Signs of a termite infestation in your home
What are termites?
Termites are the hungry, silent destroyers that thrive in your home or garden and are considered the most destructive timber pests in the world. Also known as ‘White Ants’, termites are just a plain nuisance to homeowners! Unfortunately, Victoria is a high-risk location for these pests due to the climate plus the build-up of urban areas and the damage is increasing with the use of softwoods and hardwood timber mulch that termites crave.
Warning signs of a termite infestation
What are the signs of a termite infestation? Termites are hard to spot as they mostly live in the walls of your home or underground, but there are a few things to look for:
o Termite droppings that look like wood pellets, also known as frass
o Discarded wings of the same size near an opening point to your house
o Strange patterns or bits of mud in the plasterwork
o Any cracked or bubbling paint
o Sagging floors
o Hollow sounding wood, that may induce a dint easily
o Clicking sounds coming from your walls (they are noisy eaters)
A home buyers worst nightmare:
A recent visit to a home in an inner suburb of Melbourne saw no immediate signs of termite damage after checking the house internally. With further investigation in the subfloor, live and active termites were found travelling up the concrete stump and attacking the subfloor timbers. The homebuyers were in their worst nightmare with major structural damage having been caused by the attack.
How much damage can termites cause?
Termite damage can make homes unlivable without expensive repairs. Across Australia, termites have caused more damage to homes than fires, floods and storms put together.
It’s not just homes constructed mainly of wood that are threatened by termites. Homes that are made with plaster or metal siding for example can see termites traverse the surfaces to find wooden furniture, ceilings, cabinets and floors to feed on.
New homes are also susceptible to termite destruction. If a neighboring area is subject to termite infestations it can take only 3 months of the wall and roofing timbers of the new construction to be destroyed. New suburbs, however, are less likely to see termite infestations until after 10 years after establishment.
How to prevent termites?
Termites are a constant threat to homes and are particularly active in the spring and early summer months. To help prevent your home from termites there are a few things you can do. The main area involves removing moisture:
o Repair leaky taps, pipes or air conditioning units
o Ventilate all possible subfloor areas
o Keep gutters, vents and roof clean
o Remove excessive wood mulch and plant cover
The second area involves removing the termites’ food sources such as
o Moving firewood or paper away from house foundation
o Remove stumps near house
o Check decks and wooden fences for any signs of damage
o Ensure Vents are kept clear
Termites love moisture and dampness, therefore if their food source is close to water then the conditions are perfect.
What to do if you have termites?
It is important to not try and get rid of termites yourself. If not done properly termites can just move to another place in the house if they feel disturbed. If you have stumbled upon any of the warning signs and would like to identify the termites he best thing to do is contact a professional immediately and get them to come and inspect your house.
To stop the marching termites in their tracks, schedule a Timber Pest Inspection with Bayside House Inspections to help diagnose the issue, assess the level of damage and advise you on the next steps.
Spotted! Termites under the subfloor (and spiders)