Yikes! The thought of termites munching away at your home can be scary, but it’s not uncommon to find termites in Australia doing so.
With so many species of termites, it can be tough to determine if you have a swarm of these pests lurking around. But don’t worry; with some knowledge, you can learn to identify these tiny terrors and take steps to prevent an infestation.
Read on to learn how to identify and prevent termites in your home!
Australian Termite Species
Australia has over 348 species of termites, but only a few cause damage to homes. The most common species are Subterranean Termites, Drywood Termites, and Dampwood Termites.
Subterranean Termites are found in every state and are the most destructive of the three species. They are attracted to damp wood and can cause significant structural damage if left unchecked.
Drywood Termites, on the other hand, live in dry wood and are more commonly found in coastal areas. They often cause damage at a slower rate than Subterranean Termites but can be just as harmful if not detected early.
Finally, Dampwood Termites are found in damp wood. While they’re not as common as the other two species, they can still cause damage to homes.
The first step in identifying termites is to know what they look like. Termites are small, white, or light brown insects ranging from ¼ to ½ inch. They have straight antennae, two pairs of wings of equal size, and a broad waist. Loose wings are a good indicator of termite presence, as they often shed them near their nest.
Termites are social insects and live in large colonies. These colonies consist of workers, soldiers, and alates, also known as Australian flying termites. The alates are the reproductive members of the colony and are responsible for starting new nests.
During swarm season, which usually occurs in the spring and summer, alates will leave the nest to mate and start new colonies. If you see swarms of flying insects around your home, you likely have an alate nest nearby. Act quickly if you spot a swarm of flying termites; this is a clear sign of an infestation.
How to Prevent Termites
First, it’s vital to keep wood away from your home. Termites are attracted to wood, so storing firewood, lumber, and other wood materials away from your house and off the ground is essential.
Termites are also attracted to moisture, so fix any water leaks or damp areas around your home. This includes leaky pipes, faucets, and air conditioning units.
When building or renovating your home, consider using termite-resistant materials such as concrete, steel, or pressure-treated wood. These materials are less attractive to termites and can help prevent an infestation.
Regular termite inspections can also help prevent termites from infesting your home early on, and having your home inspected by a professional at least once a year is recommended.
Identifying and Preventing Termites in Australia
Termites in Australia can be a significant issue. They can wreck your home if you don’t find them early on. That’s why getting routine checks for your home from professionals is good.