Termites are one of the most destructive pests in Australia. They cause millions of dollars damage to houses and building throughout Queensland.
What do termites eat?
Termites eat the cellulose that is found in timber based products. A lot of the time the timber is eaten from the inside, leaving a shell of paper-thin timber on the outside. Termites will often be found infesting timbers such as door frames, skirting boards, furniture, subfloor timbers and framing.
What are the Signs of Termites?
When Termites move into a house, it can be a long time before they are noticed without regular inspections. Some of the signs to look for are:
Termite Mudding - Termites don't like to stay out in the open, they prefer to stay within their muddings.
Paper-thin or wavey timber - When termites eat timber, it is normally from the inside out which means that they leave a paper-thin layer or timber or paint once they are done with that part.
Termite Mounds - Termite mounds are often found outside in gardens, but they can also be found inside of walls, subfloors or ceiling voids. The Termite mound is made from dirt and timber of the surrounding area and will generally be a similar colour to that of the surrounding dirt.
What can be done to Treat Termites?
Treating termites falls into two categories depending on the subspecies and placement of the termites, these categories are:
Baiting - Bating termites involves finding the Termites and attaching a bait station to the wall or in the ground, once the bait has been placed it can take some time to become effective.
Direct Treatment - A direct treatment involves applying a foam, spray or dust directly to the termites, this can be a time-consuming procedure and can take more than one treatment to fully ensure that the termites have been dealt with.
Are there any ways to prevent Termites in the first place?
As with anything else, prevent is the best possible treatment. There are many ways to prevent termites such as:
Physical Barriers - Physical Termite barriers are usually applied to a building when it's first built, it involves placing a material or substance that the Termites cannot eat or get through around the edge of the building and under that slab.
Monitoring Stations - Termite monitoring stations aren't quite a barrier. Instead, they act more like indicators. Monitoring stations are installed around the perimeter of a building at intervals of between 3 - 5 meters. These stations must then be checked every 3 - 6 months, and if Termites are found in a station, then a bait can be applied to treat them.
Chemical Barrier - A chemical barrier can be applied to a building still be built or a pre-existing building. It involves treated the soil around the building with either a chemical that treats the termites as they try to enter the building.