|Termites "white ants" in the Sydney Metro Area|
|FUMAPEST Sydney Pest Control phone 1300 241 500|
|Subterranean termites or "white-ants" are a
highly destructive timber pest, causing major structural timber damage
to both domestic and commercial buildings in the Sydney Metro Area.
FUMAPEST Sydney Pest Control was established in 1964 and has 50 years professional pest control experience in protecting buildings in Sydney Metro Area from termite infestations. For your protection phone 1300 241 500 to arrange for a thorough FUMAPEST inspection and report to AS.3660.
A major economic pest: Recent industry surveys suggest about one third of all unprotected properties in NSW are subject to attack by subterranean termites. Most of the latest technology for termite control products comes from the USA where termite control is a US$5 billion industry.
Most homes are at risk in the Sydney Metro Area - particularly in built-up urban areas or where well established gum trees are within a 100 metre radius of the building.
DECLARED High risk termite areas include Council areas of Ashfield - Auburn - Bankstown - Baulkham Hills - Blacktown - Botany Bay - Burwood - Camden - Campbelltown - Canada Bay - Canterbury - Fairfield - Holroyd - Hornsby - Hunters Hill - Hurstville - Kogarah - Ku-ring-gai - Lane Cove - Leichhardt - Liverpool - Manly - Marrickville - Mosman - North Sydney - Parramatta - Penrith - Pittwater - Randwick - Rockdale - Ryde - Strathfield - Sydney - Warringah - Waverley - Willoughby - Woollahra.
The problem is getting worse: Severe termite damage to Australian homes is on the increase since the removal in 1995 of long lasting soil barrier chemicals; the more common use of softwood building and other landscaping timbers that termites find irresistible, such as, timber mulch and railway sleepers.
Other factors that promote rapid termite colony development - automatic watering systems - timber landscaping and maintenance - and building designs that allow hidden termite entry into a building.
Fascinating biology: Australian subterranean termites evolved more than 250 million year ago. They inhabited Australia long before flowering plants. Their survival success depends on living in a protective underground environment. In some species, their colony nest has a hardened shell, exposed above ground level. In most destructive species in NSW their nest is totally out of sight, below ground level.
Worker termites build mud-tubes over hard objects. The tubes or "galleries" are made up of partly digested timber and mud excrete, and is moist if currently in active use. The termites keep it's colony nest and galleries at 25 to 35oC with high humidity. If they are exposed to light or open air they will dehydrate and die. Subterranean termites live in constant darkness, excepting for the annual summer swarms of the winged reproductives to set up new nests in the surrounding area.
A million termites in the nest: In some destructive species, a termite colony nest may contain more than a million termites, consisting of a queen, king, young immature nymphs, workers, soldiers and winged reproductives (called alates). Termites are delicate, soft bodied and small in stature, about half the size of match-head, but are highly efficient timber recyclers - Mother Nature's best builders.
The worker termites are blind and forage in a largely random criss-cross fashion looking for new timber food sources. However, they may encounter and follow moisture zones and trail along solid objects, such as, the concrete slab edge of your home. The soldiers accompany the workers in their constant search for new timber food sources. If you find termites active in timber framing, it is the soldiers that rush out to defend the workers.
Experience counts: It takes many years of termite control field-work experience to get a proper understanding of the habits of the destructive termite species habits and their likely foraging areas in a variety of building types and environmental circumstances.
|The worker termites have a symbiotic digestive system|
|Workers feed the colony: Only
the worker termites can digest timber by use of symbiotic
protozoa in their gut. The worker termites digest and then regurgitate the
partly digested timber as a semi-liquid food for the other termite castes.
Even the workers excrete is eaten by the other termites as it high in
cellulose content. This feeding by mouth and anus is technically known as
Cannibal like efficiency: Worker termites cannibalise other dead termites, which if they carry the bait in their system, will further hasten the demise of the colony.
Modern termite control products, preventive barriers, termite baiting and other recommendations are discussed in detail in the Termite Control section of this website.
|The biology and behaviour of Subterranean Termites|
Interdependent social structure: The termite colony has a king, queen, winged reproductive (young kings and queens), soldier and worker termites. Each has a different role to perform and all interdependent upon each other for survival of the colony.
|The life-cycle of Subterranean Termites|
Termites constantly groom and feed each other. A valuable technique for the termite controller is to install and monitor a termite baiting system next to any live activity found in and around the premises where termite foraging is most likely to occur. Subsequent regular inspections indicate the amount of bait consumed and the condition of any termites observed. They may appear sick, exhibit a change of colour to a mottle look, indicating the effect of the termite bait over time.
|The main destructive species of termites in Sydney Metro Area|
|Proper identification is essential: Some species of subterranean termites prefer
to attack living trees and will not eat dry seasoned timbers in a building, whilst
others can be are highly destructive to such buildings in a short amount
of time. Listed below are some important destructive termite species.
