What are the chances of a termite attack (especially if the neighbour has termites)?
Within the pest control industry, there’s a common saying…
“There are two types of houses in Australia, those that have termites and those than will have termites”!
The bottom line is that if you live on mainland Australia, you need to be aware of the termite threat.
Some key termite statistics…
Some 140,000 homes are thought to be attacked by termites each year – that equates to one home in every 65!
The cost of termite damage to buildings is around $1 billion each year.
And it’s not just old houses that get attacked… according to CSIRO, 1 in 5 homes will experience a termite problem within the first 5 years after construction.
CSIRO also estimate that 80% of all homes are within 25 m of a termite nest.
With termites capable of travelling over 100 m from their nest to a food source, it’s a pretty sure thing that your house is within range of at least one termite nest!
What factors increase the chances of suffering a termite attack?
The warmer, more humid areas of Australia have a higher density of termites and the termites cause damage far more quickly (but they can still cause significant damage within a year or so in the southern states as well).
Termites love moisture. If you have poor drainage or leaks in, around or underneath your house, it will be a lot more attractive to termites.
Being near areas of bushland increases the termite pressure on your property.
Having a lot of potential food on your property will attract termites – trees, tree stumps, firewood, timber fencing and retaining walls, wood mulch, etc, are all great termite food.
Having a poor construction design or landscaping features around the perimeter of the building that could allow termites to get into your house without being noticed.
Not having regular termite inspections. Spotting and remedying issues that make a termite attack more likely and spotting the early signs of termite activity before serious damage is done are critical in protecting your home.
Not having a termite management systems in place. A soil treatment with a suitable termiticide or the installation of a termite monitoring / baiting system are the recommended ways to protect your home from termite attack.
So if the neighbour has termites, should I be worried?
If the neighbour’s house is getting attacked by termites it proves that there are termites in the area.
If the neighbour get their house treated, do I still need to worry?
Even if they have their house treated, as termite nests are actually very difficult to locate, there is no guarantee that the nest that is attacking their home has been eliminated.
In addition, there is likely more than one termite nest in the area, which means that even if the nest attacking your neighbour’s home is destroyed, there will be plenty of other termite nests in range capable of attacking your home.
Do I really need to worry?
Worry is really the wrong word. You need to act. With the chance of a termite attack high or very high across Australia, termite inspections at least once a year are a must. If your neighbour’s house is under attack, you must get your home inspected. Of course, by having a termite management system installed around your home, you can feel confident your home is protected.