Termite attack

If you own a property in Queensland, you have probably been warned about termites.

This is because termites prefer humid conditions, and can cause major problems in timber structures.

Timber in the ground should be termite-resistant or treated in accordance with the relevant standards in the National Construction Code (NCC).

What is a termite management system?

All timber construction should have a termite management system, unless the timber itself is naturally termite resistant. Termite management systems can be either physical or chemical systems (or a combination of both).

Termite management systems must be designed so they can be readily and regularly  inspected and maintained at intervals between 6 and 12 months depending on the risks and environment around a building.
Popular termite management systems include:

  • a monolithic concrete slab
  • chemical
  • graded stone
  • stainless steel mesh
  • termite resistant materials, such as treated timber, steel and concrete.

As the property owner, it is important to inspect the termite management system regularly yourself.

You should have a licensed pest controller inspect and report on your property every year (more often in high hazard areas).

It is your responsibility to make sure that meet your system’s maintenance requirements (for example, replenishment of chemical barriers) as stated on the termite management notice.

Removing all timber from around any buildings, including timber stacks, old tree stumps, sleepers and logs is also a good idea to reduce the risk of a termite attack.

How to check for evidence of termites

You can check for evidence of termites on your property yourself.

Look out for:

  • mud tunnels or runways that are running from the ground and entering the building through the external walls, cladding or sheeting
  • any decaying timber that forms part of the deck or balcony
  • any change to pine mouldings through the house, for example, becoming soft and pliable  
  • discoloured or blistered paint
  • depression of timber
  • termite mud nests
  • any build-up of soil around the base of the timber—if timber is untreated it should not be in contact with soil
  • fine ‘sawdust’-type material around or below timber—this can signal that termites are active
  • any termite activity adjacent to the house/structure, for example, termite nest in dead trees, cut and stacked timber
  • materials that termites like to consume which includes timber, paper, cardboard and the like, for example, an old pile of newspapers.

What else to be aware of when it comes to termites

If you are planning to renovate or do work around your house or yard, you should consider the impact of the work on your termite management system.

Building garden beds, footpaths, patios, pergolas, landscaping or laying turf may cause your termite system to be less effective and allow an infestation.