factsheet

In Brisbane’s sub tropical climate, many buildings are damaged by termites and other timber pests, so it’s in your best interest to have protection. Sandgate Pest Control is happy to visit your premises to provide advice and an obligation free quote for termite protection.

Termite’s in Brisbane are property owners’ worst nightmare, causing destruction and damage throughout thousands of Brisbane properties every year.

There are roughly 300 different types of termites, around 30 of which are timber pests that could damage your home.
The most destructive are subterranean termites. Local species of subterranean termites include Coptotermes, Nasutitermes, Mastotermes, Schedorhinotermes and Heterotermes.

termites
Ant vs Termite

Often incorrectly referred to as white ants, termites are actually completely different to ants. They differ from ants in four main features:

– Ants have elbowed antennae whereas termites have bead like antennae.
– Ants have compound eyes while termites have no eyes.
– Ants have a constriction between the thorax and the abdomen while termites don’t
– Termites are lighter in colour than ants, being sandy white in colour

Subterranean termites get their name because they travel underground through soil (subterranean means underground).

Termite Control

A termite chemical barrier along with regular timber pest inspections is the most effective way of protecting your home from termite attack. However implementing a few steps can help ensure your home is a safe as possible.

– Termites are attracted to wood so removing all potential food sources will discourage termites. Food sources include loose timber, old tree stumps, untreated landscaping timbers, sleepers and logs
– Where possible use treated timber for all situations where timber is in close contact with the ground (e.g. fences).
– Termites are greatly attracted to areas with high levels of moisture so ensure all downpipes, hot water and air conditioner overflows are connected to a drain.
– Fix all leaking taps, showers and hoses to avoid the build-up of moisture.
– Termites prefer humid conditions so ensure the sub-floor is well ventilated and has proper drainage.
– Ensure all timber posts are in stirrups a minimum of 75mm above the ground. This provides a physical barrier, whereby regular inspections will reveal any termite workings on the outside of the stirrup.
– All timber battens need to be cut back to 75mm above the ground level, this also provides a physical barrier where any termite workings or leads will be visible during an inspection.
– Check all ant capping, making sure none are defective, proper ant capping provides a physical barrier.

Termite Lifecyle

Alates

Large numbers of winged male and female termites are released from the colony on warm humid nights. These are called Alates. While you may see hundreds of these flying around, only a small number survive the flight. These then drop their wings, find a mate, and if they can find a suitable location start a new colony.

termite_lifecycle

Queen

The queens abdomen grows to many times its original size and she then becomes an egg laying machine, laying up to 100 eggs a day. The queen is confined to her royal chamber and is tended to and fed by the workers and regularly fertilized by the king.

Nursery

The eggs are removed from the royal chamber and transferred to a nursery by the workers. Here the eggs and nymphs develop into other castes that the colony requires for development and survival.

Soldiers and Workers

Soldiers and workers are blind and sterile termites. They carry out all of the work for the colony and are responsible for gathering all food. In most termite species, the heads of the soldiers are uniquely armoured and equipped to allow them to defend the colony against attack, often by ants.

FAQ About Termites

My house is new, doesn’t that mean I won’t get termites?

Although it is a requirement that all new homes have termite protection installed, unfortunately it is a common misconception that this means they are 100% safe from termite attack.  There are a number of factors that can cause protection to fail.  Annual inspections will identify these factors and also continue your BSA warranty.

My neighbour has termites, will I get them?

Not necessarily, but termites forage for food long distances from their nest so it is quite common for neighbouring properties to find termite damage.

How can termites enter my home?

They can enter through a variety of ways, however, the most common entry points are: 1) Through any timber in contact with the ground and your house. 2) Through weep holes. 3) Through cracks in a slab or through slab joints.

What is the best way to protect my home?

Step One: Install a chemical barrier to the full perimeter of the home.

Step Two: Continue with annual termite inspections (this allows your technician to monitor your home and also continues your warranty).

Can I use mulch in my gardens?

Damp conditions under mulch creates an ideal habitat for termites.  If you must use mulch it is recommended that garden beds are kept far away from the house.  Using Cypress mulch does not mean you won’t get termites.

I have black ants, doesn’t this mean I won’t get termites?

Unfortunately this is another common myth.  Whilst black ants and termites are enemies, having one does not mean you won’t have the other.  They can co-exist within a home.