Termite Frequently Asked Questions
Found Termites.... Don't Panic!
Do not disturb the termites, disturbing them will cause termites to stop working in the area and may make treatment more difficult.
What is a termite?
Termites are small insects that feed on wood. They are pale brown to brownish black in colour.
Are white ants the same as termites?
Yes the term 'white ant' is a commonly used term for termites. However termites are not ants, they are actually distantly related to cockroaches.
What do I do if I find live termites?
Stop whatever it was you were doing that lead you to find the termites. Do not disturb the termites or spray with insecticide. Termites need to be identified for proper treatment by a termite specialist. You cannot control termites by pulling out the effected timber and spraying the area.
What does termite damage look like?
Termites eat timber and paper products. They eat timber from the inside out and create a paper thin veneer on the surface. This causes the timber to appear crinkled, wrinkled and often spotted with mud. In a home termites can be found infesting finished timbers (skirting boards, door frames, architraves etc) as well as framing and subfloor timbers.
Termites won't attack a new home...will they?
Unfortunately they have been know to... sometimes within a few days.
My home is on a concrete slab so doesn't that mean I won't get termites?
This is a common misconception. Termites readily penetrate concrete slab floors through gaps such a expansion joints and cracks and also alongside service penetrations such as pipes, drains and electrics. Termites can also gain entry over the outside edge of the slab floor, sometimes by building mud shelter tubes that protect termites from the elements. This form of construction is one of the highest risk in terms of termite attacks.
If I have a full brick home, does that mean I don't have to worry about termites?
No. The roof structure of a full brick home is supported by timber framing and termites can gain access by traveling inside cavity walls. Also, where this type of home has suspended timber floor, termites can severely damage the flooring and supporting bearers and joists. Termites will eat built in wardrobes, timber fittings in bathrooms, kitchens as well as doors., door frames, window frames and skirting boards.
Are there termite species that do not damage timber in buildings?
Yes, that is why it is essential to have accurate identification so that control options can be evaluated and carefully chosen specifically according to the particular species.
How can I protect my home against termites?
For existing homes regular timber pest inspections are essential. Advice on the status of termite management at the property will be provided by the C.P.R. technician report provided on the timber pest inspection.I t is essential that a current termite management system is in place at all times. When building or renovating use construction techniques that isolate the timber components of the house from contact with the soil. This can be achieved by installing physical barriers or treated zones. Design features may also be incorporated to assist in preventing termites from invading the building.
- Always ensure that a visual inspection zone is maintained around the building. Allow space when installing rain water tanks and other solid structures.
- Keep garden beds at least 300mm away from external walls and trim foliage.
- Never build up soil, make compost heaps, stack timber or other material against the exterior of the building.