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Home Living : November 20th 2012
PEST PROTECTION WATCH FOR DANGEROUS TERMITES HOME OWNERS URGED TO TAKE PEST ACTION Janita Singh TERMITE PATROL Telltale signs of termite damage: Swarms of flying termites Small, papery piles of wings on window sills, counter tops or floors Small piles of wood residue or shavings, as well as tiny holes in wood, crumbling dry walls or sagging doors Bubbled paint or visible, pencil-size mud tubes running across concrete or connecting soil to timber Regularly having your house inspected and sprayed for termites and other pests such as cockroaches, spiders, ants and rodents can save you from costly damage. Keep your house clean and seal gaps and holes to keep out pests WARM weather and cosy homes are inviting factors for pests to breed. Home owners this summer have been urged to take steps to protect their homes. A Rentokil survey shows ter- mites to be one of the most expensive pest problems with one in four homes in danger. It says termite damage cost Australian home owners a total of $1 billion annually to repair, which equates to an average of $7,000 in repair costs. This is avoidable through a cost-effective, yearly termite inspection. Archicentre, the building de- sign, inspection and advice ser- vice of the Australian Institute of Architects, says home owners need to take pests seriously. ''Termites are silent eaters and often people only realise they have a problem when the vacuum head hits the skirting board and it crumbles into dust,'' says NSW general manager Ian Agnew. ''Some home owners are leaving out the welcome mat for the destructive termites by allowing damp sub-floor conditions that encourage termite activity. Dry out sub-floor spaces by increasing ventilation, removing debris and allowing more air to circulate.'' Stacking firewood under the home or alongside a timber wall of the home, allowing mud from garden beds to build up, or using sleepers as part of the landscaping are other ways to invite termites. Rentokil termite expert, Simon Lean, says homeowners often don't realise they have a termite problem until too late. ''In my 20 years of providing termite inspections and solutions to homeowners, most people had never conducted a termite home inspection before,'' he says. RANGE OF DETERRENTS AVAILABLE Watch out for pests in the garden. Oil of citronella is a good insect repellent. WARM weather signals the return of pests in and around the house. The good news is there are a range of deterrents out there to combat every kind of invasion. Gardens are plagued by slugs and snails. Pesticides will work, but picking them out by hand is best. We all love outdoor barbecues so do mosquitoes. Spray outdoors and clean surroundings. Check for standing water in pot plants, old cans, garbage bins or buckets. Keep gutters clean and grass short. Oil of citronella has been used for centuries as an insect repellent and is found in candles, sprays, coils, chalks, torches and vapor- isers. Companion planting is a natural way to repel pests. Planting flowers and herbs together work particularly well to repel pests. Endless summer without sweating the heat. Summer entertaining is a breeze with a Vergola opening roof system. Keep the sun's harsh rays and stifling heat out of your home and let the breeze drift through. With Vergola's ingenious design, combined with Colorbond steel, you'll have the flexibility and control to entertain in comfort and relax throughout the hot summer months. CHILL OUT. RELAX. KEEP YOUR COOL. www.vergolansw.com.au
November 13th 2012
November 27th 2012