Why are termites so hard to detect in your home or business?
Their ideal environment is somewhere that is dark, humid and protected – the places in most dwellings we wouldn’t normally access!
Termites behave covertly. They will generally not be detectable until damage has been done.
Signs of termites
Stealthy insects by nature, you will not usually know termites are attacking until the damage is done resulting in some tell tale signs.
The most obvious signs of termite infestation are;
Tapping or chewing noises behind walls. While this might sound like termites eating, it is the workers and soldiers communicating.
Papery or hollow sounding timber, or surfaces with a ripple like affect. Termites consume timber from the inside out and can consume everything up to the layer of paint on the surface.
‘Mudding’ can sometimes be detected on brick foundations or architraves but is generally underground or behind walls. These mud tunnels are constructed by the termites to ensure safe passage to their food source or to create a safe environment to protect their food source.
Power failures and a build up of earthen debris around power points.
What do I do if I suspect I have termites?
Contact Avanteguard, your Wagga Wagga pest control expert immediately. Not all termites are as destructive as others, however, early detection and implementation of the correct pest management strategy will prevent further damage.
In the case of termites, an immediate assessment is the best course of action.
What are termites?
Termites are commonly referred to as ‘white ants’, but are not ants. They are a social order of insect called Isoptera.
This pest has a social structure similar to ants and bees though, and lives in colonies with populations that number from hundreds to millions.
There are three varieties of termite (subterranean termites, damp wood termites and dry wood termites) and hundreds of species throughout Australia.
Wagga Wagga Termites
Termite castes each have a specific role to play in the colony hierarchy;
Queen & King:
The queen and king are the original winged reproductives (dealates). When a new colony is formed the pair will feed and care for the young until there are sufficient soldiers and workers to take over the duties of the colony.
The most abundant caste in the colony and prolific workers, performing all the tasks in the colony except defence and reproduction. Wingless, blind and sterile, this is the caste that does damage to timbers.
The soldier termite is the easiest caste to use to identify a species. Their role is to defend the colony. The soldier will discharge a secretion associated with defence that is a repellent to ants and other enemies of termites.
These are the future kings and queens of new colonies. Often larger, winged and able to see, the alates colonising flight will occur when humidity and temperature conditions outside mirror conditions inside the colony. This would normally occur in the summer months.
For the most part, the termite diet consists of cellulose.
As their name would suggest, subterranean termites, live in soil and do not usually attack sound dry wood, as they prefer damp, damaged timber. These termites have to maintain contact with soil or a reliable water source to obtain sufficient moisture to survive. They will attack living trees and seasoned timber.
The variety that attack sound, seasoned wood out of contact with the ground are known as “drywood” termites. Drywood termites are generally found in coastal regions and will attack dry, undecayed wood, including structural timber, the dead limbs of trees, ornamental and orchard trees, utility poles, posts and stored timber
Dampwood termites attack moist wood. They attack the underground parts of shrubs and trees, fence posts, baseboards, tree stumps, fallen tree branches and door frames in buildings. They are not subterranean but will nest in wood beneath the soil. The damp wood termite requires moisture from wood and, as a result, are often found in cool, humid areas along the coast.
What can I do to safeguard my home or business from termites?
Book an annual termite inspection with a qualified Wagga Wagga pest control service.
Wagga Wagga pest management experts can identify any potential problem zones that may be attractive to a hungry colony scouting a food source.