Detection and prevention

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Whichever system is selected for the prevention or early detection of termites, it is important that inspections are carried out regularly. You should inspect your property every six months for any obvious signs of infestation.

Consumer Protection also recommends that you arrange for an inspection by a timber pest inspector at least once a year. Regular inspections will allow for the detection of an infestation and for any preventative measures to be undertaken if needed.

If the inspection report is 'all clear', it is generally not necessary to conduct extensive chemical spraying within the house. If spraying is recommended, the pest control operator should explain why and also advise on any precautions which may need to be taken to protect the health of your family and pets. Some pest control firms now offer non-chemical alternatives.

Preventive housekeeping

You should check your home regularly for anything that may attract termites. This will minimise the risks.

The following housekeeping and gardening tips are designed to help you reduce the risk of damage:

  • Plumbing leaks, drainage problems and roof leaks should all be dealt with promptly, as damp conditions attract termites.
  • Garden beds and plants should be kept away from contact with outside walls. Hard paving should be substituted.
  • Do not allow soil from garden beds to block drainage and ventilation openings in walls.
  • Nothing should be stored against outside walls. This practice may allow termites to gain easy access to the wall cavity without early detection.
  • Proposed extensions or alterations to the building must not result in the removal of existing termite barriers or access for inspections.
  • Spaces under the floor must be kept well ventilated. Make certain that the air flow through vents is not obstructed.
  • Watch for termite infestation in piles of fire wood or stacks of stored timber. These must be kept away from the house, raised above the ground and covered to keep them dry.
  • Consider using termite-resistant timber for work on your home.
  • Remove dead trees and stumps as soon as possible.
  • Metal stirrups should be used for setting pergola, gate and verandah posts in the ground.
  • Where possible, the use of untreated timber sleepers for retaining walls and garden beds should be avoided.
  • Timber decking around verandahs and swimming pools should be cleaned and inspected regularly.

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