Pest Control and your Garden
Termite management is not just about buildings.
Gardens and Landscaping
In Australia there is a preference for mulch - many formal style gardens contain mulch. Mulch remains wetter than the surrounding soil with timber in a state of permanent decay.
Mulch is used to suppress weeds and is recommended (by gardeners) to a depth of 100m to maximise moisture retention. It is designed to last 12 months or 3 years if the woodchip variety.
Hence modern garden design is attractive to termites.
Mulch with a repellent affect on termites
According to ABC's Gardening Australia -:
"Cyprus Pine Mulch and Pine Bark Chips: Cyprus pine mulch also has a repellent affect on termites. It takes a bit longer to break down as well and it doesn't contain any nitrogen or nutrients. Pine bark chips also have no nutrients and take a long time to break down, but pine bark does contain tannins. Tannins reduce weed growth but, unfortunately, they reduce the growth of wanted plants too. What can be a problem with pine bark, is that if you get lots of heavy rain and you're on sloping ground, all the pine bark washes off, and ends up in the drain."
Weep holes are gaps left between some bricks in external masonry walls. These are close to ground level, allowing moisture to escape. Weep holes and sub-floor air-flow vents can allow termites access to your building.
Termites often build their nest inside trees.
Trees should be inspected for signs of termite activity. Termites often move into decaying trees and eat from the inside out. Trees susceptible to termite activity should not be planted close to your home.
"If and when trees are 'test drilled' for inspection and/or treatment, all holes should be treated with anti-fungal agents and sealed with a flexible caulking compound (eg silicon) to help minimise moisture entry which, in turn, may lead to fungal growth and wood decay."
A National Standard: Code of Practice for Termite Management
Check fencing for-:
1 Termite Activity
2 Decayed timber (replace)
3 Timber touching your dwelling
Sites likely to favour Termite activity
When placing termite baits in your garden a Pest and Termite Controller will locate them where there is the most likelihood of termite activity -:
- Close to previous activity
- Garden areas instead of lawn
- Wet areas as opposed to dry
- Areas with rotting plant material or timber
- Shady rather than sunny locations
- Areas under and around trees