Although termites can be difficult to identify in your property, there a number of signs to look out for that may indicate there’s a termite colony nearby. Termites thrive in the warm, damp Queensland climate, and are attracted to timber and wooden structures. Given the opportunity, termites can cause an enormous amount of damage in a very short period of time, costing thousands of dollars to repair.
Pest technician Danny from Pest Ex pest control Brisbane said “A professional annual pest inspection, gives you the best chance of protecting your home from the dreaded termite. In conjunction with regular inspections, it’s best to be vigilant and stay on the lookout for any signs of termite activity, in and around your property”.
Below are the most common indicators that termites may be trying to destroy your home.
One sign you may have a termite issue in the home is the bubble effect on you skirting boards or window frames – or if by pressing on the wood, it feels a lot softer than normal.
Termites can demolish timber, wallpaper and other paper products (any type of cellulose material), most often leaving the outside structure. This gives the illusion everything is unscathed, when in reality the structure is completely destroyed. Before buying a property is vital you are aware of these signs and it’s widely recommended you get a pest inspection carried out before purchasing a new home.
Similar-looking to flying ants, winged swarmers are those insects you may have noticed hanging around light sources in their hundreds around dusk. During the warmer periods, these swarms occur more frequently with the male termites and the sexually mature females vacating their nests and conducting an airborne mating ritual. After procreation they fall to ground, shedding their wings; with the impregnated female termite embarking on a search for a suitable nest area to start a new termite colony. The most suitable nesting spots are nearby untreated wooden structures, trees or tree stumps.
Winged swarmers are very attracted to light, so if you notice a lot a pile of gold wings around your sky or downlights, you’ll know there is likely to be a termite colony being set up close by.
These subterranean pests track mud with them everywhere they go, leaving an obvious dirty trail known as ‘galleries’. These trails are a useful indicator to show the location of the termites in your home, as they can often spread several meters up the outside wall of the house, as they try to find a way into your home. Once in, they start to make their nest, and begin to unleash their destruction by eating of all the cellulose-based substance they come across. The consumed material is excreted as a wet mud and over time, this mud can pile up. This can lead to the point of the piles sweeping through the walls, destroying the plaster and becoming noticeable on the internal wall.
Professional termite inspectors use thermal imaging and dampness detectors to pinpoint these piles of termite excretions. These inspections are crucial in detecting mud moisture in the walls, long before it begins seeping through the walls, or throughout the plaster boards.
Being aware of what to look for is a great start in the fight against termite destruction but it doesn’t beat the protection of having annual termite inspections.
Choose a termite pest control company with certified friendly technicians to inspect your property for termites once a year. Ideally you want to use a service provider who will inspect all parts of your home, inside and out, including any garages and other outdoor structures.
If termites are found on inspection, a professional can safely treat them on the spot, remove nests and ensure that the termites do not return.
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Images: Bria Hammel Interiors.
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