In The Art of War, Sun Tzu said, “Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.”

When it comes to termites, you hopefully won’t need to fight a hundred battles, but there is truth in Sun Tzu’s famous quote. If you know and understand your enemy (in this case, termites), you can better prepare and protect your home from their possible damage and devastation.

In Australia, there are over 300 species of termites, but fortunately only 30 or so species cause significant damage to structures like your home or property. These 30 species are categorised into dampwood, drywood, and subterranean termites. Most of these species have similar life cycles.

Termite Life

Termites grow from egg to nymph to adult. Depending on conditions, termites become workers, soldiers, winged reproductives, or the king and queen of their colony. The queen and king are winged reproductives which leave the parent nest during the colonising flight. They then establish a colony and mate to populate it. The female has an incredible laying capacity, producing up to 1000 eggs per day. If this breeding continues unabated, in approximately 3 years, the colony will have reached destructive proportions.

Termite Habits

Termites love dark, moist environments, and this is why their nests are found in places where they can hope to maintain optimum humidity. Their habit of nesting within trees or underground keeps them well-protected and well-hidden from homeowners. Termites feed on bark, grass, leaves, and (of course) wood, particularly preferring those items which are in states of decay. The majority of termites will never show up above ground, performing most of their duties within the colony or within underground tunnels. This can make it more difficult to identify the existence of a colony. In fact, even massive colonies can create extensive damage that can go virtually unseen. Termites are capable of consuming most of the available timber, leaving a thin, seemingly untouched layer on the visible service.

Know Your Enemy

Knowing the basics of how termites live and what they like can help property owners keep termites away or at the very least minimise their impact.

Prevention is key. Keeping your property dry is very important. Look for areas of dampness surrounding your property and check for leaking pipes, dripping faucets, or air conditioning moisture. This water can create ideal environments in which termites can thrive.

If you must store wood at your home, such as firewood, keep this lifted off the ground and as dry as possible, covering it with a tarp or placing it under a covered structure. Damp wood is the pleasure of termites. You should remove any excess and unnecessary or rotting wood from your property. If a structure is falling apart, it’s a wise idea to rebuild it completely, with new timber, pre-treated for termite prevention.

If you’re building a brand new home, termite pretreatment is available for the entirety of your home. Taking such a step can help greatly reduce the possibility of significant termite infestation in the future.

Spot the Termite

Though termites don’t always make themselves visible, often the signs of their existence are easy to spot. Mud tunnels are made by termites moving underground to look for and gather food. These mud tubes are spotted running for a length on the ground surrounding our property, or may be found within floorboards or climbing walls. If you see numerous discarded wings around your home, this can also be a sign that a colonising flight has recently taken place, and it may be time to call the exterminator. Yet another sign of termite destruction is when you feel sagging or sinking floorboards, or spot visible damage around your home.

Have you identified possible termite activity or destruction around your property? There’s no better option than to contact Termite Solutions. We’ll work with you to eradicate these damaging pests from your home, helping to protect your property for the future. Don’t wait, contact us today!