Termite damage is nothing to joke about! Damage from termites is more prevalent on the Sunshine Coast to North Brisbane than fire and flood combined — it’s a big reason why you can’t get insurance for termite damage.
If you think you’re dealing with a termite infestation and want to get rid of them, we’ve included a step-by-step process to help you get rid of them for good — or at least as long as you can keep up with regular termite inspections!
1. Identify Signs Of A Termite Problem Or Infestation
Before you start taking steps to get rid of termites in your home, it’s important to know the signs of a termite infestation. However, it’s important to remember, do NOT do anything to disturb the termites if you notice signs. This will cause them to relocate and make it harder for professional termite exterminators to find them and deal with them.
Some common signs that you may be dealing with a termite infestation are:
When termites travel from the soil to their above-ground food sources, they leave behind mud tubes. Mud tubes are pencil-sized brown tracks made from a mixture of soil, wood, and termite saliva that run on any surface.
Look for them around the foundation of your house, but remember that mud tubes can also be found in less visible places such as crawl spaces, interior walls, or behind skirting boards.
A type of termite called an alate will discard their wings after they take flight. This usually happens during a very humid afternoon or evening. When they land, it’s common to see tonnes of discarded wings and even dead alates.
If you notice small piles of wings or dead termites near doorways or on windowsills, it is a sign that you are likely dealing with a termite infestation.
Visible wood damage can be caused by termites or water damage. However, even if wood damage was caused by water, it can still attract termites as an available food source!
Look for eroded or buckling wood and swollen floors or ceilings. Keep in mind that visible signs of wood damage are often an indication that you have a full-blown termite infestation!
Not all wood damage is visible. This is because the termites are often busy eating out the inside of the wood first! You’ll know this is the case if you tap on the wood and it sounds hollow.
Checking for hollow wood is a big part of our team’s termite inspections!
Termites tunnelling in your walls can damage what’s behind the paper coating on the drywall which can cause the paint to bubble or peel.
If you notice your paint is cracked or damaged, and there is no reason to suspect water damage, your problem is likely termites.
Clicking Sounds In Your Walls
Termites are not silent insects. All that chewing, moving and burrowing can make noises that you might be able to detect. Press your ear to the wall and see if you hear any clicking or rustling sounds — these may be a sure sign of termites. However, just because there’s no sound doesn’t mean termites aren’t there!
Seeing Live Termites In Your Home Or Garden
Spotting a termite is an obvious sign that you may have an infestation, but they can often be mistaken for flying ants or alates (potential queen termites).
If you want to spot the difference, keep in mind that termites have a thick abdomen and straight antennae, whereas flying ants have a thinner abdomen, uneven wing size and bent antennae. For more information on how to identify different Australian termite species, visit our blog.
2. Book A Termite Inspection With A Professional Pest Control Company
Once you feel more confident that you’re dealing with a termite infestation, it’s time to call the professionals!
A termite infestation is not something you want to mess around with. Termites can cause an overwhelming amount of damage before you even know they are there, so prevention is your best defence.
A professional pest control company knows exactly what to look for and can help you identify potential problems and confirm any sign of an infestation. If you have termites in your home, they can make sure the problem is dealt with quickly and properly, or they can make suggestions to make sure you avoid an infestation in the first place.
3. Follow Up With Action Items From Your Termite Inspection
Following a professional termite inspection and treatment, you should receive a report of action items. This could include minor fixes around the home (e.g. fixing a leaky faucet) or installing a chemical termite barrier.
Most homes on the Sunshine Coast to North Brisbane would have had some kind of termite management system put in place, but it may still require an upgrade due to:
- Increased termite pressure from outside
- How well your home was constructed
- The shape of the current barrier in place
As termite management professionals we strongly encourage you to install or upgrade your current termite barrier first, then budget and plan for the rest of your action items. Termite barriers can be costly depending on the extent of the damage but it’s absolutely required.
Don’t forget to make a plan to tackle the rest of the action items eventually, because even minor problems can continue to attract termites!
4. Get A Termite Barrier Installed
If a new termite barrier or upgrades to your existing one are required, it’s time to reach out to a reputable pest control company! A friendly reminder that a pest control company installing a couple of termite baits isn’t going to provide you with the ultimate protection your home needs.
Damage from termites is more likely than fire or theft and it is not covered by insurance. Installing a termite barrier not only helps protect you from costly damage caused by termites but can actually increase the value of your home if you maintain your Chemical Soil Termite Management System and keep up with regular termite inspections.
Did you know proving you have a termite barrier installed or that you’ve kept up with regular termite inspections can help when it’s time to sell your home? Proof of proper termite management can make your home more valuable because it takes away doubt about any previous termite infestations or damage that has taken place.
Even if you have a tilt slab constructed premises and a home with metal framing, you should still consider installing a chemical termite barrier. While these methods of construction limit the structural damage termites can cause, it doesn’t stop them from eating what’s inside! All of your internal walls, doors, and furnishings, none of which is covered by contents insurance, can still fall victim to a termite attack! When the cost of a termite barrier is broken down annually, it can be less than home and contents insurance.
A note on the popularity of baiting systems as a preventative method: In addition to physical prevention barriers and chemical soil treatments, there is a third option that has gained popularity in New South Wales and the Southern States — termite baiting. However, baiting systems do not lower the risk sufficiently for the termite pressure we receive in Queensland. The only people this treatment is good for are the pest control and chemical companies because they can charge a lot for a very imperfect service. It’s not good enough for you, your family, or your home and we refuse to employ this method except in rare circumstances where it is the only option available due to the building’s design.
5. Schedule Regular Annual Termite Inspections
Regular termite inspections are your best line of defense against termite infestations in Australia!
A professional pest control company, like us, can help you detect problems before they cause costly damage. In the case of a termite infestation in the future, we can make sure your problem is dealt with quickly and professionally.
6. Follow Termite Prevention Methods To Keep Termites Away Between Inspections
As we now know, getting rid of termites requires the help of a professional pest control company, but there are still some steps you can take to help keep termites away between annual termite inspections!