around your home, ask a registered pest controller to carry out an inspection, just in case.