Subterranean Termites: Identification, Treatment, and Control
December 28, 2009
Why are subterranean termites a problem?
Subterranean termites build a central colony nest in a wall of your property and then they dig tunnels to search for food...timber. They can destroy a home's wall and roofing timbers, causing major structural damage to your property that is not normally covered by home or building insurance policies.
How do you know if you have a termite infestation?
You should have a regularly scheduled termite inspection. Termites tend to eat timber from the inside so there is often no visible evidence of termites until a great deal of damage has been done. Evidence of termites includes a mud tube against a wall coming from the ground, swarms of insects that look like flying ants, or wings that have fallen on the ground.
What to do if you discover termites in your home
Do not disturb termites if you find them in your property. Call pest control services and arrange for a termite inspection. If you disturb termites, they may abandon their nest and move to another part of your property.
Your termite treatment options
First you need a termite inspection to identify termite activity, high risk termite entry areas, and termite control options. Termite control options fall into three categories:
- Chemical soil treatment. A complete and continuous chemical barrier is installed around the perimeter and sub-floor to prevent termites returning to the nest. For safety, use only registered termite control chemicals.
- Termite baiting. Bait is laid that is attractive but lethal to termites. They take it back to the nest, which can eliminate the colony.
- Building modifications and maintenance. Termites need timber, moisture, and an undetected entry point such as through the soil. Reducing dampness, improving ventilation, and ensuring that timber is not in contact with soil are recommended ways to reduce the likelihood of termites infesting your property.
You should carry out regular monitoring and follow-up inspections to ensure that the termite control or treatment action has been effective.