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Termites Myths Busted

October 11, 2021

Termites: What Every Homeowner Need to Know


Termites pose a significant risk to many homeowners across Australia due to their destructive appetite for cellulose which is found in wood. This appetite can prove incredibly costly for many homeowners across Australia. This is because 1 in 3 Australian homes have their internal wooden structure targeted by termites, leaving many unsuspecting homeowners thousands of dollars out of pocket. If this damage remains unidentified or ignored for longer periods of time then it is evident that the colony will continue to spread throughout the house leaving homeowners even more out of pocket, sometimes by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Couple thinking

Whilst the best method to identify a termite infestation within your home is to arrange for a professional termite inspection and if necessary subsequent termite treatment, it is evident that there are many other ways that homeowners can identify a termite infestation on their own. These methods include knocking on the walls of your home and listening for the sound of hollowed or falling timbers. Looking out for mud-based tubes that termites travel through or looking for flying termites around your home. These methods can prove effective for homeowners trying to identify a termite infestation within their home, however, it is important to be able to distinguish termites from other insects and pests, especially that of the flying termite which can be easily mistaken for flying ants. Below is a description of what termites and their nests look like.

termites colony

Within a termite colony there are various roles played by different termites. These roles can be easily identified by a termite’s appearance. The first type of termite in a colony is the worker. The worker termite’s primary role in a colony is to source and maintain food supplies. A worker termite has a small, white, or brown body with six legs and a head that is proportionally similar to the rest of their body.

The second type of termite in a colony is the soldier termite. Soldier termites are the protectors of their colony. They feature similar visual traits to that of the worker termite and are also larger in size. The primary difference between a solider and worker termite is the solider termites larger head and mandibles (jaws) which they use for defense when they are threatened. The third type of termite is the reproductive termite, also commonly known as flying termites. These termites feature two sets of wings which will eventually fall off after flight. The primary role of these termites is to go in search of a new colony. If these termites are seen in or around a home, then it is a sure sign that termites are close by. These termites will go out in search of a new colony due to overpopulation or a lack of resources at the current colony. Of the reproductive termites, the largest and most noticeable is the termite Queen. These termites are generally the oldest termites within the colony and feature a gigantic egg production chamber which makes them easily distinguishable compared to other termites.