Termites, despite being small in stature, can be a towering nuisance for homeowners in Australia. These tiny, wood-munching pests have the potential to cause significant structural damage to your property if left unchecked. 

In this article, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about termites, including how to identify their presence, what they look like, the potential dangers they pose, and some effective methods to get rid of them for good!

If you suspect you may have an infestation or you’re simply interested in learning more, give this article a quick read. 

What Are Termites?

Termites (aka “White Ants”) are small, social insects that feed on cellulose-based materials, such as wood and plant debris. They live in large colonies and are notorious for their innate ability to cause extensive damage to properties. 

Termites eat wooden planks. Damage of a wooden house from termites

Can You Tell If You Have Termites?

So, how easy is it to tell if you have a termite problem in your home? Here are a few things to keep an eye out for:

  • Detecting termites can be challenging since they often remain hidden within walls, floors, or underground.
  • Keep an eye out for signs such as mud tubes, discarded wings, hollow-sounding wood, and small holes in wooden structures.
  • Regular inspections by pest control professionals are recommended for early detection. When was the last time you booked yourself in for a thorough pest control inspection? 

What Does a Termite in Australia Look Like?

Have you ever wondered what termites actually look like? Here’s what you need to know:

  • In Australia, there are over 300 different species of termite! The most common termite species, however, is the West Indian Dry-Wood Termite (aka Cryptotermes). 
  • These termites are pale or cream-coloured and have soft bodies.
  • They are winged during their reproductive stage but lose their wings shortly after finding a mate (which is why you should keep an eye out for discarded wings as a clear sign of an infestation). 
  • Soldier termites have large, dark heads and strong mandibles.

Are Termites Dangerous?

Now on to the more important question: are termites dangerous? Here’s what you should know about these naughty little pests: 

  • Termites themselves do not pose a direct threat to humans.
  • However, their ability to cause extensive damage to structures can lead to incredibly costly repairs and compromise the structural integrity of your home.
  • It’s crucial to address termite infestations promptly to prevent further destruction. If left unchecked, they can bring an entire house down over your head, which can be fatal. 

How Long Does It Take for Termites to Destroy a House in Australia?

The speed at which termites can destroy a house depends on a number of factors, including:

  • The termite species.
  • Colony size.
  • Environmental conditions.

In Australia, where termite activity is high, it can take as little as a few months for termites to cause significant and often irreparable damage.

Unnecessarily delaying treatment can lead to severe structural issues, potentially requiring extensive renovations – which is far more expensive than a routine pest inspection. 

Winged, alate, reproductive caste of a European termite

How Do You Get Rid of Termites?

So, how do you effectively rid your home of termites? 

  • It may be tempting to try and handle things by yourself, however, when dealing with a termite infestation, it is highly recommended that you seek professional termite control services.
  • The best pest control experts have the knowledge, experience, and specialised equipment to effectively eliminate termites. 
  • DIY termite treatments are generally ineffective in eradicating an infestation completely. Again, we advise you to save yourself the time and effort and just call in the professionals instead. 

Methods for Termite Control:

Here’s a quick look at some of the most common methods for effective termite control in Australia: 

 

  1. Termite Baiting:
  • Baiting systems are strategically placed around the property to attract termites.
  • Once termites feed on the poisonous bait, they carry it back to the colony, leading to its inevitable eradication.

  1. Chemical Barrier Treatment:
  • A liquid termiticide is applied to the soil around the structure, creating a protective barrier.
  • This barrier prevents termites from entering the building and eliminates existing colonies.

  1. Fumigation:
  • Fumigation involves enclosing the infested structure and introducing a gas that effectively eliminates all of the termites present on your property.
  • This method is typically used for severe infestations and requires professional expertise.

Conclusion

Let’s conclude with a quick recap of what we’ve covered in this article: 

  • Termites can cause extensive damage to your home if not addressed and exterminated promptly. 
  • Identifying signs of termite infestation include: 
  • Mud tubes.
  • Discarded wings
  • Hollow-sounding wood.
  • Small holes in wooden structures.
  • To effectively protect your property, it’s best to call in the pros! Experienced pest control experts can use a typical visual and thermal imaging inspection to identify a termite infestation. Then employ effective methods such as termite baiting, chemical barriers, or fumigation (if necessary) to eliminate termites and safeguard your home from further destruction.
  • Remember, early detection and prompt action are critical to minimising the impact of termites on your property – which can otherwise be substantial.

If you are in the Sydney area and suspect that you may have a termite infestation on your property, we urge you to contact us today, or at your earliest convenience. 

One of our pest control experts will visit your property and carry out the necessary checks – and if in the event that you do indeed have a termite problem, we can quickly prescribe the appropriate treatment and have your home back to normal in no time!