10 Facts About Termites You Didn’t Know

The Pest Company, a Gold Coast based termite and pest control expert talks about some of the fascinating aspects of these creatures. But beware! These insects cause billions of dollars of damage to Australian homes each year.

Termites Are Exceptional Creatures!

termites swarming over their mound

While termites are some of the last insects you want to find living on your property, due to the extensive damage they can cause, these creatures are still fascinating. As long as they are far away from your home, you may find that they are some of the most intriguing bugs on the planet. Here are 10 interesting facts about termites that you may not know.

1. Termites are very helpful to the environment. While you do not want them chewing on your home, in their natural habitat they help to recycle a lot of organic material by chewing up and breaking down dead and decaying trees. This helps this material get back into the soil.

2. Termites have been around for hundreds of millions of years. The oldest termite fossils are nearly 300 million years old, and there are now more than 2700 different species, including 40 in America.

3. While termites live on wood, they cannot actually digest it on their own. Instead, they have bacteria living in their guts that break down this material so that the termites can use the energy from the fibers.

4. The insects are not born with these bacteria in their guts, however. They obtain them by eating the feces of other termites. This is a process known as “trophallaxis.” When a termite has molted, it needs a new supply of bacteria, so it has to eat more feces.

5. Because the inside of a termite mound is quite dark, most termites are completely blind. Workers and soldiers never leave the nest, so they do not need to have eyes. The only termites that can see are ones that have to leave the nest to find a mate and a new place to start a colony.

6. Termites have a very sophisticated system that they use to communicate with each other. For example, if the colony is under attack, the soldiers will bang their heads against the walls. This sends vibrations through the nest that warns the other termites of danger.

7. The insects also communicate by using chemicals known as pheromones. Many other insects, such as ants and wasps, use a similar method to leave messages for each other. Different scents have different meanings, and termites will leave trails of pheromones to guide other termites to various areas.

8. While most termites are flightless, kings and queens have wings. When they hatch from an egg, their wings soon dry and can be used for flight. The reproductive termites leave the nest in large swarms. They emerge in mating pairs and seek out a new place for a new colony. Once they have found a suitable location, the king and queen break off their wings and begin laying eggs.

9. Termites devote a lot of time and energy to staying as clean as possible. They groom each other to remove parasites and bacteria that could spread throughout the colony and cripple the workers. Controlling disease is very important in the crowded conditions of a termite mound, where there can be millions of individuals living in very close contact.

10. A termite mound is air-conditioned with a sophisticated system of vents and air shafts that help to maintain a constant temperature and humidity level for the colony. Even when the temperature outside varies by dozens of degrees throughout the day, conditions inside the mound will remain stable.

As you can see, termites are fascinating insects. You just do not want to discover that they have started a colony in your home. The more that you know about these insects, the more respect you will have for them.

You might also be interested in “8 things you hope you don’t find during a property inspection”

Termite Prevention And Control For Free

If you have termites attacking your home, or have been trying to prevent a termite problem, then you have definitely wondered about the amount of money you have to spend on that. For convenience and professional help, it is always best to hire a pest control company for solving your termite problems. However, if you are facing a tight budget or monetary constraint, there are some things which you can do yourself to ensure a lower occurrence of termites and sometimes, total elimination.

Here are some suggestions as to what you can do to prevent or get rid of termites in your home. They have been proven to get results for most people if done right and consistently.

Keep Your Home And Surroundings Free of Unwanted Items

Especially that of items made from wood or other wood based material such as paper or cardboard. Termites love areas which have wood and moisture. It is even better if these combine to give you decomposing wood. So get rid of any such items or keep them stored securely and tightly in metal containers or such, to prevent termites from detecting them.

Protect Wooden Components In Your House

Again, keep any wooden parts of your house from attack of termites. If possible, ensure that your wooden furniture are made from treated or processed wood that contains chemicals to turn away the bugs.

Regular Maintenance Of Your Home

Prevent or reduce the incidence of cracks in your house. This includes cracks in brick walls or metal parts, as termites are quick to burrow through such openings to look for any wood. Fill up these cracks periodically.

Reduce Moisture

Lower the risk of moisture creeping into your home and leading to wood decomposition. That will attract termites to your home. Buy de-humidifiers or appliances that can help to control the level of moisture in your home. Such prevention will go a long way in eradicating the problem of termites in your house.

The above are some great methods for the budget conscious in termite prevention and elimination. The best option would always be to get pest control assistance, but if you wish to save some money, use some effort and employ the tips mentioned here.

Termite Pest Control – Why You Should Not Wait

When you have a termite situation in your home, it would no doubt leave you with a bad headache. These little bugs can cause huge problems and the end result can very often be ugly. Termites can practically chew your house down if you do not treat the problem with some pest control early and fast.

What are the kinds of termites that you should know and are commonly the ones causing problems for people? You have the damp wood termites which are usually found in the northwest regions where wood is normally wet in nature. Then there are the dry wood termites which prefer non-temperate regions and therefore mostly in the tropics. Finally, the next most common are the subterranean termites which are incidentally the toughest to control and exterminate due to their hardy nature and are everywhere.

How do you determine if you have a termite problem, other than calling a pest control company to perform a check? If you notice holes in your wooden furniture and housing parts, that is a surefire sign that the situation exists in your home. Rather than wait, hurry and contact a pest control company. They will give a definitive answer and provide extermination services on the spot if required. Do not worry about the costs of pest control. They are usually relatively cheap and in the long run, it is better to spend to rid you of termites, than to spend thousands more on destroyed furniture and housing because of an untreated pest problem.

When the termite pest control company is performing the checks on your home, make sure to find out what type of termites is plaguing your home, and what treatment they will be carrying out. It is not enough to kill the bugs that are visible. The best solution is to find the colony and exterminate it. Request the pest control company to seek out the nest and destroy the eggs. This will prevent them from returning and re-infestation. Also ensure that a period of regular checks can be carried out by the company to guarantee the problem does not return.

Termites can be a frustrating and destructive problem, but it is certainly treatable and preventable. If you spot termite damage, do not let the situation get drawn out. Find a pest control company immediately for a fast assessment and treatment. The money spent will be well worth your time when you become termite free.