Australian homeowners and business owners have been experiencing nightmares with termites in their premises. Whether it is in the home or inside a business premises, these pests can not only cause damage to the property, but can also hold influential power towards financial loss in terms of the property equity, cash flow and opportunity costs. For the unsuspecting homeowner, termites have been wielding the power to make contracts fall through or impact pricing negotiations that will further impact homeowner’s profits. The termites gnaw on wood, but will also gnaw into your wellbeing.
Termites have the power to impact home contracts.
In a survey that was conducted back in 2013, a staggering 74% of Australians said that they would disregard purchasing or living in a property if any termites were found. This strong reaction had come as a surprise to many of the experts in the industry. The identification of termites is a cause for concern, but it is the context of what damage they could potentially do that was has triggered alarm bells for property owners.
In a study conducted by Griffith University in the years 1999-2000, the Queensland department of housing spent $410,000 managing termite infestations in public housing. In the study, they concluded that termites will continue to remain a part of the urban environment in Australian cities and that innovative approaches will be required to manage the risk of infestation to properties.
Termite risk is a real concern among Australian property owners as there are more reports from property owners about termite attacks. It is important to educate future homeowners and property owners about the different systems that can impact termite risk management.
How to identify signs of termites in the property?
Early action and early intervention is the optimal way to manage termite infestations. Some of the things to look out for in terms of termite activity include:
- Termite droppings – which is also known as ‘Frass’. The droppings resemble sawdust and is very fine and varies in colour. If you notice signs of this in your home, it is likely that you have a termite infestation.
- Mud tubes – Are another sign that termites have taken up residence. They are constructed from mud and frass and can be seen both inside and outside of the home.
- Hollow spots in exposed wood – Is a sign that termites have been tunneling through the wood and causing damage.
What methods are available to get rid of termites?
Termite infestation is a problem that can cause serious health and financial damage to a property. There are methods that can help to prevent and eliminate termites. The following termite treatments are available:
- Chemical treatments such as liquid pesticides can be applied to the soil to act as a barrier around the wooden structures.
- Building materials can be infused with pesticides to kill any termites.
- Bait stations can be used such as a wet cardboard trap that will feed off the cellulose in the box, which can be burned.
- Parasitic nematode worms can be used. This is a termite food source that will destroy their link.
- Prevent any mulch or damp wood from being located close to the home.
- For extensive treatment, seek fumigation from a pest control expert.
Beware of the change in weather conditions.
Termite infestations can rise when there is an increase in rain. After the rain, termites tend to swarm together as they seek out damp wood that is easier to chew as a food source and for food storage.
Check out this story from A Current Affair where there were tenants living in an infested home and how much of a hazard the property was to the lodgers.
Pest controllers that visited the property described the scenario as being ‘horrific’. Furthermore, the extensive damage that was done to the home occurred over a period of twelve months.
Termites are one of the main culprits that can cause extensive damage to properties. The financial burden they can put the property owner under can be extensive and even worse; they can create a silent death trap. Look out for subtle signs and address any potential termite threats as early as possible.