Termites, what you need to know

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Termites need 3 things… Food, shelter and moisture.

Here is my story:
We had a Queenslander with a great space under the house. It was mostly concreted with a section of dirt.
To give us more space for all of our stuff, we put lino over the dirt section and then put a pile of various timbers (raised of course) over the lino (nice and safe from termites).
On the concreted section we had various timber furnishings; bookshelves, wardrobes and even a bed frame, nicely placed against the back wall under the house.

Essentially – what I have just described was a termite wonderland, they had it all. The lino on the dirt stopped it drying out after rains and kept it beautifully moist all year round. The pile of wood was raised, but this was no barrier. The various pieces of furniture where perfect feeding grounds. But the piece de resistance. The bookshelves against the wall gave the termites a hidden passage up into the house where they were also having a good feed!

It was amazing. When we pulled up the lino it was riddled with termite canals, and behind the bookshelves were truly impressive mud tunnels. The furniture, well, it looked perfect on the outside but fell apart when we moved it!
My point – there are some things you should know about creating good conditions for termites. One of those is that they need a moisture source.

Perfect for this are:

  • Leaking taps in the yard
  • Downpipes that don’t lead into soakwells or drains
  • Underground pipes which are cracked and leaking
  • Areas of dirt that aren’t exposed to sunlight and are covered so as to hold in moisture
  • Leaking gutters (full of leaf matter or rusted due to age)

Don’t create a termite wonderland – our only saving grace was that the quantity of food under the house had slowed their progress into the house itself! But the whole thing could have been prevented by keeping under the house clear and getting regular pest inspections.

August 20 2019 - 08:43 AM