Fact: Termites can travel underground to get to your home, they can even get through cracks in your concrete slab.
Almost every Trinidadian home may be at risk of termites, but do not lose hope. The fight against this damaging pest is not yet lost. The good news is we have several methods to help protect your building or structure against termites. These include:
Termite monitoring involves the use of unobtrusive termite bait stations, which are placed around the perimeter of your property to detect termite activity. Your Rentokil Termite Expert will routinely monitor these stations for termite activity.This method can be used at any stage of the building’s life.
A chemical termite barrier involves applying a liquid chemical to the soil, either under concrete flooring or around the entire perimeter of the building.This method can be used at any stage of the building’s life.
The reticulation system is a network of underground pipes designed to distribute a termite control chemical evenly throughout a building’s foundations and around the building perimeter. Using precise control of the chemical application, this system allows reapplication of the chemical barrier giving continuous long-term protection against invasion by termites.This method can be used prior to construction and perimeter systems can be installed once the property is completed prior to landscaping and paving.
Remove stored timber, debris and cellulose materials from under, in and around the property and under the house - Storing timber against or under your house or property on a soil sub-floor will provide an attractive food source and nesting site for subterranean termites. It can also hide evidence of termites invading your home. Remove any timber and/or debris (dead leaves) away from the house.
Repair leaking taps and pipes - These include leaking taps, pipes and hot water overflow pipes under or around your home. Repairing these will reduce moisture levels, which attract subterranean termites close to or under your property.
Ensure that vents to subfloor areas are never blocked - Substandard ventilation in the sub-floor areas of your property will result in high humidity, and high moisture levels. Good ventilation and extraction fans where necessary are essential to reduce the risk from subterranean termites.
Divert all hot water services & air conditioning overflows away from side of house - Ensure stormwater runoff is properly connected.
Use only termite treated timber in garden beds, retaining walls or fence posts - Do not use untreated timbers to form garden beds or retaining walls, as these will attract termites around your property.
Construct timber fences and support posts with a 50mm clearance between the timbers and the soil - Often the bases of timber fence palings and/or sub-floor timbers breach the soil surface. This allows termites access without detection. Galvanised post shoes that elevate the timber off the ground are available from any good hardware store.
Don’t allow climbing plants or bushy gardens to grow against the structure - Climbing plants growing against the side of the structure of your property provide termites with entry undetected. The roots of some plants can also penetrate the foundations of your property allowing termites access that is very difficult to locate. Allow at least a 30cm clearance. DO NOT Plant trees that are notorious for sending roots under slabs close to the home.
Remove dead trees or stumps - Dead trees and stumps are ideal sites for termites to nest in. Remove these or have them treated to reduce the risk to your property.
Ensure that termite shielding is not damaged or breached in any way - Metal strips or ant caps around the foundation of your home do not prevent termite entry but force termites out into the open where they can be detected with regular termite inspection.
Be aware: Building alterations or additions can alter or render ineffective previous termite protection - Adding a pergola, new awnings or veranda, concrete slab extensions, or even new plumbing can provide a route of entry for termites into the property across the termite protection barrier previously applied.
Where a house is a concrete slab on ground construction, Trinidadian Standards state that you should leave a minimum of 75mm of slab edge exposed - Weep holes in between brickwork, found immediately above the slab, should also be left exposed. If you construct gardens, allow soil to be deposited above the edge of the slab, or above pavers over the slab face, otherwise termites can gain entry undetected into your property and breach the previously applied termite barriers.
Ensure all formwork timber is removed after construction - Termites can often attack formwork and use it to gain access into your home.
Your first step should be to arrange a thorough inspection of your property to confirm their presence.