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When it comes time to purchase a property, there are plenty of things to consider and searches to undertake, with one of the most important being the pest and building inspection.
You may be tempted to skip this step but with around 150,000 properties coming under attack from white ants and termites every year in Australia, it’s probably not a good idea.
Termites work fast and can cause irreparable structural damage within 12 months of attacking a home. The worst part is that most insurance companies won’t cover the cost to repair the damage!
Termites are social insects that are sometimes mistaken for ants. They tend to be light or even white in colour, so often get referred to as “white ants” – however, termites belong to a completely different insect group than true ants. They are more like cockroaches!
Termites are classified into three different categories:
1 – Dry Wood Termites
These termites live in small colonies of less than 1000 individuals; you may find them in a piece of wooden furniture, munching away on hard or softwood.
They get all the water that they need from the wood that they ingest, and don’t need to drink or have contact with the ground. Because of this, they are difficult to detect but they do need high humidity to survive.
2 – Damp Wood Termites
These termites love to devour things like old tree trunks, logs, and branches. They like the wood to be damp/wet and so are more likely to be outside than in. They too are difficult to detect and if found inside, then it is more than likely there is a moisture issue in the building.
3 – Subterranean Termites
This is the most common and destructive of the types of termites in Australia.
Subterranean termites need to be near a source of water and so usually make their nests in the ground where they can garner moisture from the soil. They find it easier to digest wood that already has some rot but are quite capable of chewing through a perfectly sound door frame too.
They use the soil to construct nests and shelter tubes, made from a mixture of soil, wood, faeces and saliva. The termites use these tubes to move about safely to forage for food and water.
The most common type of subterranean termite is Coptotermes Acinaciformis – and this guy is the most destructive termite species in Australia, with colonies hosting up to one million individuals. They don’t generally build mounds (except here in Queensland and other tropical areas), preferring to nest underground and in trees and stumps.
In a termite nest you will find:
Termites are sneaky, quiet and hardworking – in fact termites can stay awake 24/7 for up to two years! So how do you know if you have a problem? Things to looks out for include:
Termites cause billions of dollars of damage and eat thousands of kilograms of wood every year, so if you suspect your home may be under attack – call us on 0418 564 334. We take termites very seriously and aim to be at your property within 24 hours, to provide you with expert advice and treatment to protect your most valuable asset – your home.
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