A termite infestation and damage can be devastating to your home or property. Termites are often called the “silent destroyer” because they may be secretly hiding and thriving in your home or yard without any immediate signs of damage. All termites consume cellulose-based plant materials. Unfortunately, all homes, regardless of their construction type, can provide cellulose food for termite infestation.
Termite Warning Signs
Some indications you may have a termite infestation: a temporary swarm of winged insects in your home or from the soil around your home, any cracked or bubbling paint or frass (termite droppings), wood that sounds hollow when tapped, mud tubes on exterior walls, wooden beams or in crawl spaces and discarded wings from swarmers.
Termites invade homes by crossing from their colonies in yards to foundations. Cracks or gaps around pipes and wires give the pests access inside. Homeowners can also get termites from: wooden structures, like porches and decks, in direct contact with the ground, stacks of firewood that lean against the house, damp soil near foundations from leaking faucets, gutters, or downspouts and trees and shrubs planted close to the building.
Above ground locations in the house that remain damp enough to support termites without them needing to return to the moist conditions found in the soil.
What Can I Do About Termites?
Learn more about how Zeropest Australia controls termites.
Subterranean termites belong to the phylum Arthropoda, the class Insecta, and the order Isoptera. There are over 2,000 different species, which all have distinct scientific names.
Termites are detritivores, or detritus feeders. They feed on dead plants and trees. Termites get nutrients from cellulose, an organic fiber found in wood and plant matter. Wood makes up the majority of the pests’ diet, although termites also eat other materials such as paper, plastic, and drywall. Most species prefer dead wood, but some termites feed on living trees.
Subterranean termites prefer softwoods, but may invade most species of wood.
A termite’s mouth is capable of tearing pieces of woody material. This ability is what causes concern in human dwellings: while termite workers only measure approximately 1 cm to a few millimetres in length, their feeding habits are capable of causing costly damage to property. House foundations, furniture, shelves and even books are all possible feeding sites for termites. Termites have been recorded as destroying the wall and roofing of a house within three months of building.
Commonly, termites live in wooden structures, decayed trees, fallen timber, and soil. Habitats vary among species as some termites require different amounts of moisture. The pests are found in greater numbers in tropical regions where living conditions for termites is optimal.
Subterranean termites are the most abundant variety.
The CSIRO conducted a survey which indicated that 32 percent of Australian homes have a history of termites. More recently, the Institute of Australian Architects confirmed that by finding that pre-purchase home inspections found termite damage in one-third of all homes inspected.
Subterranean termite homes are usually formed in soil. Within these mounds, termites build elaborate tunnel systems and mud tunnels through which they access above-ground food sources.
When a colony has matured, winged, swarming termites can be seen around windows and doors. Winged termites are highly attracted to sources of light and are most active in springtime. After mating, these termites locate a new breeding site and create another colony, spreading infestations throughout multiple locations.
In the summer months, reproductive flying termites leave their mature colonies to mate and pair off. After this, the couples lose their wings, become queens and kings, and create new colonies. Immature termites develop to fill one of three roles: workers, soldiers, or reproductives. Some species of termite queens lay millions of eggs each year.
Workers are responsible for gathering and feeding the colony members, maintaining the nest, and caring for young. Soldiers protect the termite colony using their large mandibles to fend off predators. Reproductives are the only sexually mature members of the colony, aside from queens and kings.
What Can You Do to Help Protect Your Home?
Since termites are a constant threat to your home, here are some things you can do during the year to help maintain the effectiveness of Zeropest Australia’s termite treatment plan.
Small steps make a big difference in termite prevention and sustaining an effective termite treatment plan. Start by eliminating moisture conditions and termite food around your home. These simple steps make your home a less attractive target, helping deter termites.
Eliminate Moisture Problems
Repair leaking faucets, water pipes, and A/C units, divert water from foundation, keep gutters and downspouts clean, remove excessive plant cover and wood mulch, get rid of standing water on roof, keep all vents clear and open and seal entry points around water and utility lines or pipes
Remove Termite Food Sources
Keep firewood, lumber or paper away from foundation or crawl space, get rid of stumps and debris near house, place screens on outside vents, check decks and wooden fences for damage, wood on your home shouldn’t contact the soil.
If you Find Termites On Your Property Its Important That You Do Not Disturb Them.
Though this might seem strange, it’s best to leave termites alone should you find them on your property. If disturbed, termites’ survival instincts will prompt them to abandon the area. Instead of departing the affected area completely, they can move to another area on or in your property, causing more damage.
If you find termites in or around your premises, it’s essential that you Do Not Disturb Them and promptly contact us to get professional assistance. Call 1800 38 66 55 to arrange a termite inspection with Zeropest Australia to put in place the best program to protect your home or business to eliminate the termites.