Immediate treatment is the best response to termite detection on your property. While termites damage a home very slowly, you do not know how long they have been at work before discovery. Control termites expeditiously, but do not cower under any scare tactics of pest control professionals to act before you have researched your termite control options.
Treat Quickly Following Any Termite Swarm
Large numbers of winged termites emerge from their nests in early summer to launch new colonies. They typically do not fly more than 100 metres before landing to seek a mate, shed wings, and build a new nest. Indoor termite swarmers are doomed to die because there is no soil to burrow under after they mate and they cannot eat wood. However, they indicate a termite infestation in the house. Outdoor swarmers have slightly more success with less than 5 percent surviving to form a new colony.
Play Detective to Control Termites when you uncover a Few Foraging Scouts
As a colony grows, termites are constantly on the lookout for additional food sources. You may unearth a few scouts searching for new cellulose. Once they find new food, the workers build a mud tunnel to the food supply that ants cannot penetrate. Control termites by looking for mud tunnels to place a termite monitor near and add bait for the workers to carry back to the nest.
Types of Termites
While Australia has more than 350 species of termites, fewer than ten species inflict the most damage. Subterranean termites that live in the soil and eat cellulose found in wood, paper, and cardboard cause the most destruction. These species fall into three families: Coptotermes (Coptos), Schedorhinotermes (Schedos) and huge northern Mastotermes (Mastos). Mastos live primarily north of the Tropic of Capricorn while Coptos and Schedos are found throughout Australia with the exception of Tasmania. Homeowners should focus on controlling the termites that cause the most damage to homes.
Common Termite Features
Most termites are small (less than 10 mm), with pale bodies, thick waists, and oval abdomens. They lack eyes and have straight beaded antennae. Termite soldiers are usually larger than workers and have dark brown heads with black mandibles extending from their heads like claws. Soldiers can emit a milky substance from their heads that repels ants. The termite queen is the largest in the colony with an abdomen that can extend to 30 mm to lay more than 1,000 eggs a day when she is mature. Schedos are the most fearful and rapidly hide when exposed.
Most Termites Die from Household Safe Bait
Coptos and Schedos are more populous than Mastos and can die from eating household safe bait that homeowners place in monitors around their property to control termites. Mastos are larger and require professional termite control with stronger chemicals.