Termite signs to be on the lookout for:

With the onset of the summer season and the first rains looming, be prepared and avoid incurring vast financial losses to your home or business caused by these wood destroying insects and be on the lookout for them.

Worker

Worker Termite

Soldier

Soldier Termite

Winged-Right

Winged Termite

King

King Termite

Queen

Queen Termite

Description:
As the description of their name indicates- these termites occur beneath the surface of the ground. They are social insects and have a strict caste system, consisting of the workers, soldiers, winged termites (re-productive Alates), a queen and a King. They are white in colour, soft bodied and possess hard shelled jaws which allow them to chew through their natural diet of wood and related food sources.

Biology:
Subterranean termites feed exclusively on dry wood and any wood product that contains cellulose. The cellulose content is extracted from the wood and is digested with the aid of Micro-organisms within their digestive systems and is used in the sustenance of the colony. Sub terranean termites would feed on the dry wood within the bark of trees; however they do not feed on living trees or plants.

Signs of their activity:
One very common sign are flying ants which are normally visible with the first summer rains- these are in fact the alates which form new colonies.
Subterranean termites infest houses, buildings and any structure that has a concrete or wooden subfloor, where they enter from beneath the foundations and make their way up through any structural crack, cable conduit, plug points as well as the cavity existing within weight bearing walls of structures, and if left without being attended to they can move into ones roof and start a new sub nest in the roof which can lead to an enormous repair for the owner when the rafters are damaged.

 

Do you have subterranean termites?

  1. Does the wood that is damaged have mud tubes attached to it with various tunnels? If yes, it is likely to be activity
  2. Have you noticed infestation such as in the picture above on the external perimeters of your house or within your skirting boards, near or within wooden door frames and window frames? If yes, it is highly likely to be activity.
  3. Do your wooden skirting boards or wooden door frames sound hollow when they are tapped? If yes, there is a chance it may be subterranean termites, or it could simply be dry rot resulting from rising damp within the walls or foundation
  4. Is there any sign of winged termites around your premises, with or without their wings? If yes, it is possible a new colony may develop.
  5. Do you see loose heaps of soil next to your skirting, door frames or around the external perimeters of your home or business similar to the following picture? If yes, you do not have a subterranean termite infestation, but a black ant infestation.

 

Where to from here?

  1. If you have answered yes to the questions above, rather call in the services of a pest control specialist that has experience in the industry, a proven track record and a company with public liability that will come in and undertake an inspection for you and provide you with recommendations and a treatment plan.
  2. Ensure the company you utilize offers you the correct 5 year guarantee on the foundation treatment of your structure. If any company or individual offers any guarantee longer than 5 years, this should be reconsidered as the recommended guarantee period is stipulated by the manufacturer as per the termiticides label.
  3. Do not be afraid that your house will collapse if you notice new subterranean termite infestation- termites work slowly, and would take a few months for extensive damage to take place.
  4. Flick only employs pest control technicians that are registered with the Department of Agriculture. All technicians are further extensively trained in the correct application practises

Subterranean Termite Treatment Explained