What do termites look like?
Many people ask us "What do termites look like?"
Termites are roughly the size of a garden ant.
They are usually a light brown to creamy white colour
Often found after disturbing infested timber, or soil
Often conceal themselves in mud "shelter tubes"
Australian sub-terranean Termites belong to colonies.
A colony has the following castes:
A King and Queen - For reproduction
Soldiers - To defend the colony and workers
Workers - To feed the colony, and care for eggs and the young. The worker termites are the only caste which actively attack timber.
Alates - These are winged future kings and queens that take flight in humid conditions to establish new colonies.
Because of the complex structure of a termite colony, our termites are not easily transported or relocated by accident. If workers and soldiers are transported away from the colony, they will cease to function, and die. Only the king and queen are capable of reproduction.
Help! I've found termites
Finding termites in or around your home can be distressing.
If you do find termite activity in or around your home, it is important that you do not disturb them. Once disturbed, termites may quickly leave the area, and begin foraging elsewhere for food. By leaving them alone, we are better able to asses the situation, and treat them with products that they can take back to a colony.
If you find termites remember:
Do not disturb them
Contact a professional
Don't feel pressured to accept a quotation, the termites wont cause much damage in the few days that you take to make the right decision
Quality products are expensive, Beware of cheap quotations
Video of Termite Alates and
Termite soldiers exiting brick paving.
There are thought to be around 300 species of termites, also known as white ants, (however they are not ants at all) in Australia. Of this 300, only around 30 species throughout Australia are considered to be a threat to our homes and properties.
The majority of termites forage around bush land and scrub, breaking down fallen trees, dead grass and debris to return it back to the earth.
A Termite soldier near black ants as a size comparison. Image is (C)
Note the brown mud on the roof timbers, this conceals the termites. Extensive damage existed to these roof timbers. Image is (C)
A termite soldier (Coptotermes) Note the well formed jaws to protect the colony. A termite treatment was required in Wanneroo
A Nasutetermes soldier defends its workers from ants Image is (C)
Alates swarm in the warmer months looking for a suitable place to nest.
Australian Standard codes recommend homes in termite prone areas be competently inspected for termites at least once a year. Perth is very much in a termite prone area.
A thorough inspection includes inspecting all timbers within the home, including skirting boards, fixed cupboards, door frames and roof timbers. All external areas should be inspected, including sheds, garages, pergolas, trees and shrubs. Inspections are important not only to detect live termite activity, but conditions and situations that may be suitable, or encourage termite attack.
Termite treatments vary from home to home, so if you would like more information on having your home protected against termite, please contact us so we can arrange a Termite management program that is right for your needs.
Inspections & Treatments
Termite myths & facts
MYTH: Termites dont pose a threat to double brick homes
FACT: Whilst double brick homes may have less timber than stud homes, double brick homes are frequently damaged by termites. We work in Perth's northern suburbs where the majority of homes are double brick. We have seen damage ranging from timber flooring, skirting boards and cupboards, to extensive roof damage. Homes with concrete slabs are certainly not immune to termite attack.
MYTH: If you have black ants you dont have termites
FACT: Black ants are natural predators to termites, however a well established termite colony will easily defeat the threat that black ants pose.
MYTH: My house is only a few years old, it will be fine
FACT: New houses are treated at construction. However there are many things home owners can do that may render th treatment ineffective, such as building mulch or gardens up against the home, therefore allowing termites to bypass the treated zone. Also, the treated zone may be removed by digging out soil to lay paving, install reticulation or gardens etc.
Video of Termite damage to roof timbers.