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Pest control inspections focus mainly on termites being present in the timber frame of your home and we are all aware of the costs and effects of termite damage but what if you’re worried about termites in your garden?

Termites thrive in warm, damp, plant filled environments so it is more than likely that there may be some lurking in your trees and plant beds.

Here are the key signs your garden is attracting termites:

#1. Mud tubes:

Termites build tunnels of faeces and soil to protect themselves from the elements and connect their nests and food sources. The tubes look like thin muddy pencils and are normally visible on dense outdoor material like concrete or brickwork.

They can also been seen on woodwork such as decking, pagodas or fencing which provide a walkway right into your home or on the bark of trees which surround your property. To determine whether the tunnels are active you can break a part of the tunnel and wait to see if it is rebuilt. If the tunnel gets fixed there are live and active termites and probably a nearby nest.

#2. Dead or dying trees:

We all know piles of firewood, mulch or wood chips draw termites to our properties but we forget that trees are the biggest attraction. As trees grow and age they accumulate dead wood and branches which provide a perfect place for termites to build nests. If your older trees appear to be lifeless, dry or dying there is a good chance that the termites have got to them.

Trying to cut back or chop down trees is not an effective way of getting rid of termites as they are still attracted to the rotting roots and stump. It is best to call in a professional team to get to the root of the problem.

As termites have been part of the Australian ecological system for over a billion years some of our plants have adapted and repel termites. However some still act as an attraction and so you should be extra vigilant if you have fruit trees or pines growing on your property.

#3. Tree stump swarmers:

Swarmers are the winged adult form of termites that establish new colonies, normally on damp rotting tree stumps. They look very similar to flying ants and are usually spotted during daylight hours

termite-swarmers

termite swarmers on tree stump

in the Spring and Autumn seasons. If you have stumps in your garden make sure you check them regularly as swarmers are a very clear early sign that you have an infestation.

Killing swarmers will not eliminate your termite problem as they are only a small part of the whole colony but keeping track of when and where you see them will help a professional team in assessing your overall infestation.

#4. D.I.Y Termite testing:

 

It is estimated that termite damage affects around 200,000 Australian homes annually so it is good to keep an eye out for signs of termites before they reach your home.

A cheap, easy and effective way of testing for termites is to bury empty toilet rolls tubes in different spots around your garden. Termites will be attracted to the cellulose molecules present in thin cardboard and will cluster inside so digging up the toilet roll tubes after a few days is an easy way to see if termites have gathered.

The best way to protect your home and your family is to always be aware of your surroundings and to remember that your garden is a living, breathing early warning alarm for your property. If you see these signs in your garden you should contact a professional as soon as possible.

If you’ve seen these signs or others in your garden please let us know how you dealt with them in the comments below.