Termites FAQs: Top Ten Frequently Asked Questions about Termites

  1. What are termites?
    Termites are vital for the environment, they recycle dead timber back into the nature. They live for wood as their source of food; thus, these insects destroy wood in the process. Their existence dates back since the dinosaur era. And while termites are ecologically important, experts estimate they cause around $5 billion of property damage annually.
  2. How can I differentiate termites from ants?
    Termites and ants look quite similar from a far. But there are a few things to look for to distinguish them. Most termites are usually pale, almost white in color. Ants can be red, black or brown. Termites’ wings easily break off after leaving the colony. Termites have straight antennae, while ants have bent antennae. Termites have broad midsections, while ants have narrow ones.
  3. What are signs of termite infestation?
    Depending on your geographical location, termite swarms are often more evident during hot and humid summer. Some signs of termite infestation include soft wood in the household, mud tunnels in the interior or exterior of your home (usually near the foundation), and swelling or darkening of wood structures. These occurrences are a give-away sign that termites can already be everywhere!
  4. Are termites seasonal or do I need to look out all throughout the year?
    Termites are active all year round and they do not sleep! They normally swarm to start a new colony around summer time; however, that rule is not carved in stone. As long as they have what they want most—warmth, moisture, and food—the colony will continue to proliferate.
  5. How can I prevent termites?
    There are numerous methods to prevent or reduce termite infestation, such as chemical and physical barrier, moisture control and anti-harboring measures for new buildings. For older homes or existing structures, it is a must to contact a termite specialist so they can provide you solutions for your specific needs.
  6. How often should I get termite inspection from a professional?
    Regular inspections by qualified termite inspectors help avoid nasty surprises of finding termites and damages. CSIRO recommends, termite inspections to be carried out every 6- 12 months. However, in some areas where there are a few favorable conditions for termite infestations, quarterly inspections may be necessary.
  7. What if my neighbors have termites, does it indicate that I have them, too?
    If your next door neighbor’s home is infested with termites, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have them as well. Nevertheless, it signifies that your house, including the entire neighborhood is at a high risk of a termite infestation. Termites can travel up to 50 meters in search of a food source. Inspections can be done for a reasonable cost, so it is a good idea to have your home inspected regularly.
  8. What do I do if I have termites in my house?
    DO NOT DISTURB OR KILL THEM YOURSELF. We need them alive in order to identify and eradicate them. Although termites can severely damage your property, they work at a slow pace. So do not panic; your house will not fall into pieces overnight. However, it’s best to act fast to prevent any further damage. Contact a licensed termite control company as soon as possible to have your house inspected and provide proper termite treatments.
  9. What is the most efficient method of termite control?
    There is no one product or technique that suits every kind of termite problem. The most effective type of termite treatment depends on many factors such as the location of the nest if found, the species of termite, and the location and construction of the property. An experienced termite specialist can evaluate each infestation separately and propose a thorough action plan that will successfully control the termite colony.
  10. Can I treat my house for termites using DIY (do-it-yourself) methods?
    Unless you have the right qualifications, properly treating your home could be very complicated and you may end up spending thousands of dollars on timber repairs on top of extermination fee. Moreover, the termiticides are not available to homeowners as they can be hazardous to apply by an untrained person. Hence, unless you are knowledgeable and have the proper equipment, it is best and more economical to let a termite professional treat your house or building.

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