We Answer Your Top Termite Infestation FAQs
Termites can be a terrible problem for any homeowner. We answer some of your most common questions about these pests, including how to identify them, and how to get the best termite treatment. Be informed so you can take action before disaster strikes.
How do You Identify Termites?
There are 3 different types of termites:
- Winged termites are dark brown or black.
- Worker termites don’t have wings, but are white or translucent.
- Soldier termites don’t have wings and are brownish in colour. They have pincers close to their heads.
Termites don’t have pinched waists, but are oval in shape.
You can also identify termites by sound, or by the damage to your home. See: how to inspect for termites FAQ.
What is the Difference Between Termites and Ants?
The general differences between ants and termites are:
- The colour: Termites can be white or translucent; ants are black or red. However, some termites are dark brown or black.
- Shape: Ants have a pinched waist, while termites have a more consistent, oval shape.
- Wings: Ants have 2 short and 2 long wings, while termites have 4 identically long wings.
It can be a little tricky to tell the difference between ants and termites, so if you’re in any doubt, call us on 03 9222 2266 or contact Dawson’s via our online form to book an inspection of your building or home.
How Common is Termite Damage in Australia?
It’s estimated that termites damage 1 in 5 homes in Australia every year. They’re found in the majority of states in Australia, particularly the warm, humid ones.
Unfortunately, it only takes one year of infestation to experience irreparable structural damage. So, it’s important to schedule regular checks of your home by a professional pest control company—at least every 6 to 12 months.
How Much Damage Can Termites Do?
Termites have a long lifespan. They can live for up to 15 years, and will feed 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. This means that they can do considerable damage. In fact, a termite colony can consume an entire house within 2 years.
How Do I Know I Have a Termite Infestation?
CSIRO Australia recommends that you have a termite inspection every 6-12 months, done by professional pest control services.
Apart from that, there a few signs of termite infestation:
- Rotting timber beams in the roof trusses
- Rotting timber around any door or wall in the house or building
- Damp and/or blistered wood
- Bulging floors, ceilings or walls
- Little tubes of mud on walls or mud trails in the house
- Sudden swarms of winged insects
It’s important to take immediate action if you suspect an infestation. Call Dawson’s on 03 9222 2266 to come and check your house straight away.
How Can I Test for Termites?
The reality is that you should call the experts. Even if you buy the expensive equipment to test for these critters, you may not be able to determine which type of termite you’re dealing with. This could result in giving the wrong, ineffective termite treatment.
Here’s what not to do: bang on the walls, spray them, destroy their mud trails or disturb them whatsoever. They might retreat to inaccessible parts of their hive, and then it will be very difficult to get to them.
If My Neighbour has Termites, can I get Them Too?
Termites can travel up to 100 meters, so if your neighbour has termites, and your house is within 100m from theirs, you are likely to have termites too. The reality is that you’re highly likely to get termites in Australia. So, if you see there’s a problem next door, it’s best to call pest control Melbourne residents know and trust.
Can a New House Get Termites?
A new house can most certainly get termites. In fact, you should still call Dawson’s to come and inspect soon after you move in, because you can void your builder’s warranty if you don’t do yearly termite inspections. Call us on 03 9222 2266 to come and do your inspection.
Do Garden Beds Next to the House Pose a Greater Risk for Termites?
Having garden beds next to the house poses a greater risk for having termites. Termites thrive in dark, moist environments where the temperature is fairly consistent, so garden beds will be the ideal environment for them. Then they could easily move into the house. Because they can travel far distances, even garden beds that aren’t against the wall of the house also pose a risk.
It’s simply best to get Dawson’s to give your home a preventative treatment such as a chemical barrier or bait. Call us on 03 9222 2266 to get help for termites quickly and efficiently.