The answer is simple, yes. It is a common misconception that termites will not penetrate concrete constructions. Even though wooden homes are more prone to termite infestations, these household pests can enter through brick holes and slab cracks, doing great damage to a home as the critters often go unnoticed for a long time.
Australia is home to a large number of warm and humid locations loved by many people, but also by unwanted household pests. As termites can do great damage to a house's framework and even trigger electric power outages they can cause the most extensive damage as studies state that in the year 2012, 1.5 billion dollars were spent on structural repair and partial removal of buildings. This being said, it is essential to treat any home with termite protection to prevent larger colonies from infesting no matter what structure your house.
There is also the threat of a real estate problem coming up once a home has suffered a termite attack; the resale value can drop to 25% less than the listed price. If you’re about to purchase a house, it is therefore essential for you to schedule a pest control inspection before you even consider signing the sales agreement to ensure your future home has not been attacked by termites previously.
Brick veneers can be a misleading exterior feature, as sometimes a new buyer thinks the house is made of solid brick where in fact the building has an internal wooden structure. Termites will infest into the framework once they made it through the decorative veneer and feast on the wood underneath. The critters can also gain access through patios, foliage and weep holes, which are meant to drain the water inside the wall. Pest control services recommend keeping moist soil away from the brick veneer by at least 4cm.
The most common one in Australia is the subterranean termite that lives in great swarms in the soil. The tiny insects feed on cellulose often found in dead plants and rotten trees. The critters seek homes in dark moist places underneath decking and build tunnels in form of mud tubes to gain unnoticed access in the home since they often leave no visible entry point behind. Subterranean termites will also enter framework through bathroom and kitchen plumbing. Dry wood termites will gain access to the house through little cracks in the eaves and are usually found in attics and rafters. A lot of times a termite infestation goes unnoticed as both kinds of insects will eat the wood from the inside out and once discovered great damage has already been done to the home’s structure.
Even though brick homes are a little harder to enter, they are not necessarily termite safe. If the walls are entirely made of structural bricks, there might still be some wood lath used for interior plaster and give the termites their daily wood diet once they have entered the building. They only need a tiny crevice to enter a brick home, these openings can be small cracks in the bricks, an expansion joint of floor and wall but the classic spot in any residential home is the hole when plumbing comes through the floor. It might come as a surprise that homes built on concrete slabs are more vulnerable to a termite attack than those with a basement. The dark and wet space underneath the concrete slab is the perfect environment for termites to lay their eggs and thrive, hence it is essential to keep water away from the foundation edge.
Dry wood termites will enter homes through a wooden object such as a furniture piece, vintage doors or a picture frame. They will nest inside the wood and happily feed on a table leg or live within walls before they set off to feast on another item.
To avoid these unwanted visitors, it is advisable to seal all entry points properly such as plumbing and electrical wiring holes and not to have standing water near the exterior walls to protect your home.