There are approx 350 species of termites in Australia, fortunately only about 20 species can damage timber in houses. Another name commonly used in Australia is ‘white ants’ because of their creamy colouring and ant-like appearance.
In nature termites assist the natural life cycle by recycling organic matter and nutrients back to the soil from fallen trees.
Termites love moisture and avoid light, rarely coming out into the open. Which is why they can be in your walls or skirting boards happily munching away and you don’t even realise they’re there. Being found within timbers where they leave a wafer thin layer to protect themselves from the outside environment. On harder surfaces they can sometimes conceal themselves within mud-like tubes or galleries.
Homes should have regular inspections of all accessible timber and potential termite entry points. Inspections should be carried out by a licensed pest controller who can identify timber problems and advise on individual solutions.
Local councils or licensed pest controllers should be able to advise on the frequency of inspections.
What should you do if you find termites in your home?
If termite damage is found in the home, don’t panic.
- Do not disturb the termites by using household sprays or removing infested wood. (There is no immediate threat to the house), so
- take time to investigate the size and nature of the problem as well as all the available options.
- Call a pest control professional if you’re unsure of what you should do. (They can advise you on what the best course of action would be.
At certain times of the year homeowners may notice winged termites in and around their house. This is the termites’ annual flight from the nest.
This does not mean that there is a termite colony attacking the house. There may however be a nest nearby if there are large numbers of these termites.
Depending on your particular problem some form of termite control or termite treatment may be necessary or it could be a simple matter of keeping old timber and branches from laying around the back yard and having regular termite inspections