Termite invasion: friend or foe?

Robyn Swadek points to some termite damage inside her Ruby St home.
Robyn Swadek points to some termite damage inside her Ruby St home.

TERMITES and ants might be the last pests anyone wants in their home, but a recent study has shown farmers might welcome the little critters.

With the wet weather and flooding in Emerald over the past few months there is set to be an influx of insects in and around our homes and Amalgamated Pest Control Emerald area manager Robyn Swadek is warning residents to be wary.

“Ants, spiders, termites, cockroaches and mosquitoes reproduce in greater numbers in wet conditions,” she said.

“Termites can cause thousands of dollars worth of structural damage in a relatively small timeframe.”

According to Theo Evans from the CSIRO, ants and termites have a significant positive impact on crop yields in dryland agriculture however.

“Ants and termites perform the same ecosystem service functions in dryland agriculture that earthworms perform in cooler and wetter areas, but the potential for ants and termites to provide these benefits has received little attention until now,” Mr Evans said.

But while the pests might have a positive impact on crops, Mrs Swadek said it was a good idea to prevent them from entering the home by sealing any cracks from outside.

“Seal doors and windows with tight-fitting screens and weather stripping,” she said.

“Any piles of wood, green waste or bricks that could create a harbourage for pests should be removed.”

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