All You Need To Know About Termites

The termites are tiny insects that are usually confused with ants, but which are much more invasive and destructive. If not treated, they can cause serious damage to homes and properties, and that’s why they need to be handled right from the first signs. A termite queen can lay millions of eggs each year, so they can multiply very fast. In this article we will discuss more about these nasty pests, about how they can get to your home and how they can be removed.

How To Recognise Termites

They usually measure between ¼ and ½ of an inch (0.6 to 1.2 cm), and the main differences between them and ants are:

  • The waist of the termites is straight, while that of ants is pinched
  • The antennas of termites are straight, while those of ants are bent
  • Alate termites (the ones who fly away) have all four wings of the same size, while those of ants have different sizes. Also, flying termites are shedding their wings, while flying ants are not.

What Do Termites Eat?

Their main source of food is cellulose, which can be found in wood, paper, wires and various other materials around your home and yard. They are among the few creatures on this earth that can digest cellulose and turn it into food. Most items around a human home contain cellulose, and this is why you can find these insects so often in people’s homes and backyards.

Subterranean termites come from the ground or below and can enter a home through the smallest cracks. This type of termites needs moisture from the soil, so they can enter through any contact point between wood and the ground (doorframes, porch steps, deck posts and more). Other termites can also crawl through tiny cracks they find in the foundation of the house or holes in concrete blocks.

What Attracts Termites

Termites are attracted by:

  • Moisture
  • Mulch
  • Gardens
  • Landscaping timber
  • Furniture
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Documents
  • Firewood
  • Wood piles
  • Dead trees
  • Stumps
  • Bad drainage
  • Tree limbs close to the home

These items are so common in most Australian homes that we can safely say that everyone is at risk and there is not much that you can do to keep them away for good.

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Signs of Termites

Here are some of the indications that your home might be infested with termites:

  • clicking noises
  • head banging
  • flying termites
  • termite wings
  • white ants
  • the timber sounds hollow
  • there are small holes in the wood
  • the doors and windows are hard to open or close
  • mud leads
  • shelter tubes
  • the power fails
  • you notice tunnels in wood
  • you find termite droppings
  • the floors, walls or ceiling are damaged
  • the foundation is damaged
  • the garden is damaged
  • roof tiles are damaged

It’s important to call a specialist as soon as you notice any of these signs, in order to prevent them from spreading and doing more damage. Don’t waste your time with DIY solutions found on the internet or with termite substances found in retail stores, as they either don’t have any effect or offer just temporary protection. You will eventually still have to get a professional treatment, so you will then spend money twice.

Types of Termites

The main types of termites are:

  • subterranean termites
  • drywood termites
  • dampwood termites

There are thousands of species of termites all over the world, but they can all be included in a few categories and groups. In every colony we have:

  • the alates
  • the king and the queen
  • the termite soldiers
  • the termite workers

How Often To Get A Termite Inspection?

You might think that as long as you don’t see any signs of termites you are safe. But these nasty insects can stay hidden and not give any signs for many months, destroying important parts of your home in the meantime. That’s why it is recommended to get an inspection:

  • Every 12 months
  • Before buying a new home
  • Before selling a home

Termite Treatments

There are multiple types of treatments available, depending on the species of termites and the particularities of each home. Among them we have:

Termite Liquid Insecticide – it is applied by a pest control technician in the infested areas

Termite Foam Treatment – it is used when the insects are hidden deep inside walls or wood, and the liquid insecticide cannot be applied. The foam expands and fills in all the space inside the galleries. This pushes it through the entire gallery, trapping the termites inside

Termite Dust Treatment – it works in a similar way as the foam, trapping the termites inside and then gradually killing the entire colony

Termite Barrier – it is installed around the perimeter of the home, and it involves treating all the soil around the entire building. A good barrier will provide long term protection

Termite Bait – various baits are placed around the property in order to confirm the presence of the insects and then to eliminate them. Baits can be applied both above the ground (on top of active mud tubes used by the termites) and below the ground (directly in the soil).

Get Rid of Termites Now!

If your home or yard are seriously infested by termites, then it’s time to call a specialist! Safeguard Pest Control is a family owned and operated company that has been operating since 1989. We have extensive knowledge and experience in this field, and can provide you with professional results.

Whether you have issues with wasps, moths, bees, termites, lawn grubs, mice, rats, geckos, fleas, mosquitoes, flies, bed bugs, Silverfish, pantry pests or ticks, we are here to help!

Book your Safeguard treatment now by calling 07 5477 6675 or emailing info@safeguardpestcontrol.com.au and allow us to protect your family against these annoying insects.

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