FAQs & More Information
How do Termites Invade Your Home?
Known as the most destructive pests in Australia, most species of subterranean termites operate from a central colony beneath the surface soil. In their hunt for food, termites will often construct galleries from the ground, over ant caps and along pipes. Incredibly resourceful, these galleries can also be free standing to reach food sources above ground. In order to reach structural timbers, termites will exploit small cracks and flaws in concrete slabs and piers to breach building foundations.
Once these foundations have been breached, termites can pass through, often undetected, and attack parts of the building through the inside of wall cavities, under the floor and in the ceiling.
Why are Termite Inspections Important?
Termite inspections are essential in treating termite pest problems as termites can often be eating the insides of your home, completely undetected. To inspect for timber pests such as termites, good access to all timbers is needed which is unfortunately rare in many homes. This is why you need a professional who in addition to advising on the status of the property, informs clients of areas that can’t be inspected and the potential risk of this.
At Bug Busters, our licensed technicians will also provide you with relevant information on conditions that are conducive to timber pest attacks from termites and how to protect your Perth property. Bug Busters’ report format has been approved by a panel of specialist pest control experts and technicians that are certified to carry out reports to the Australian Standards. This means you can have peace of mind knowing that all relevant aspects of the property are being reported on by a qualified professional, with all pertinent information being provided.
Every year, termites cause up to $100 Million dollars’ worth of damage to properties in Australia and we’ve all heard the horror stories of houses falling from damage caused by these destructive pests. The property damage caused by termites, borers and wood decay fungi can be severe with some repairs costing up to $100,000. A thorough inspection and a detailed report by a termite pest treatment professional makes a lot of sense and can save you from damage to both your home and wallet in the long run.
Biology of the Termite
Due to their very thin cuticles, termites are more susceptible to extreme temperatures and as a result prefer the high humidity and temperature conditions of their workings and colony. The relative humidity in a colony is approximately 100%.
Termites will try to avoid contact with the outside environment and will only venture outside when the humidity is comparable to that within their nest. This is why they are extremely effective at concealing their activity by building galleries to access food sources that would normally require them to reveal themselves.
Termites exist in a colony in several forms or castes, each of which has particular structures and functions related to the survival and maintenance of the colony.
A termite queen’s main purpose is to reproduce in the early stages of their colony’s lifespan. During this time, the queen will tend to her young, together with the king, until there are enough workers to take over the duty. Some queens can live as long as 20 years and are fertilised at intervals by the king during this period. In some species of termites, the abdomen of the queen becomes distended due to a condition called Physogastry (swelling of the abdomen with eggs).
When the queen becomes too old to carry out reproductive duties or dies, reproductives are selected and these become supplementary or neotenic reproductives. These queens are chosen from the reproductive caste and do not breed as prolifically as the original queens, so several are usually selected from one queen.
The main purpose of the termite king is fertilising the queen at intervals to ensure the colony reproduces enough workers to survive. The king can be usually be found in the royal chamber of the colony near the queen and is cared for by the workers. He can be distinguished by smaller mandibles and a darker shading across the abdomen, thorax and head.
Termite workers make up a significant portion of the colony with the queen able to produce millions of termite workers that carry out a number of duties. These duties include:
- Gathering food
- Feeding young termites
- Repairing damage to the colony
- Tending to and feeding the royal couple
Termite workers are blind and white in colouring, mainly due to their thin cuticle. They are also responsible for the damage to millions of homes across Australia every year.
Soldier termites protect the colony and are identified by their larger orange or brown heads, and large mandibles. Similar to the worker termites, they are females and males that have not developed their sexual characteristics and are white due to their lack of cuticle. They can often be seen in numerous quantities with the worker castes.
The Reproductives or Alates
The reproductive or alates are the castes which have fully developed their sexual characteristics and are the future kings and queens of another colony. Unlike their worker or soldier counterparts, the alates have fully developed outer cuticles which means they can resist the outside environment. The alates can be identified by full wings that are longer than the body, as well as darker colouration along the head, thorax and abdomen. Reproductives can be chosen to carry on the colony if the present queen or king is dying or degenerated and become neotenic or substitute reproductives.
In primitive species of termites, the Nymph, or undeveloped termite will act as the worker and completes the duties a worker termite would until their last stage of growth. It is during this stage that will determine whether the termite because a soldier or reproductive. The nymph is basically the larvae or juvenile stage of the termite’s life cycle.
To find out more about our termite inspections-and termite pest treatments in Perth or to book a free, no obligation consultation, call Bug Busters now on