Australia has about 230 to 350 known termite species. Not all termites have a destructive temperament. Researchers say only 12 colonies exhibit savage traits. These social insects have a three-tier caste system that distinguishes their hierarchy. The highest caste is the reproductives; queen, king, and potential procreators called alates. Soldier termites rank next to the reproductive caste, followed by the workers (food hunters). Worker termites brave the wild harvesting provisions to feed the entire colony. The five percent, classified as wildly aggressive feeders, remain a nuisance to some properties. Are you suspecting signs you have a termite infestation?
Five ways to spot a termite infestation
These pests are dexterous critters that multiply quickly. Termites can accomplish several thousand dollars in property damage if left untreated. What’s worse, these insects attract other wood-boring pests. Unbeknownst to dwellers, long-term termite infestations can be a causative factor of various underlying health conditions. Recognize any of the following signs around the home lately?
- Wood damage – Termites cannot help but devour every wood in their path. After all, it’s their favorite thing to eat because it has naturally-occurring cellulose. It is a vital dietary requirement for most wood-boring insects. Woods infested by termites are hollow because these insects eat the inner portions first. Blisters are another telling sign of termite infestation.
- Mud tubes – Look for early warning signs of termites at the base of the building. Vicious Subterranean termites build hideous mud tubes that function as a condenser. It regulates the moisture in the cavity and maintains a conducive environment for working termites transporting provisions. These are the worst termites to ignore; their savagery knows no bounds.
- Bubbling/uneven paint – Moisture buildup from the intricate network of mud tubes can distort the painted wood. Sometimes, it’s just water, but some cues can indicate signs you have a termite infestation.
- Multiple discarded wings and swarmers – The presence of reproductives or swarmers (young male and female termites) can mean infestation too. Springtime marks the zenith of the termite mating season, where winged swarmers start anew. As these insects seek new beginnings and expand their colony, they will relocate. Do not delay learning how to get rid of termites because these critters do mean hostile takeovers.
- Termite frass – Wood-toned termites known as Drywood leave trails of tiny termite droppings around the home. It shouldn’t be hard to find woody pellets left in the wake of their feeding outside and even indoors.
What do termites eat?
Termites thrive on a cellulose-rich diet. Although natural wood makes up a significant part of a termite’s diet, these insects eat insulation fillings, papers, and books too. They will eat any naturally-occurring organic material. The feeding habits of termites vary from one species to another. Some prefer timber to crops, grass, fruits, leaves, spinifex, and barks. While most species feast on softwood, some prefer hardwood.
Properties littered with distressed vegetation like diseased foliage, shrubs, and ailing trees can become a breeding site for termites. If that’s the case, examine the plants for signs you have a termite infestation. Termites are silent invaders. Most times, homeowners do not suspect their presence until the infestation reaches an advanced level.
Is termite sawdust dangerous?
While frass and other forms of termite droppings are non-toxic, they make the environment hazardous. Decomposed wood, humidity, and heat create an ideal environment for indoor mold formation. Take care to examine the ceilings, walls, and attic to rule out mold infestation. So, yes, prolonged exposure to termite infestation can make someone ill because all that moisture in the air promotes mold growth.
Physical contact with frass can irritate the skin, flare up allergies, and cause a rash. Signs of termites sawdust generally mean Drywoods are around the home. Termites migrate to new sites on occasion, so never shrug off frass on the floor or window sills as nothing.
What to do if you’ve found a termite infestation
If you’ve discovered a termite infestation on your premise, the best thing you could do is contact your local authorities. On the Gold Coast companies like KTS Building And Pest have a name for themselves in offering affordable services that get the job done. Because they’ve been in the industry for a while, they know how to carry out services effectively and efficiently.
Types of termite nests
Exterminating termite colonies on the property is not light work. The living situation depends on the species. Typical termite nests include trees, buildings, mounds, rotting logs, underground (soil). How to find out if there is any truth to the telltale signs you have a termite infestation? Consult a certified exterminator to examine the supposed trouble sites and recommend remediation.
Termite bites are painful. The soldiers are territorial and rarely bite humans, but this doesn’t stop them from nipping the flesh if they feel threatened. The venom causes irritation, swelling, itching, and skin rashes. Request a professional inspection for signs you have a termite infestation now!