Termite Facts

Facts About termites

  • Australia is home to the most destructive termites in the world.
  • One in every five homes in Australia has termite damage
  • Over a period of a few months, termites can spread out over 100 metres
  • A termite can lay up to 1,000 eggs per day
  • Termite colonies can have as many as 7 million pests

How can I stay termite-free?

Ensure you have a termite inspection carried out by an experienced technician at least every 12 months.

The aim is to discourage termites from foraging on your property by removing or raising above ground all potential food sources.

Termite prevention measures can be put in place during the construction of a new home, however for an older home that has no termite barrier in place, you can follow some simple tips.

  • Do not store timber, garbage, firewood or similar materials against or close to your house or building. Remember, Termites love timber!
  • Ensure you clean up any piles of branches in your backyard.
  • Remove all stumps and dead trees. Never use untreated wood chips in your garden beds.
  • Uphold a 7.5 centimetres high clear area around the edge of your home to allow a visual inspection of possible termite activity up the side of your foundation concrete slab.
  • Keep all garden beds away from your home to expose weep holes.
  • Replace wooden lawn ornaments with non-wood items.
  • Raise fence posts, deck posts and stair stringers onto concrete or use an alternative to wood for building.
  • Ensure that wooden sheds are raised above ground.
  • Fix any leaking plumbing, leaks or wet areas – termites thrive where there is moisture.
  • Regularly inspect the perimeter of your home for signs of termite damage or evidence of access up from the ground and into your home

What type of Termites live in Australia?

About 300 species of termites are found in Australia and these are grouped into three broad categories – subterranean termites , dampwood termites and drywood termites. Subterranean termites are generally ground-dwelling or require contact with the soil or some constant source of moisture. Dampwood termites generally live in damp rotting logs or rot pockets in dead or living trees. Drywood termites obtain water from the wood in which they feed and have no contact with the soil, nor any other source of moisture.

Termites Sunshine Coast – most commonly are subterranean termites, are social insects that live in colonies within the ground. The termite colony has 3 castes: workers, soldiers, and reproductives. Termites help the environment by consuming dead wood. During late winter or early spring, winged termites (swarmers), which are attracted to light, emerge from the ground and swarm to find mates to start a new colony. Swarmers are not harmful to wood but if they succeed to form a colony, the workers born from the colony will feed on wood and can cause severe structural damage. The king and queen in a colony can live for 10 to 30 years, while workers live for about 2 years.

What do I look for?

Termites are notorious for their ability to cause extensive damage in homes and buildings. The insects feed primarily on organic matter such as wood, paper, earth and plant material. They can also easily devour plastic substances. These insects like to stay hidden, which is why it is difficult to detect their presence unless it is too late. However, with some vigilance and regular checking, you can detect signs of inside termite damage to a structure.

Early Signs of Termites
Evidence of subterranean termites (Termites Sunshine Coast) may be one or more of the following:

  • A sagging door or floor, a warped wall, a hollow sounding beam.
  • Discoloured or blistering paint, depressions in wood, moisture collecting in unusual places, springy floors or steps
  • Mud shelter tubes (light / dark brown in colour – clay like texture)
  • Workings (mud like material) found in wall voids
  • Wood Rot (may attract termites)

Recognising Active Termites
Subterranean termites are small insects, approximately the size of a grain of rice. Unlike the maggots that you may find in damp wood, termites have six legs and are more like ants, though without a constricted “waist”. Termite Control Sunshine Coast

Termite Damage

Evidence of new activity is the presence of live termites or mud leads that were scraped off and subsequently rebuilt. Wood damage or mud leads with no visible termites are old termite evidence. Termite damaged wood has a laminated appearance with soil particles glued to the sides of the tunnel networks. The laminated appearance is due to the preferential feeding on the early wood of the annual growth ring

Termite Damaged Timber
Subterranean termites tend to favour softwoods (pines etc) and faster growing hardwoods. Other building materials such as rigid polystyrene insulation boards, plaster, soft plastics, and underground cables, may be penetrated by foraging termites even though they do not feed on these materials.

Termite Mud Leads

Termite mud leads are built by subterranean termites with soil particles, saliva and faeces. They require persistent moisture and soil contact to protect them from desiccation and predation. Mud leads can be seen on trees, stumps, structural timber and foundations walls.

When are termites most common?

Once a colony is established, termites are a year-round problem. However, there is an increase in colony expansion activity during warm weather.

My next-door neighbour has termites and is going to have his house treated. Are the termites going to attack my house next?

Termites move randomly through the soil searching for a source of food (wood)…so they don’t know where your house is exactly. So, if your next-door neighbour treats his home for termites, your house isn’t automatically the termites’ next lunch. Your house does not need to be treated; but, if there are active termite infestations in your neighbourhood, it is a good idea to have it inspected.

How long do termites take to do serious damage?

Termites damage wood slowly; the amount of damage caused by taking an additional day, week, or month is generally is insignificant however it is quite common for termite presence to go un-detected for some time. Prevention dosing the perimeter of your home in conjunction with a monitored program offers the best protection or at the very least, regular checks to detect termite activity early.

What is “pre-treatment”? How is this different from “treatment”?

Pre-treatment means treating the soil under the structure for termites before cement floors are poured in place. Which would be a great benefit instead of drilling.
Treating the structure and “pre-treatment” would be the same… the method of treatment, amount and kind of pesticide used, and methods of application are the same for both pre-treatment and treatment, unless drilling would be needed.

I heat my home with firewood and I’m always worried about bringing in termites. Is there something that I can safely spray on my firewood to kill any termites or carpenter ants before I bring the wood into the house?

Not to worry. Subterranean termites don’t live in the wood. They live in the ground. Any termites trapped in the wood will not be able to survive because they are not capable of reproducing without the queen. However, don’t store the wood inside because ants and beetles may come in with the wood.

How can Impact Pest Solutions help?

Because of the dynamic nature of termites, there are many treatments and termiticides available for homes. However, the proper treatment and termiticide depends on the home construction and severity of the infestation. Even with the correct treatment, it is important that the proper and approved method is practiced to achieve protection. If the technician does not dig the appropriately sized trench and drill the appropriately spaced holes through the concrete, you will not get proper protection. Our services include:

If you suspect that you might have termites or are at risk for termites, we can arrange for one of our certified specialists to inspect your premises. We are available for on-site inspections. If you have samples of insects that you suspect might be termites, you can schedule a free insect ID. Proper identification is critical for control.

Why not take us up on our FREE TERMITE CHECK offer? Contact us now (07) 5448 9455

 

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