Every year termites cause more damage to Australian properties than floods, fires and storms combined.
Termites are the biggest threat to our homes and they are also one of the most expensive problems for homeowners to deal with.
The average cost of repairing the damage caused by a termite infestation is around $7000 which will come straight out of your own pocket…
This is because unlike floods, fires or storms termite damage is not covered by most insurance companies.
Seriously, check your home insurance policy!
It is very unlikely your home insurance provides any protection against damage caused by termites.
Termite damage is also difficult to repair as it’s often scattered throughout your home so multiple areas may need attention.
It can also be hard to gauge how bad damage is without completely removing the termite damaged wood which adds expense and time to any repair work.
Even the handiest of D.I.Y enthusiasts will need professional help to fix termite damage as more often than not, termite damage will affect the actual foundations and structure of your home.
Unfortunately there is no property in Australia that comes with a termite free guarantee. Termites are attracted to wood and any home that contains wood somewhere in it’s structure is at risk from termites.
Even modern steel framed units will still have some wood in the construction somewhere that could attract termites.
And contrary to popular urban myths or advice there are no areas in Australia that are termite free. Termites can live in most climates and will survive through all seasons and type of weather.
Termites are also very good at getting into your property. The colonies work in teams and they’ll find weaknesses wherever they can.
Did you know a termite can fit through a gap or just 1.5mm?
How Firewood Can Attract A Termite Infestation:
#1. Where has it come from?
Termites will die if separated from their Queen so it’s incredibly rare that you’ll actually bring termites into your home from firewood.
However you do want to check that it doesn’t contain swarmers which are winged termites looking to start a new colony.
#2. How you’re storing your firewood…
Storage is the biggest cause of termites.
It important you store firewood properly to prevent termites from getting in.
Make sure it is kept dry by covering it with a good sized tarpaulin and that the coverings are secure in case of high winds.
You’ll also need to make sure its sat on top of a corrugated iron sheet to prevent pests getting in from underneath.
And avoid storing wood in areas that could attract termites.
If your garden is full of damp dead wood or mulched areas you might need to consider giving it a tidy up before you store firewood. Areas that are full of damp dead wood are magnets for termites.
Remember not to store firewood close to your house or lean logs against your outside walls. Termites will build tunnels on brickwork and find a weak spot to get into your home.
#3. What kind of condition your garden is in…
Storing firewood in garages or outbuildings is a bad idea as you’re bringing the risk of termites indoors.
It’s especially bad if your garage or outbuilding is connected to your house as then you are giving termites the option of coming into your home.
This is the same reason why it is a bad idea to have lots of cardboard boxes in your garage. Cardboard is just as tasty as wood to termites so do yourself a favour and store your stuff in plastic containers instead.
So your firewood is probably going to be stored in your garden,
We’ve been having a lot of rain in Dubbo recently so everywhere is pretty damp. The first thing you’ll need to do is make sure the rain hasn’t affected your garden too much.
Termites like to live in warm dark places that are filled with wood. Make sure you clean out gutters and drains after storms as termites could be attracted to the dead wood, leaves and twigs which end up there.
You’ll also need to check your garden has not become waterlogged and that there is proper drainage to get rid of the surface water.
Make sure your downpipes are not blocked and that there are no big pools or puddles of water collecting around your foundations. Damp foundations attract termites who’ll chew away at the important bits of your home’s structure.
And finally don’t forget to check on any outdoor wooden structures or furniture you haven’t used since summer.
Any rotten wooden tables, chairs or trellises could make a good home for termites this winter.
Obviously for most people all of these things are just common sense…
But you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget about things like this now and then.
It only takes one mistake to let termites into your house and a termite infestation can spread quickly.
Make sure your home is protected this winter by remembering basic home pest control.
Keep an eye out for signs of a pest infestation and remember to keep up to date with any professional pest treatments.
Let us know your pest control tips or ideas to stop bringing termites into your home in the comments below…