While termites are found all over the world, Australian environmental conditions are particularly beneficial for Termite habitation which is why one in three Australian homes is vulnerable to a termite attack.
There are many reasons why termites invade Australian homes, from location to structural to opportunity.
As Australia’s population grows, so does the demand for new housing. Urbanisation of rural areas means that there’s increased pressure placed on termite colonies to find new food sources to feed off.
If you leave termites undisturbed in their natural habitat, they are willing to stay there for long periods of time. Obviously, removing the termite’s natural habitat results in the termites needing to search for new food sources. Without the implementation of termite colony control programs at the time of a new housing development, termites will continue to search for timber within their means, which might include your home.
Australian homes have timber components
It is stated that “Roughly 85% of detached homes in Australia, are built using a timber frame structure..."*
As a result, termites can cause significant damage to a home’s structural timbers; however, homes that are built with predominantly cement or steel are not immune to termite attacks either. In fact, nearly all homes will contain some timber components (e.g. decorative timbers, skirting boards, door and window frames) that can be damaged by termites.
Your home possesses the three termite needs
Termites mainly need three things to live and all three things can be found within your home. Your home has:
- Access to food sources (wood/timber)
- Adequate shelter for their workings and nests
- Some level of moisture to maintain a humid environment (which termites love)
Wet areas such as kitchens, bathrooms & laundry’s are appealing to termites. A leaking tap or gutter, an exposed or incorrectly channelled air conditioner duct can also attract the attention of termites
Timber material is everywhere
When scouting for a place to establish a colony, termites often opt for dead trees, tree stumps or timber lying around the yard. Any wood, paper or cardboard material are food sources for termites and if the timber is located next to or near your home, this may provide easier access.
Homeowners need to:
- Clean their gutters regularly
- Reduce the stacks of firewood, mulch or garden debris in their yard.
For preventative tips, check out our blog post ‘Protect your home from termite attacks'
* Quote taken from Sycon's article, 'Australian Ways to Build Houses'.