The most destructive species of termite found here in Australia is Coptotermes acinaciformes. Distributed throughout the country it will nest in tree stumps, living trees, the space under buildings and even walls. From there, any wooden structure within 50 metres is at risk - the ants will create tunnels under the soil and through building walls to reach a feeding site.
Once they find a food supply termites can be very difficult to completely eradicate, so prevention is usually the best solution, particularly in termite prone areas. Prevention can occur pre-construction and post-construction. Read our article Preventing Termites in your Home for post-construction advice.
Preventing termites - Pre-construction
There are two main methods for preventing termites that can be employed while constructing or renovating your home. These consist of physical barriers and chemical barriers.
Physical barriers don't necessarily stop the termites from entering your home - rather they force the ants up to the surface, making detection much easier. The following are examples of physical barriers:
As the impact of pesticides on the environment is more widely recognised chemical barriers are becoming much more advanced and targeted specifically towards pest termites. There are three main methods for applying the chemicals:
Chemical barrier methods have varied life expectancies so it may be necessary to replenish the chemicals at certain intervals.