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Subterranean Termites

In Australia, subterranean termites are responsible for damaging more property every year than flood, fire and all other natural causes combined.

At the moment there are over 350 different species of termites in Australia, of which about 15 are economically important as pests of timber. Except drywood termites, all other species that cause timber damage are soil dwelling or subterranean.

“White-ants” or “white ants” are commonly referred to as termites, though this is a misnomer. Subterranean termites are more like cockroaches biologically speaking.

Subterranean termites live in colonies and have a wide geographic distribution. They may harbour populations of a few hundred to several millions. In every colony there are distinct castes, with each covering a particular duty. Worker termites are blind and sexless, responsible for timber damage when searching for food. This food consists of cellulose, sugars & starch
that is present in timber.

Subterranean termites normally are found underground in the soil, may build mounds, or certain species have colonies in the trunks or the root crowns of live & dead trees. A key point in the eradication of these type of termites is that they have to maintain direct contact with soil and must have sufficient moisture in order to survive.

Subterranean termites need to construct mud tubes to insulate them from the outside environment from the centre of their nests to where their food source will be – trees, damp loose timber, books, furniture or any other material containing cellulose.

They consume timber from inside out, and by the time the mud tubes and damage is visible, the timber will be eaten away inside.

Signs of Subterranean Termites
• Most obvious are mud trails that lead up to the sides of subterranean piers, over antcapping on piers or seen on the edge of concrete slabs
• Dried mud (often wrongly referred to as “past damage” in joins of doors, cupboards or windows
• Bubbling or blistering paints on building materials
• Dampness or wet stains on walls
• Sounds of tapping behind gyprock plaster walls – particularly during the warmer months or at night.
• Power points and electrical failure – termite damage is attributed many house fires from damage caused to electrical wiring

If you are concerned about Subterranean Termites or would like to get protection for your home, call Bruce on

0417 251 911 or email him at today for some friendly advice

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