It can be almost impossible to detect the presence of subterranean termites near your home. After all, they spend most of their time below ground in their nest or in the underground tunnels that branch out from the main nest in all directions.
Subsequently, as a homeowner, you may never realise that a termite nest is situated somewhere near your home — that is unless you do something to bring them out. That something usually involves wood.
Even then, you might not see them as they tunnel patiently toward your home, seeking an entry point. That's why it is important that you do not simplify their journey by providing them with bridges to your home.
Here are two of the worst mistakes you can make when designing your yard space.
Placing a Wooden Trellis Against Your House
It is quite common for homeowners to place a trellis against their home, or at least in close proximity. Doing so allows you to train creeping plants, such as morning glory, to climb up the wall of your house, something that can be quite breathtaking to behold.
However, not only does a wooden trellis provide a food source for foraging termites, but it also offers them shelter from the blazing sun. Termites can detect the presence of wood. Once they sense your trellis, they may tunnel up through the soil and build exploratory mud tunnels that allow them to travel safely outside, safe from the harsh sun.
Moreover, a flourishing creeper plant will provide additional cover from human eyes. This means that hungry termites could be exploring the walls of your home secretly, hoping to find a tiny crack or crevice through which they can invade.
Allowing Ivy to Grow on Your Walls
Ivy is often a beautiful addition to the walls of a home — unless you live in termite-infested Australia, where there are over 300 species of termite. Much like a trellis, a wall of ivy provides all the cover termites need as they explore the walls of your home in search of an entry point.
All it takes is one tiny crack, given that termites are tiny at just 5mm long, and your home could become a satellite colony for a nearby nest of tens of thousands of ravenous termites.
If you already have a trellis or wall of ivy, examine it thoroughly for the presence of termite mud tunnels. Tunnels coming up from the ground are called exploratory tunnels and may be a sign that termites are attempting to get at the delicious wood inside your home.
Are termites at your walls? Call a termite control company to learn more about your options.