Termite-Circle

Termites

Overview


If you suspect you have termites CALL A PEST BULLY INSPECTOR BEFORE you disturb any potential infestation. This is because once a colony is disturbed it may retreat to the nest only to reinfest in a new location before they can be treated with a nest killing chemical.

While termites might not be as annoying as some of the everyday insect species we encounter or be in our thoughts everyday they are without a doubt the species of insect which is likely to affect our financial position the most.

They are also the insect that we should be thinking about often because left unchecked and unprotected it is only a matter of time for our homes to be invaded.

Like ants termites divide labour among groups or castes. These are made up of sterile male and female "workers" and "soldiers". Within the colony are fertile males or "kings" and one or several fertile females called "queens". The main diet of Termites is cellulose, or dead plant material, depending on the environment in which the colony lives this might be leaf litter, wood or even animal dung. The role of termites in the recycling of these materials in the environment is of major ecological importance.

Termites have colonised ever continent on earth except Antarctica. The size of termite colonies can range from a few hundred individuals to enormous mega colonies of several million. Surprisingly termite queens can live for up to 50 years which makes them the insect with the most longevity.

Of the hundreds of termite species which exist in Australia only a handful regularly cause any damage to homes or commercial premise.

It is important to note that while these unseen creatures can terrify us with their potential to do damage there are methods which a pest controller can implement to significantly reduce the risk posed by these unwelcome guests.

At the end of the day when it comes to termites it is vigilance which will win the day, that is why regular inspections and treatment are key in any preventative strategy.

 

Distribution


Australia Wide.

Treatment Options


If you suspect you have termites CALL A PEST BULLY INSPECTOR BEFORE you disturb any potential infestation. This is because once a colony is disturbed it may retreat to the nest only to reinfest in a new location before they can be treated with a nest killing chemical.

There are a vast array of treatment options available for termites. Every situation is different and the treatment option recommended will vary. The method recommended will depend on if the treatment is a preventative one or a curative one.

Regular inspections or "vigilance" is an important aspect of any management plan as any type of termite defence can be breached, sometimes unknowingly be residents of the home or other external events. It is a good idea to discuss with your pest inspector some of the basic do's and don'ts of keeping your termite treatment intact.

Treatment options include;

  • Barrier treatments
  • Baiting stations
  • Direct treatment of infestation
  • Yard treatments
  • Reticulation Systems
  • Barrier treatments
    Barrier treatments are a good preventative measure even if you don't have any current termite infestation. When you home was built it would have had an under slab treatment done, the chemicals which are used for this purpose have a relatively short life span which means after a while you home will be left unprotected. How long will depend on the chemical which was used for the under slab treatment. Your Pest Bully inspector can let you know how long the treatment which was used on your property is expected to last. Barrier treatments are particularly useful when construction has not taken into account good termite protection, this is typically where an existing dwelling is added too or extended with the unintended consequence of weakening the termite protection of the original dwelling. Barrier treatments are achieved by trenching around your property or discretely drilling through hard pavement area and impregnating the surrounding soil of your home with chemical designed to repel or nest kill any termites which enter that area.

    Bating stations
    Baiting stations are used either as a first line of defence in determining if any termites are active in the vicinity of your home, your Pest Bully inspector would install, bait and periodically check these stations. Bait stations can also be used as a method of transmitting modern treatment chemicals to any nest in the area. This is achieved by not killing the termite when it comes into contact with the chemical but rather allowing the termite to take the chemical back to the nest with the intention of killing the nest as a whole.

    Direct treatment of infestation
    would be used when an infestation is already established in a dwelling or perhaps a stump in a house yard. Nowadays this is typically achieved by treatment with a chemical which works in a similar way as the bait stations in that it doesn't kill the termites immediately but allows them to take the chemical back to the nest where it will kill the colony.

    Yard treatments
    are typically the same as direct treatment in a dwelling with the object being to kill any nests which might be present. It would be recommended that this is done in conjunction with removal or old stumps or materials which are acting as an attractant to termites in the first place.

    Reticulation systems
    work in a similar way to barrier treatments in that they help form a protective barrier around the dwelling. The difference is that the reticulation system is effectively a porous piping system which when pressurised with a chemical treatment leak out into the soil around the pipe hence treating the surrounding soil. Having this system in place means a Pest Bully inspector can re pressurise the system periodically keeping your barrier treatment in place.

    Common Invasive Species


    Scientific Name

    Coptotermes acinaciformis

    Overview

    Coptotermes acinaciformis is a native Australian subterranean termite found throughout Australia except Tasmania and a few other select pockets of high rainfall. It is comfortable living in both rural or urban environments.

    Of all the species of termites which invade our homes coptotermes acinaciformis is the most destructive termite by far causing millions of dollars of damage a year to properties.

    The reason it is so destructive is largely in the way it and we live in our environment. Coptotermes acinaciformis generally make their nest in the root crown of a tree or underground but will build a mound if required. The termites build a gallery of tunnels which allow them to travel up to 50 metres in any direction to find food. These galleries can cover 0.4 acres. These termites are also able to build subsiduary nests for example near a water source like a leaking pipe in the wall cavity of a building. Termites are able to detect wet timber from a great distance which is why infestation of a property is often linked to a problem in a wet area which leaves wet timber to call the termites in. Anywhere there is timber in moist ground, for example off cuts from when you built your new deck is a good nesting site for Coptotermes acinaciformis.

    Distribution

    Australia wide except Tasmania and a few other select pockets of high rainfall

    Identification

    Coptotermes acinaciformis grow to a maximum length of 5 to 6.5 mm and are generally off white in colour with the soldiers having a more honey coloured head and dark pincers then the workers. They are easily confused with Coptotermes frenchi and Coptotermes lactues however they can be distinguished from these through the head of the soldier which is more rectangular then the Coptotermes frenchi and Coptotermes lactues which are both more spear shaped.