A Garden bed against the external walls of a home can end up causing a termite issue.
We were at a client’s home carrying out a termite inspection where we found live termites.
The termites gained entry to the home via a garden against the external wall of the house. See the image below.
Over time small cracks can appear in the mortar between the bricks and this is where termites gain concealed entry.
A garden bed where termites entered the home
Garden beds can spell trouble
Every homeowner loves to do something with the garden, but the issue is where they put the garden bed.
A little thought should go into it before just deciding to make every available spot a new garden.
We advise our customers to keep garden beds well away from the house and especially external walls.
My advice would be to have garden beds around fence lines rather than close to the home.
Cutting hole in the wall to gain access to termites
Best way to protect your home from termites
Instead of a garden bed against the external wall try some easy to maintain plant pots.
Using plant pots can still give the effect of a nice garden bed but is less likely to attract termites.
Using some river pebbles around the external of the home can also be a nice feature.
Always try to have the soil or ground level falling away from the external walls. This way it will help to reduce the amount of moisture that can build up close to the house.
What we are trying to do is protect the footings from getting too wet for long periods of time.
Obviously, nothing will stop them getting wet at some point, but at least with no garden bed present, the footing has a chance to dry out.
Dry soil is less desirable to termites than moist soil, so the aim is to keep the soil around the house as dry as possible.
Termites harbour in garden beds
Termites like to harbour in a garden bed simply because of the moisture content.
There are other factors that also attract termites such as heavy mulch or wood chip.
Mulch and wood chip will make the soil in a garden stay moist for longer periods of time.
Moisture is exactly what termites need, this plus some nice mulch or wood chip to feed on can end up costing a homeowner a small fortune.
To better protect the home you need to start thinking like a termite.
One simple rule to remember is that termites love and need moisture to survive. They also need a good supply of food and a garden bed will provide this for them.
Placing tape over termite working after treatment
Always have your home checked out by a professional termite inspection company.
Termite inspections are the best way of detecting early signs of termite activity.
You termite technician will also point out issues that make a home more vulnerable to termite attack.
Read your report properly and if you don’t understand something call your technician and get them to explain it.
Inspections should be carried out at least every 12-month as stated in the Australian Standards 3660.2.17 and AS 4349.3.10
And remember to get rid of that garden bed if it’s close to the external wall.