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Termite Prevention Tips: Keep External Walls Clear

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If you've laid down a control barrier around your home to keep out termites, you may feel well protected. However, barriers can only keep termites out of your home if they can't cross them or get through them. As an added precaution, be careful not to allow your garden plants or wood storage habits to act as a bridge that invites termites in.

Be Careful What You Plant Beside External Walls

Although it may look nice to have plants and shrubs around your outside walls or even climbing up the sides of your house, landscaping and gardening close to the building may give termites ways to breach barriers and get inside.

For example, according to the Australian Timber Database, landscaping, such as paving, and general planting may damage termite barriers. You may not notice that this happens, especially if you're using a chemical barrier, but if a barrier is breached or covered over, it may not keep termites out effectively.

Termites may also be able to use plants and climbing shrubs as a bridge over your barrier to get to your house. Plants with extensive root systems may also give termites an access point, as they may be able to go into the roots to get safely through the barrier. In some cases, plants may even breach concrete barriers, leaving spaces for termites to get through.

Tip: It's best to leave a 30cm clearance space if you are planting anything close to external walls with a barrier around them.

Be Careful What You Store Beside External Walls

It's also important not to store wood close to your home's walls, especially if it is untreated. Termites will be attracted by the wood and are savvy enough to use it as a bridge over barriers if this is possible for them. For example, it's not a good idea to lean planks of wood against a wall until you get around to using them; you should also avoid storing logs against your house.

If you give termites a plank to walk up, they can go over a chemical barrier safely; build a wood pile that is taller than the height of your concrete barrier solution, and they may be able to get into your home from a point above the barrier that is supposed to be keeping them out.

Tip: If you're using wood in your garden, try to buy products that have been termite treated. This won't attract termites in the way that untreated wood might.