Commonly found throughout Sydney Metro Area - particularly in urban areas - under concrete on-ground flooring and in areas where eucalypt gum trees are highly prevalent.
Nest Location - Coptotermes acinaciformis - very secretive termite species; they build their nest out of sight, often within the base of eucalyptus or other susceptible trees, or completely under the ground; often within an enclosed patio or under concrete on ground flooring which is ideal for moisture retention, temperature and humidity control within the termite colony's central nest.
Coptotermes acinaciformis can also construct subsidiary termite nests away from the main colony nest. A subsidiary White-ant nest can be contained in a wall cavity of a building where there is a reliable moisture source, for example, from a leaking shower recess or faulty guttering or rusted down pipes.
Area of Distribution - Commonly found in eastern NSW including the entire Sydney Metro Area - along the Great Dividing Range and adjoining slopes.
Destructive Nature - Schedorhinotermes intermedius are highly destructive to buildings and other timber structures. If mostly major (larger) soldiers are sighted, it is most likely a large colony with the potential to cause severe and rapid damage to structural timbers of a building or other timber structures.
Nest Location - Schedorhinotermes intermedius commonly build their nest in tree stumps, in the root crown of the living, dead and debilitated trees, under houses or within enclosed patios or other areas where timber has been buried or stored in contact with the soil.
Area of Distribution - Commonly found throughout the entire Sydney Metro Area - particularly in urban areas, where buildings are constructed of softwood or oregon timber framing.
Destructive Nature - Coptotermes frenchi can cause severe damage to buildings and other wooden structures. It is common for this species to devour timber framing leaving only a thin veneer. This species is the most shy of the destructive species; they will retreat from a location immediately (for the time being) if disturbed.
Nest Location - Coptotermes frenchi most often build their nest in the root crown or lower trunk area of living trees, particularly eucalypts. They may also build their nest as a mound in the dryer areas.
Destructive Nature - Nasutitermes exitiosus are destructive to buildings and other timber structures. Sometimes severe damage may occur, but not so commonly as the other species listed above.
Nest Location - Nasutitermes exitiosus build a mound nest which protrudes 30cm to 75cm above the ground. Control can be as easy as knocking the top off the nest and a follow up insecticide treatment inside the nest.
Destructive Nature - Coptotermes lacteus attacks stumps, dead trees, timber fences, poles and other timber structures that are in contact with the soil, being softened by weathering or decay. These termites are also known to attack such timber in damp sub-floor areas.
Nest Location - this termite species, most often builds it's nest as a mound up to 2m above ground level, with hard clay walls, so control is easily effected once located by knocking the top off and insecticide treatment of the nest.
Destructive Nature - Nasutitermes walkeri can be destructive to damp timbers often a serious problem where the sub-floor of a building is damp and ventilation is poor with resulting wood decay or fungal growth.
Nest Location - Nasutitermes walkeri build their nest in trees on the main trunk or in the fork of a large branch.
Destructive Nature - Heterotermes ferox prefer damp timbers, fences and poles with wood decay. Often confused with the more destructive Coptotermes acinaciformis species. Correct identification is essential.
Nest Location - Heterotermes ferox often build their colony nest next to stumps, logs, or other timber in direct contact with the soil where some wood decay or rotting is prevalent.
Dampwood termites form small independent nests which often attack sick or dead trees, decaying stumps or mould timber in the ground; they are seldom found in dry timbers in buildings.
Drywood termites occur mostly in tropical areas, where the atmospheric humidity is constantly above 75 percent. The introduced and highly destructive West Indian drywood termite, Cryptotermes brevis, is rarely located in NSW, once in Sydney in the early 1980's. Specialist eradication procedures involve wrapping the entire building in plastic and using methyl bromide fumigation.
|If You find termites ... do NOT disturb them|
|Termites have acute survival instincts. If
shaken up or disturbed, the termites will abandon the
area and move other areas in the
building. If you find termites in or around your property, it is essential
that you do NOT disturb them and promptly arrange for a professional
FUMAPEST inspection and application of a termite bait to the live termites, if
present in abundance.
|FUMAPEST Termite & Pest Control Sydney © copyright 1995 to - updated|