Termites can be a serious problem. They can cause a lot of damage to the home, and other buildings in the area. In this article, we will look at what termites are, how they can infest the home, and ways to eradicate them.
Are There Termites in Tasmania?
There are approximately 350 native and non-native species of termites in Australia. Forty of these species are known to be very destructive, and invasive. While some claim there is no risk of structural damage from termites in Tasmania, one in four homes is damaged by termites, mostly from damp wood termites.
Businesses offering termite control in Hobart often find that the damage can be quite extensive when termites are present.
While this can be a cause for alarm, the problem is that there was probably a risk to the building structure already, and the termites have just taken advantage of the problem.
Signs of Termites in Tasmania
There are several signs that there are termites in your home. These include the following:
Termite soldiers make a clicking sound in the wall as they warn others in the colony of the dangers around them. Another sound you might be able to hear is the munching noise of the workers, who can be heard on the other side of the wall if you put your ear to the wall
Usually, the first sign that you will have a termite infestation is seeing a flying termite in your home. These are known as swarmers or alates. They can be male or female that have left their previous nest and are looking to create a new colony, which can be near or on your property.
Some species will swarm at night, others after it has rained. It often depends on the time of year. If you’ve missed the flying display, you might not miss the discarded wings, which are cut loose after they’ve found a mate.
Many people confuse ants with termites. The big difference is the colours. Termites are white, which is why sometimes they are known as white ants. If you see small brown or black insects, these are ants, if they’re white then they are termites.
In either case, you need to try and get rid of the pest, but the potential damage from the insects can be different.
Papery or Hollow Sounding Timber
Termites consume wood from the inside. Therefore, they leave a thin veneer of timber of just the paint you used to decorate. When you can hear hollow or papery sounds from knocking on your walls, this can be a sign that termites are around.
Tight Fitting Doors/Windows
While damp is usually the main cause of this, it can also be the problem caused by termites who create moisture when they eat and tunnel in the door/window frames. So, if it is harder to open or close the windows or doors in your home, you could have an infestation.
Another key sign of these pets is frass, otherwise known as termite droppings. These are usually left by drywood termites, as they don’t use their droppings to build nests and tunnels, but instead pile them near entrances to their nests. These small black marks are the key site of their infestation.
How to Get Rid of Termites in Tasmania
You must consider how to prevent and get rid of termites on your property. Termites might be small insects, but they can cause significant problems. Worse, financially they can ruin households as insurance companies will not usually cover repairs.
So here are some options for prevention and cure.
Store Wood Away from the Home
The first thing that you should do is to remove any wood that is lying around from the property’s walls. Termites will often infest a home by finding wood. This can be the same for any soil, like planters.
If you have any wooden structures that go into the ground, it is best that you remove them and replace them with a metal or plastic structure. Or you could encase them in the ground with cement which will make it less likely to be the cause of an infestation.
Use Termite Traps
Termite traps are a poison that is sent back to the nest, which are designed to kill the queen termite, which will then result in a significant reduction of the nest. However, some species of termites can survive and breed a new queen before the nest dies out.
Therefore, you might need to continuously treat the area until all the termites are gone.
Keep the House Dry
Moisture attracts termites just as much as wood. Therefore, you want to ensure you don’t have leaks in the home, or have good humidity controls. By making the area dry, you’re making it hard for the termites to breathe in the home, and they won’t come in.
Avoid Landscaping Close to the Home
One of the best protections is to create a concrete moat around your home and not do any landscaping around the home. This creates a barrier that the termites cannot gain access to. Therefore, you can find that termites are less likely to access the home.
Regularly Conduct Surveys
Another important element is to ensure that you have regular surveys done of your home. Find humid or leaking pipes, find potential access points, and perhaps check to see if termites have accessed your home. By conducting these surveys early on and regularly, you can prevent a small infestation from becoming a large problem in the future.
Surveys can be done by you, or they can be done by a professional. However, it is recommended that they’re done every six months at most.
Final Word: Termites in Tasmania
Termites in Tasmania can be a significant issue, but not one that is completely free from trouble. Instead, you need to be vigilant and protect your home from potential problems by being aware of the risks and knowing the signs. If there is an infestation, quick action can save your home.