The Tell Tale Signs of Termite Infestation

by Darren K. Thompson

After a careful analysis of Melbourne, as well as Sydney, Archicentre Limited revealed the shocking results of just how termite damage affects Australia. The company, who holds the capacity of building advisory service within the RAIA(Royal Australian Institute of Architects, conducted research over a two year span in order to help in developing criteria for building inspection, data collection, and data reporting.

The Archicentre Pest inspection service was started in 2005 in Melbourne, and in Sydney in 2006, which will gain a better understanding of the aspects of timber pest attacks every where in Australia.

Of the 80,000 reports analyzed and examined, there was no doubt left that Australian homes have seen a definite rise in termite infections and infestations. Of the date collected, it was determined that in the warmer areas of Australia there were more opportunities for termites than in that of the cooler areas. This meant that warmer areas needed more protection from termites.

Queensland has the highest termite infestation in Australia with an 11% increase in termite attacks. ACT and New South Wales as well as South Australia all come 2nd at 9% increase – still alarmingly high. Victoria has an 8% increase in termites, and Western Australia has had a 5% increase.

In the year 2006, it cost on average $2,500 to treat a termite infected home. While expensive, it was still far better than what it would cost to repair an infested home, which could cost around $4,500 or more depending upon the area in which you live.

Some things to look for in determining weather you have termites would be to check for mud over concrete bearers, and stumps. Checking around the wood of your homes sub floor to see if there is any damage. You should also check all around the home about a foot or so up, to look for other signs of termites, then walk around the inside of the home checking the same way as you did on the outside.

Termites seem to be the most active if a home is surrounded by lots of trees. Homes that were built 30 year ago or older are often more likely to have termite infestation. Many home owners however create virtual termite attractions. For instance the way a home owner landscapes their home, making untreated wood and the like a very enticing meal for some prospective and hungry termites. Things such as old logs around the lawn, or non treated wood fence posts are likely termite attractors. Putting mulch around the home all the way against the wall of the home may also cause a termite attack.

If you have firewood that you like to store in your shed to keep dry when not in use, the termites are not going to be hungry for very long. However, using treated wood or concrete slabs is not your only defense as well. Termites are smart, they can smell or spot wood in even the tiniest places, after all, they are not that big.

Unless you have made arrangements for a pest control company to check the home on a regular basis, termites will more than likely enter your home.

One last idea, this is especially for prospective home buyers, always make sure that you bring out a pest control company to do an inspection before you buy. This could actually save you thousands in unwanted and unnecessary repairs.

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