Subterranean termites or white-ants are a highly destructive timber pest, causing major structural timber damage to both domestic and commercial buildings in Melbourne and regional Victoria.
Most homes are at risk in the metropolitan Melbourne area – particularly in built-up urban areas or where well established peppercorn and gum trees are within 150 metres of the building.
Termite damage to Australian homes is on the increase since the removal in 1995 of long lasting soil barrier chemicals; the more common use of softwood building and others landscaping timbers that termites find irresistible, especially timber mulch and railway sleepers. In addition, automatic watering systems, timber landscaping and maintenance, as well as building designs that allow hidden termite entry into the building all promote rapid termite colony development.
Termites are very secretive and will often enter a building through areas inaccessible to inspection, for instance through on-ground patios, cracks or expansion joints or around concrete slab flooring
particularly if the slab edge is obscured by pathways or garden beds. Termites can pass through a crack as small as 2mm and eat through rubber compound between adjoining concrete slabs. Termites often travel under parquetry and other floor tiles to get to the wall and roofing framing