Avoiding Termite Problems Around Your Home
Nobody wants termite problems around their home. We’re often asked the best way to ensure a property is less attractive to termites. So we’ve published a series of posts to inform and guide you in repelling termites to avoid costly remedies from the damage caused to your property.
Soil Levels Around House Perimeter
Believe it or not, the level of the soil around the outside of your house is important for termite control.
Australian Standards recommend soil levels be at least 75mm (one brick height) below the weep holes. The edges of an exposed slab also require a 75mm soil clearance to be effective against termite invasion. The recommended 75mm clearance is to allow an inspection zone, where any termite leads being built up over your wall or slab edge can easily be seen.
Ground Water Awareness
When it rains, watch where the ground water runs. It’s important to ensure the water running down your block of land is directed around your home and doesn’t cause ponding, or puddles, against the side of your home. Water usually puddles at the lowest point, which means the soil in this area remains damp for a longer period than the surrounding soil. This may provide termites with the constant moisture they require to survive and can lead to termite problems.
As we mentioned in the previous post in this series (link), drainage along the high side of your sub-floor is very important in reducing any water entering your sub-floor.
Remove Termite Food Sources
To reduce the risk of termite problems, we recommend you remove all termite food sources from your yard.
Tree stumps are a popular food source for termites. If you have a tree cut down, ask a stump grinding company to remove as much of the root structure as possible. This is particularly important for pine trees and hardwood trees, as they have large root structures which take time to decay and rot back into the soil. Removing the stumps takes away a potential food source for termites and also improves the look of your yard.
Wherever possible, replace all untreated timbers with treated options or change to stone, concrete or other non-cellulose options to make your yard less attractive to termite activity.
Is Garden Mulch an Issue?
Mulch in garden beds can be cause for concern. We find a lot of garden beds with several inches of mulch over the soil and against the wall of the home.
Mulch is basically trees chopped into small pieces, and when you place it on the ground more than 50mm thick, it becomes a smorgasbord of food options for termites. When your mulch is thicker than 50mm deep, the wood chips hold a lot of moisture, accelerating the decay process and providing termites with moisture from the mulch. Fungus can develop due to the decaying mulch and cellulose from the timber. The termites just love this stuff!
If you insist on using mulch in your garden beds, the best option is Tea Tree mulch, as it’s made of small twigs and not wood chunks, as is found in regular woodchip mulch. Beware: Tea Tree mulch can still attract termite activity if you lay it too thin on the ground. We suggest 50mm as the maximum depth of your mulch, or just enough to cover the soil to maintain moisture.
Other Potential Termite Food Sources to Address
- Timber which is in contact with the soil absorbs moisture and starts the fungal decay process, which then attracts termite problems
- Timber stacked against an external wall, for future use needs to be relocated
- Timber stacked on the ground, such as wood piles, untreated garden edging and untreated retaining walls are all excellent ways to attract termite activity to your yard – remove them!
- Ensure all external walls are free of obstruction and available for visual inspection by a pest professional
We trust this information has helped you to avoid attracting termite problems around your home.
Would you like know more about making your home termite resistant? Give us a call to arrange a free site inspection of your yard today.