If you have tenants whose homes are at risk of termite infestation or if your landlords want to put preventive measures in place, here are some tips to help termite-proof a property.
By Muzi Tsolakis – Protech Pest Control
1. Keep surroundings clean
Make a property less of a termite magnet by maintaining tidiness and cleanliness, especially in the garden.
A dense growth of plants, vegetation or shrubs is the perfect jungle hideout for termites. Ensure the property is dry and clean, and has plenty or air circulation.
2. Restrict entry
Make sure the trellis is not leaning against exterior walls. Termites gain access to a property from wood to soil contact or wood to wood contact. Do not keep fencing, timber, firewood or any kind of wood material next to a property to help avoid termite contamination. Cracks and holes in walls or foundations need to be sealed to make sure there are no convenient entrance areas.
3. Control and prevent termite breeding
Though it might seem quite tedious, ensure outdoor and indoor leaks are repaired on time. Keep the airconditoner area dry. This will have the added benefit of reducing the bacteria and insects in the property. Moisture is one of the key elements needed by most insects and bacteria to survive.
4. Termite-proof wood
Make use of chemically-treated wood that is termite-proof or not easily infested by termites during construction and renovation.
Using termite-resistant materials during building and renovating adds extra protection against termites, but it’s important to remember that chemically-treated wood is not 100 per cent termite proof which means that additional preventive methods are needed.
Here are some other termite prevention measures:
• If there are vents in the property, check that they are dry and there are no blockages to the air flow;
• A house that is built on a concrete slab should be constructed in such a way that the edge of the slab and the weep holes are exposed;
• Avoid building garden beds against walls as they hide the edge of the slab and cover the weep holes, creating a perfect hidden access point to a property;
• Mulch is food to termites and can help them access a property so using mulch near outer walls should be avoided. A good alternative is the rubber variation of mulch; and
• Check termite shields regularly to ensure they are not damaged. Termite shields are metal strips around the foundation and while they do not restrict termites from entering a property, they make them noticeable.
5. Ditch DIYs and get a professional
A professional will be able to spot a termite problem sooner than a layman. It is a good idea to hire the services of a licensed exterminator who can help you with solutions for termite control and get the right treatment to make a property termite-free.