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How To Tell If You Have Termites: The Most Common Signs

Termites are one of the most common types of pests in Australia, especially in northern states. These small wood-dwelling insects can cause serious damage to your home if they’re left unchecked. The good news is that termites are fairly easy to get rid of once you know where they’re hiding. Knowing the signs of a termite infestation will help you take protective action and keep your home in check. Keep reading to learn more about what termites look like, how you tell if you have them and what you should do if you think you have termites.

What Do Termites Look Like?

A colony of termites consists of a queen termite, males, and workers. Each colony is headed by a queen who is responsible for laying eggs. Male termites do not perform any reproductive duties for their colony. You can identify a colony of termites by their small size, dark color and antennae. The queen termite is larger than the other members of the colony. The structure of a termite nest is based on a highly organized system. The nest is constructed from a combination of solid materials and detritus, a sort of crumbly soil material that is composed of fibrous plant matter and other particles. The nest may contain hundreds to thousands of termites and may be built on the surface of the ground, on a wooden structure, or in a wall. Inside the nest are chambers where termites live, feed, eat, lay eggs, care for the young, and store food. The nest of termites is composed of several components, including a nest chamber, galleries, and a primary fungus garden. The nest chamber is the base of the nest and is usually located in wood. The nest chamber is an underground space that is capable of withstanding high temperatures and humidity. The nest chamber is typically dark and moist, which provides the perfect conditions for termite development. The galleries are thin tunnels that run horizontally through the Dias and lead to additional chambers. The galleries are used for food and water transport. If moisture is present, the galleries may also serve as a means of egress for the colony if the nest is disturbed.

termite nest in a tree

How to Tell If You Have Termites

If you spot any signs of termite activity inside your home, you need to get rid of the infestation fast! Whether you see termites on the ground, in your walls or in your furniture, you need to act fast. The longer you wait to get rid of these pests, the more damage they’ll do. Termites can cause serious damage to your home if they’re left unchecked. The most effective way to determine if you have termites is to take a sample of the wood inside your home. You can do this by taking a small piece of wood from inside your house and placing it inside a sealed plastic bag. Leave the bag in the area where you spotted the termite activity for at least a week. If you have termites, you’ll notice a strong, distinct odor.

I wouldn’t suggest the average person relies on their ability to spot termites. They’re masters at eating away at homes while leaving very few signs. By the time you spot them you might find it is already too late. The average cost of termite damage in Australia is $10,000, according to Gold Coast Pest Inspector. With possible expenses like that you want to get professional help. 

What Happens When You Have Termites?

Termites are an invasive species that feed on wood. They search for food and shelter in structures, particularly wood structures. They eat wood and create small tunnels as they consume it. The high moisture content of wood makes it an ideal source of food for termites. When termites attack a structure, they cause damage by feeding on the wood. They can cause structural damage by gnawing large holes through wood. The damage they cause can lead to structural failure, increased chances of fire, and increased maintenance costs. Termites can also harm humans. When they attack wood used in furniture, building materials, and other products, they can cause allergic reactions for people who are sensitive to their presence.

How to Protect Your Home From Termites

There are several steps you can take to protect your home from termite damage. Before we dive into those steps, though, it’s important to note that termite damage is rarely an accident. The best way to protect your home from termite damage is to prevent them from entering in the first place. This means keeping your home free of loose materials, identifying potential entry points, and keeping your home well-ventilated. – Keep Your Home Free of Loose Materials – Termites can enter your home through any opening that is large enough to allow them to creep in. Therefore, keeping your home free of loose materials makes it much harder for termites to enter. – Identify Potential Entry Points – Termites don’t generally enter your home through your roof or windows. Instead, they usually enter through walls, floors, or pipes. Using your ears, you can use your nose, and the feeling of air blowing through your home, as your guide. Once you’ve identified potential areas that they could be entering, you need to seal off those entry points immediately. – Keep Your Home Well-Vented – Termites are highly sensitive to moisture. Therefore, keeping your home well-ventilated is the best way to prevent termites from entering.

If you didn’t get a termite mesh installed when you built your home (which is most of us) then you’ll need to get some kind of chemical baiting system installed. These systems use an inert termite poison coupled with delicious baits. There is also a system in which poison is pushed into your soil, forming a profolactic against termites. We’re less keen on this because the poison is released into the soil, whereas the bait station the poison is inert. Some companies, like Zapem Pest Management, will do either for you.

Conclusion

Termites are one of the most common types of pests in the United States. These small wood-dwelling insects can cause serious damage to your home if they’re left unchecked. The good news is that termites are fairly easy to get rid of once you know where they’re hiding. Knowing the signs of a termite infestation will help you take protective action and keep your home in check. Keep reading to learn more about what termites look like, how you tell if you have them and what you should do if you think you have termites.