1 in 4 Residential Homes within Brisbane Affected by Severe Termite Infestations
Experts are warning homeowners in Queensland of a new pest threat. Changing weather patterns and warmer conditions in the Sunshine State are fuelling the spread of one of the region's largest and most aggressive termite species.
What Is Termite Infestations?
The giant termite, or mastotermes darwiniensis, is triple the size of most other species of termites. It is incredibly destructive and has even been known to damage tyres and bitumen. It can cause extensive damage to properties in a short space of time.
The giant termite is common in northern Queensland. It’s also found in the Northern Territory and parts of Western Australia. But climate changes – higher rainfall and humidity – is thought to be making the conditions in areas as far south as Brisbane attractive to this pest.
The trend of The Species of Termite
Pest management experts are concerned about the trend because the species of termite is notoriously difficult to eradicate. The chemical barriers usually used in Brisbane and other towns to prevent termite infestations are unlikely to work with this voracious species, they say.
Drier conditions have controlled the spread of the giant termite until now, but a shift to wetter weather patterns will encourage millions of the pests to start foraging for new sources of timber. Stormy downpours create ideal conditions for colonies to leave nests to establish new ones.
The giant termite is a new threat, although Queensland already has several species of termites that already cause damage to homes. The most common species is the subterranean termite, or coptotermes acinaciformis. It’s estimated this species of termite is responsible for 70 percent of termite invasions and causes an average of $10,000 damage to properties that they affect.
Improvements in building techniques, the installation of termite barriers and chemical treatments have made an impact in recent years. Nonetheless, it’s estimated termites have attacked 650,000 homes across Australia in the past five years.
Most homeowners aren't aware they have a termite problem until the pests have caused extensive damage. A typical scenario is that the termites are detected when a homeowner bumps a vacuum cleaner against a skirting board and it crumbles because it has been hollowed out by the critters.
An infestation starts out with a few termites foraging for new sources of food. The original colony may be in a gum tree, but once the ants discover there is a house filled with timber nearby, thousands will follow the trailblazers. Soon they congregate in huge numbers behind walls where there is moisture caused by leaks.
How to Prevent Termite Infestations
Pest management professionals warn against disturbing termites if you discover them in your home. They will move on to another space in your property, which will delay your attempts to eradicate them. A professional pest control team will inspect your home to determine the areas where there is live termite activity and recommend a treatment solution.
With the new species of termite making moves south, homeowners in Brisbane are being warned to recruit experienced pest controllers that are certified and able to offer guarantees and insurance. They are also advised to help prevent termite infestations by removing timber and wooden offcuts left over from renovation projects from their properties.
There is a common myth that leaving a ‘sacrificial log’ in a garden will prevent termites from invading a home. These do attract termites, but once the resource has been decimated, they will move onto your house in search of more timber to consume. Mulch and grass cuttings are another natural attractant for termites, and should never be placed along the edges of walls.
Most importantly, experts advise property owners to schedule annual termite inspections to detect early signs of termite activity. If they can be caught early, a homeowner can prevent costly damage.
For professional pest control services in Brisbane visit pest-ex.com.au