It doesn’t matter where you live, unfortunately termites are everywhere (whether you can see them or not) and at some point during your life time you will come across them. Did you know that it’s estimated that termites cause five times more damage to homes than fire in Australia each year and you are not covered by your general household/building insurance, resulting in having to fork out thousands of dollars to repair the damage these exceptional insects cause.
There are approximately 300 species of Subterranean termites (meaning underground) within Australia, with only 30 considered destructive to timber. Whilst small in size, these insects pack a punch causing severe damage to structural & decorative timber. Subterranean termites live in Colonies consisting of anywhere between a few hundred to millions of insects. Each Colony consists of different castes, each with a different role to perform. These include the Queen, King, the winged Reproductives (Alates), Soldiers and Workers.
The workers are by far the largest caste in the Colony and the one that causes the damage. Workers are responsible for carrying out all work in the nest, including gathering food; resulting in damage to timber caused in their search for food (material containing mainly cellulose, sugars and starch), constructing mud tunnels/galleries; repairing and enlarging the nest; grooming each other and feeding the remaining castes along with caring for the young alates until mature. The workers will work 24 hours a day until the end of their lifecycle which quite often will be several years.
The soldiers name speaks for itself. It is responsible for looking after and protecting the Colony from predators. The soldier caste are usually the first to be seen in large numbers where disturbance has occurred when activity is present. These amazing insects rush out to guard the Colony (once disturbed) whilst the worker termites repair the damage caused by the disturbance
The Reproductives (Alates) are commonly seen when they swarm or are in flight on hot, humid days (usually thousands can be seen). They are swept along in the wind (as they are poor fliers) and will drop their wings when finding a suitable and potential place to create a new Colony by producing a Pheromone signal to a potential mate. Whilst this doesn’t mean you have a termite infestation, it is important to recognise the signs and be aware of potential infestation, as at the end of the day if your home or property is providing ideal breeding conditions, then you may very well find yourself with some unwanted guests.
The Queen will live in a central chamber with the King, within the Colony and is looked after by the workers. Once mating has occurred, the Queen will then (potentially) lay up to 2000 eggs per day for up to 25 years!
Signs that you may have termites:
- Hearing clicking noises in walls/timber
- Swarms of Alates
- Timber such as architraves & door frames look paper thin or the paint is bubbling
- Mould/swelling of walls or timber materials
- Mudding/galleries located in or at the base of the building
- Power failure or a build up of dirt material around power points – termite damage to electrical wiring has been attributed to many household fires
Conditions that will attract termites toward your home:
- High moisture at the base of the building (such as leaking taps, dripping hot water system overflows and dripping air-conditioner overflows)
- Mulch/timber material against the building or in gardens within close proximity of the building
- Timber logs and sleepers
- Timber garden edging/retaining walls
- Vegetation/Trees/Palms against the building
Knowing the above, the best way to ensure your home is protected from the threat of termites is to contact us so that we can provide you with your very own Termite Management System. This will initially include a thorough Timber Pest Inspection to your home carried out by one of our qualified inspectors. Our inspector will evaluate your home and provide you with the most suitable treatment option. Just like our customer’s needs, not all houses/buildings are the same, therefore the best treatment option is provided based on the construction type and your budget to ensure your home is protected from termites for years to come!