Australian Termites

Australian Termites Guide

It is said that there are only 2 different types of houses in Australia. The ones that already have termites and those that will eventually get them. Though this might sound like a very exaggerated statement, the fact is that termite infestations are now becoming very common across the country and even newer buildings that do not have too many wooden features in them are being attacked by termites.

Termites and termite swarms have always been a part of the Australian environment for literally millions of years. These creatures are also called white ants and are extremely persistent and resilient in nature. Every third property in Australia suffers from termite infestation. Annually, these termites Australia damage in excess of 180,000 Australian buildings or homes. Estimates of combined costs of the damage caused by termites ranges from 700 to over 1B with agriculture & horticulture also taken into consideration.

Australian Termites

The Perfect Landscape

Most homes have a lot of landscaping and bark, woodchips & mulch are used abundantly. In addition, pergolas, patios, decks and timber retaining walls are the different outdoor features that are also commonly seen on a number of properties. This has significantly increased the incidence of termite infestations on residential properties which increases the risk of severe damage to homes, which is the biggest asset for most people.

Termites are subterranean/ ground inhabiting social insects and live in large colonies. A well-established colony of termites can be made up of literally several million members. New termite colonies get formed when the winged females and males from any parent colonies emerge in flight & swarm. Each termite colony will have 4 castes and each one of these castes has a specific role to play within the social structure of that colony. The termite swarm has all the members required to start a new colony.

The 4 Castes of any Termite Colony

Reproductives- King and Queen Termites

The King &Queen termites are central to a vibrant termite colony. The Queen acts as the egg-laying machine and produces between 2,000-3,000 eggs/day and can live for upto 25 years. The King & Queen get formed from the winged/A’lates termites when a new nest is created

Termite Inspection Penrith
swarmer termites

Swarmer/ Alates Termite

These are darker-coloured and winged, reproductives which fly from a nest in thousands and establish their new colony. Since these are very poor flyers they typically fly for 50 – 100 metres from their parent nest. A’Lates form the air-borne termite swarms when they are establishing new colonies

Soldiers/ Soldier Termites

This caste protects the termite colony from being invaded by other insects. They excrete a certain substance that repels the enemies of the termite colony & can also eliminate them. The workers feed and groom the soldier termites as the latter are not capable of feeding themselves.

Soldier Termites
Working Class Termites

Workers- Working Class Termites

These provide all the labour for that colony which includes searching for & collecting food. They also feed all the other castes, the immature termites and groom the soldiers in the colony. They also digest the cellulose & fungi in wood and effectively feed the rest of the castes via oral & anal secretions.

Identifying Termites

Termites are very small in size & soft-bodied insects. They all build a large central colony nest and radiating underground tunnels are built from this nest. These species can extend upto 100 mtrs radii and they eat through wood features in a building. They build sub-nests in wall cavities and at times will also emerge from the plaster and you will see muddy tunnel-like deposits on the surfaces.

Where they Live

They tend to build nests in any crevices that are moisture-ridden and dark, on a nest tree, faulty plumbing, shower recesses, broken roof tiles etc. They create the mud-shelter tubes on walls and travel inside them. These tubes protect them from various predators, dehydration and sunburn. The termite species can enter a building via a hearth, patios or even cracks and joints in concrete slabs and walls. They also eat through expansion joints and travel under floor tiling and framing timber.

Identifying Termites

The signs to look out for

Australian Termite Guide

If you find any muddy trails on walls, see any hollow wood, termite building, the windows and doors get jammed or don’t shut properly, or if you find that the skirting makes a hollow knocking sound, you should get an expert pest control company carry out a complete inspection of your property. Species termites can be very hard to detect, but if you see any of these signs of damage to wood elements in and around your home, do not attempt any DIY pest control methods.

Promptly contact Emblem Pest Services for inspection of your property & we will also advice you on all the protective measures that are available. We focus on 100% customer satisfaction and ensure that the termite infestation is eliminated completely and that they do not return. For effective and lasting termite control in Penrith and the surrounding suburbs, contact Emblem Pest Services 1800 244 778.

Small House Ant