Welcome, termites

Termites are an ever-present risk to homes across Australia. What’s more, the damage caused by the wood-devouring vermin typically goes unnoticed until it is critical, as much of their activity happens out of sight.

While it is widely recognised that termites can be difficult to control, it helps if homeowners are also aware of a few things they could be doing to attract these pesky critters.

Here are three unexpected ways you might be making your home more appealing to termites:

1. Clogged gutters. Cleaning the gutters is a necessary part of termite prevention. Termites love moisture and clogged gutters can cause water to pool and make insulation vulnerable to these wood-destroying pests.

2. Mulch. Mulch is frequently used near the home or even against the foundations, and can serve as a source of favourite food for termites. It also retains moisture, which attracts these destructive pests. Minimise the usage of wood mulch and keep it at least 40cms from the foundations.

3. Storing wood too close to property. Homeowners with wood burning heaters often keep firewood stacked against their home for easy access, but this can draw termites towards the home and provide a point of entry. Instead, store firewood at least 6 metres away from the house and 15cms off the ground. Also, be careful of leaving stumps and dead trees in the yard. Rotting wood material can serve as termite fuel and eventually result in termites entering the home.

If you suspect you have a termite infestation, contact a licensed pest control expert as soon as possible to catch the damage before it gets worse. It also helps to have a termite inspection done every year.