La Nina is Creating the Perfect Conditions for Termite Season: Here’s What You Need to Know
Termites thrive in wetter and more humid conditions. This is why the La Nina weather system has been a major cause of their increased infestations in Australia recently.
Pests, especially the minute ones, thrive in these conditions because it gives them access to breeding grounds and to water that they need to survive. Getting termite protection is a must in these situations as these little insects can cause huge amounts of damage to your building structures.
And with weather patterns favouring termite spread in Australia now more than ever, it becomes an even more serious task to tackle. Read on as we provide insight into La Nina and what it means for the enormous spread of termites.
What is La Nina?
In Australia, La Nina is an occurrence of weather systems that spark harsh conditions such as:
- Excessive rainfall
- Warmer night-time temperatures
- Colder daytime temperatures
The warmer temperatures, coupled with more rainfall, can increase humidity levels, which becomes a hotbed for termite infestation. Flooding that results in areas being surrounded by standing water can cause pests to flee into people’s homes. Also, standing water acts as a breeding ground for pests.
La Nina usually occurs every three to eight years. This is why you need to always stay alert of its effects, such as termite spread and resulting damage.
La Nina and Termite Spread
Termite infestations had dropped significantly during Australia’s drought seasons a few years ago. But since La Nina has occurred in two consecutive years now – in 2021 and 2022 – the spread of termites has risen to all-time high levels.
According to Professor Dieter Hochuli, leader of the Integrative Ecology Group at the University of Sydney, this year is going to be a thriving year for termites. This is because “the high levels of soil moisture are ideal for them to burrow and flourish”.
He added that termites are prone to “drying out” easily, which makes moist environments beneficial for them. Increased rainfall has obviously brought about more dampness and moisture, and when wood is faced with this it attracts termites significantly.
Your home can become a highly favourable place for termites to grow, especially after heavy rainfall. This is because pooled areas around foundations, damp wood and the contact of wood with soil are all areas where termites love to nest. Termites are rather social creatures, so they can form nests with tens of thousands of individuals in one place.
Insurance and Termite Damage
It is important to note that termite damage – which can be very severe – is not covered by most home insurance policies. When present, termites eat through wood and timber every minute of the day, so they can cause extensive damage to your home.
Subterranean termites in particular can burrow tunnels of up to 100m, which can even cause your home to collapse!
You should be aware of the presence of termite infestations and get rid of them before they cause serious damage. Key signs of an infestation include:
- Mud trails leading up the sides of your building
- Pieces of dried mud by your windows and doorways
- Damp stains on your skirting boards
- Sagging floorboards
How to Tackle La Nina’s Termite Spread
If you conduct careful inspections both on the inside and outside of your house, it can go a long way in getting termite infestations under control. Thanks to La Nina, for better pest control Melbourne locals have had to appoint pest specialists to identify areas of increased termite activity.
In addition, it’s best that you take precautions to avoid termite spreads from occurring in the first place. Some measures you can implement include:
- Remove piles of wood from the outside of your house
- Keep trees trimmed and healthy
- Remove decayed and rotten wood from your property
- Seal cracks and crevices in your foundations and walls
- Inspect your home’s gradient levels and fix where necessary
- Make sure your plumbing system and gutters drain sufficiently
Once a termite infestation has developed, you need to take care of it as soon as possible. You should get an annual timber pest inspection while incorporating some of the above preventative measures to keep them at bay.
If termites have already begun infesting your property, you should make use of powerful spot treatments to eradicate them. Luckily, whatever the problem, there’s usually a solution!
Ultimately, you can’t control the weather and La Nina. What you can control is how you prepare for this phenomenon and the harsher realities it brings.
Because La Nina has occurred two years in a row during this cycle, don’t be caught off-guard if it happens for a third straight season. For your safety, be ready and call Dawson’s Australia right away on 03 9222 2266 or book an inspection online!