The Gold Coast is known for its warm weather and lush greenery. You can’t beat the lifestyle offered by this sunny state. However, there’s an issue on the rise that should have locals worried about their most significant investments – their homes. Termites also love the lifestyle served up by the warm and humid weather. Underneath the ground every suburb on the Gold Coast are tunnels of the timber-munching pests, on a hunt for new sources of food, and properties to establish new colonies.
The risk is broad for all property owners, but pest control experts on the Gold Coast say certain suburbs are hot spots for termite activity. They’re recommending annual termite inspections to pick up live termite activity before it becomes an infestation in these zones. For potential property owners looking to invest in these areas, a pre-purchase inspection is a necessity, they say. The benefits of this are two-fold.
Firstly, if the inspection reveals termites on the property or in the home the buyer could renegotiate the asking price. Secondly, if the extent of the damage is know, the buyers has the information they need to decide to take it on, or walk away.
So, why are these suburbs red flags for pest controllers? Specific conditions, infrastructure, and other factors make them prime addresses for termites.
Pest Control technician Danny Kelly, owner and director of Pest-Ex Pest Control Gold Coast shares with us some of the worst areas on the Gold Coast when it comes to Termites.
Tallai – home of the Giant Termite
This quaint suburb on the outskirts of South East Queensland has earned a reputation from pest controllers for being a target of the mastoternes darwiniensis species of termite. These critters are up to a third bigger than other species and are more destructive. They’re also a challenge to get under control once an infestation has taken hold in a home.
Worongary – perfect conditions
Homes in this plush suburb close to Surfers Paradise is brimming with homes on large acre blocks. The warm temperatures, humidity, and dry clay soil are the perfect cocktail for a range of termite species. Coptotermes, schedorhinotermes intermedius, natsutitermes fumigatus and natsutitermes walker are all commonly found in this suburb.
Upper Coomera and Robina – developments driving the spread
The suburb of Upper Coomera is on the up, with numerous new residential and commercial developments that have sprung up over the past decade. The building work creates a perfect storm for termites to spread and establish new colonies. When land is bulldozed all materials (including foliage and disturbed termites) are buried under the latest build. With the work completed, the pests emerge again and begin their hunt for timber to feed on.
Robina, only 16 kilometers from Surfers Paradise, was one of the first master-planned suburbs in Australia. The rapid development required acres of bushland to be cleared. It was bulldozed back under where the building sites were established. This created a food source for termites and is the ‘root’ of the termite problem we see in this suburb today.
Broadbeach Waters and Mermaid Waters – life’s a beach for termites
Homeowners often believe their homes are not at risk for termites if they live near the coast as the soil is too sandy. This is not the case at Broadbeach Waters, where the soil around the canals is loamy, moist, and ideal for the pests to thrive. In nearby Mermaid Waters, experts believe the sand in the soil may make it easier for termites to travel from one area to the next, and this is responsible for their rise in numbers.
Helensvale – bushland is a factor
This suburb has similar attributes to Broadbeach Waters. However, the soil contains more clay which termites love. It’s also close to bushland (plenty of dead and decaying timber around), which is why termite invasions are out of control in homes in this area.
Currumbin Waters – construction issues at play
The properties near the canals (with sandy soil) are known to shift over the first 20 years after the build, which causes tiny cracks in the slabs. This access is all termites need to enter a home and thrive.
The homes built in the hillier areas inland also have termite problems, but for another reason. Many of them are split level houses with timber pole construction. With wear and tear of poles, termites can access the home through the cracks and holes. While these timber poles are treated, after a few years the poles develop cracks and holes in which the termites can travel up to the house, bypassing the treatment surface altogether.
Pacific Pines – the hills are alive (with termites)
Similar to the issues affecting houses built on hills in Currumbin Waters, Pacific Pines is home to older properties on large pieces of land. New developments and a high number of split-level properties make this prime termite territory.
Elenora – history is against it
Sandy soil around the canals and pole homes in hilly areas are only part of the termite problem. The older homes in this well-established areas were built without under-slab termite treatments.
It’s advisable that if you do spot termites or signs of termites such as mud tunnels, that you call in a pest control expert immediately. Do not disturb the termites or attempt a DIY extermination solution. You need a long-term solution that will eliminate them and protect your home going forward.