Termites
 
 
 
 
 
 

Termites

 
The extensive amounts of damage that termites cause to modern homes is often not realised until it is too late. As they remain concealed in the wood, and enter your home through underground openings, it is often not until the damage is extensive, that you realise you have a problem.

Termites, or white ants as they are more commonly known, cause structural damage to timber and other cellulose based products that can be detrimental. The most common species, Coptotermes acinaciformis, has become known as the most destructive termite species in the world.

 
It has been estimated that on average 1 in every 5 homes are attacked by termites at some stage during their lives. In some extreme areas it can be as high a 1 in 3. Clearly it is important to take every action possible and available to prevent their menace.
 
 
 
Winged Ant & Termite Diagram  — Allied Pest Management Tregeagle, NSW
 
 
 
 

The most common termites are subterranean termites. These live in large underground nests and travel through the soil where they build mud tunnels to gain access to the timber in your home. Once inside, the worker termites chew up the timber to feed the nest. This very often leaves timbers hollow inside and structurally unstable.

Termites are thought to be the most destructive insects in the world, all because of the extent of the damage they cause to structures resulting in financial loss.
 

Signs of Termites

 
 
Tight fitting door or hard to open windows – as termites eat or chew the timber, they create mud tubes to go from one place to another, this ‘mudding’ has a high moisture content, which in turn causes timber to swell and difficult to open windows or close doors.
Cracks in cornice or door jams – not all cracks mean termite activity. It can mean that there is movement in the home. However, it can also be due to termites eating through the timber and destroying the structure causing the cracks
Papery or hollow sounding timber – when termites eat the timber, they do it from the inside out leaving only a thin veneer of timber or paint. When you tap the walls, it will sound hollow due to the timber being completely consumed.
Noise – if termites have been disturbed, the ‘soldiers’ send alarm signals to the nest by banging their heads against the timber. This can become quite loud, especially at night when the house is quiet.
Staining of or Ballooning of wall sheeting – the mudding containing high moisture, can cause the wall sheeting/gyprock to swell and ‘balloon’. This may not only be the reason as the swelling/ballooning can be due to a water leak, but BEWARE – Termites love moisture and are attracted to timber in a moist environment.
 
Termites in Wall — Allied Pest Management Tregeagle, NSW
 
Termite mudding/leads – termites use mud tunnels/tubes to get around in a protective manner. More often these tunnels will be behind wall sheeting/gyprock or under the ground, but sometimes they can be seen on the external façade of your home, climbing up timber/steel posts, or coming up through a crack or join in concrete flooring.
Termite droppings/frass – this look like small, ridged, wood-coloured pellets.
Discarded Wings on ground –wings of winged termites shed and can be found in small piles throughout an infested home. These wings look like fish scales

 
Termite Nest Diagram — Allied Pest Management Tregeagle, NSW
 
 
 
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
 
  • Always follow the instructions, guidelines and recommendations issued by a Timber Pest Specialist. They are designed to ensure maximum protection of your home.
  • A termite Treated Zone bordering the perimeter walls of your home may be essential to reduce the risk to your home. Do not disturb this Treated Zone. If it is disturbed, there is a possibility there will be entry by subterranean termites
  • Any termite management program can become ineffective if building alterations or additions are made. The construction of pergolas, awnings, verandas, etc can provide a route for concealed entry into your home.
  • Weep holes in-between the bricks, found above the slab, must be left exposed. Building up gardens or soil levels over the edge of the slab or over the weep holes will allow termites to can gain undetected entry into your home and bridge Treated Zones.
  • With suspended floor homes, any material that could be conducive to termite infestation, including any form-work, timber, tree stumps etc, must be removed from the subfloor and away from the external walls of your home.
 
Termites in Wood — Allied Pest Management Tregeagle, NSW
 
  • Ensure that termite (ant caps) shielding are not damaged in any way or breached (metal strips around the foundation). Termite shields do not prevent termite entry; however, they do force termites out into the open making them visible by regular inspection.
  • Repair leaking taps, showers, pipes, etc under the home or adjacent to it are immediately in order to reduce moisture levels in the sub floor.
  • Never block the vents to sub-floor areas. These keep the subfloor dry, therefore the termites are not attracted to the area.
  • Do not use untreated timbers to make garden beds or retaining walls as these will attract termites. Untreated timber retaining walls should be replaced.

 
Termite Infestation — Allied Pest Management Tregeagle, NSW
 
 
 
 

Annual Termite Inspection

 
 

 
The Australian Standard recommends annual inspections. However, more frequent inspections are strongly recommended especially in high density termite areas. Allied Pest Management will perform these inspections for you.

They will perform a thorough survey of your property, including the garden area and trees where termite nests may be found. A full written report detailing the results of his inspection will be presented to you accompanied by appropriate recommendations on treatment and measures you should take to help ensure the security of your home.

If you find any evidence of termites, damaged timbers or mud workings, then immediately contact Allied Pest Management.