What are they?
Subterranean termites are social insects that live in colonies like bees and ants. Typically they form a nest in the soil or near ground level in a stump or trunk of a tree. They eat cellulose which is found in the timber and timber products such as paper.
Attack by termites originates from the nest. Foraging termites will seek cellulose up to 50m or more from their nest. Wood or timber lying about or buried is reached by underground tunnels built by the termite workers. Timber above ground may be reached inside the timber or via mud walled tubes plastered to exposed surfaces. These tubes are built by the termites for shelter from the light and also to maintain humidity. There are more than 350 species of Termites in Australia and about 30 are classified as economically important in that they attack timber in buildings.
1 in 4 Australian homes are attacked by termites!
How to find out if you have termites
Inside: Check areas such as skirting boards, architraves, timber doors and window frames for staining, blisters, bubbles or ripplings especially of painted timbers, rippled or bulging wall linings, soft floorboards and also look for coarse, sandy pellet residue known as frass (termite excreta).
Outside:Check piers and stumps for mud galleries (small mud tunnels) especially against the walls and also any telltale paths leading up the foundation posts into the home.
Termites can enter buildings at the slab edge through cracks, joints and imperfections in the concrete or around the service penetrations (electrical and/or plumbing).
Wood giving a hollowed out sound when tapped will often indicate termite damage. Tapping wall joints and observing bits of falling dried mud and frass can also indicate termite damage.
How to deal with termites
It is critical that termites if discovered are not disturbed but left alone. Disturbing a nest will result in the termites moving making it difficult for a Sentinel Pest technician to determine whether activity is present or not.
You may want to inform your neighbours as 1 termite colony can affect several homes.
Steps to take to minimise a termite problem occurring
We recommend you fix any moisture problems such as leaking pipes, shower recesses, leaking hot water service outlets, leaking sprinklers close to the building, inadequate drainage or drains not connected to the storm water.
We also suggest you:
- ensure adequate sub floor ventilation
- remove untreated timbers that are in close proximity to the building and/or in the sub floor area
- remove form work timbers left in place in the sub floor area
- construct retaining walls and fences with termite resistant materials
- install a Termite barrier
- do not stack piles of timber or firewood under the house or against building/s
- do not plant gardens or shrubs close to the perimeter of the building
- call us to examine any new building construction.
Call Sentinel Pest Control for a prompt obligation free quote for the treatment of termites for your home or business on 9314-0259 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org