As long as there have been people in Australia there have been termites. Over time we have learned to understand their behaviour and this has helped us to protect our assets and our lifestyle. At Pest Patrol we give you piece of mind by inspecting your home annually and of course, before you purchase a property. If needed, we will effectively treat any termite infestation with chemicals or baiting methods that are safe for your family, pets and the environment.
We also believe that you can actively help prevent termites from attacking your home. The information below will help you to identify if you are dealing with subterranean termites (white ants) and why you have termites.
A typical termite colony has:
- this is the largest group in the colony
- workers are wingless, sterile and blind
- they gather food, build the nest, tend the eggs and feed other castes of termites in the colony; they really do the hard work
- the protectors of the colony
- have heavily armoured heads
- soldiers are also wingless, sterile and blind
- they are fed by workers
- alates posses eyes
- they have reproductive systems and wings
- swarms leave the colony to form a new colony
- usually swarm at dusk in spring to early or late summer to early autumn
- alates are attracted to lights
- Queen may produce up to 2000 eggs per day!
- colony may exist for up to 50 years
- a mature colony may consist of 2 million individuals!
Most destructive species build nest in the soil or in dead or living trees or similar type food sources (usually out of sight).
Less destructive species build nest on tree trunks or above the soil (usually more visible).
- the basic food requirement for termites is cellulose
- all timbers and mulches contain cellulose and are a great food source for termites
- other materials (ie. cardboard, paper and carpet) also contain cellulose that termite will also feed on.
- most termites work in closed systems that consist of subterranean galleries or covered runways that extend from the nest to various food sources.
- this ‘tunnel’ system offers them protection from enemies such as ants and temperature and humidity extremes; it may also conceal their entry into your home
- termites can travel from 50 to 200 meters from a nesting sight towards a food source, so if termites are in your house or property the nest may not necessarily be on your property
A termite colony population can comprise of up to and over 1 million individuals, they have an organized social structure with their own job to perform. Gathering food for the colony and building or expanding a nest is the main objective and an ongoing process; termites are constantly foraging for food via arteries (mud tunnels) they build through the soil from their nest to the food source. Termites will also have more than one food source or different feeding locations. They do this in order to sustain the colony if one area becomes depleted or destroyed. Occasionally termites will expose their workings (mud tunnels) when they have a food source above ground (timbers in house, fences, etc.) or are travelling towards timber that is above ground (subfloor walls, external wall of house etc.).
Termites also require moisture and a humid environment to work within. This is important information as research suggests that houses with moisture leaks or moisture problems are at higher risk of termite attack as they provide an attractive environment conducive for termites. Because termites are mostly below the soil surface they will generally enter and attack your home from structures that are in ground contact or gain access to your home through concealed entry points below the soil surface. There are many preventive measures that you can do to help reduce the chances of termite attacking your home or business.
Due to the closed system that termites operate through natural enemies consisting of ants, lizards, snakes, frogs, birds and other predatory insects have little impact on the colony itself. However when alates (winged reproductives) emerge on colonizing flights these natural enemies especially ants do have an impact reducing the chance of termites forming new nests.