Termite Damage | Termite Protection | What do termites?

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by 1300PestControl on May 16, 2016

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It is highly recommended to have an annual Termite Inspection to check for Termite Damage

We offer competitive prices for Commercial and Residential customers


If there is a termite infestation at your property, the earlier the termites are found the better, as Termite Damage is a significant risk to property in Australia.


Termite Treatment can be applied to any live termites and once your property is clear of termites, Termite Protection methods such as a Termite Barrier can be constructed for maximum Termite Prevention.

Order Isoptera


Termite Information

Written by Michelle Gleeson. Bugs.Ed  www.bugsed.com

What do termites look like?

Termites, or White Ants, are tiny, pale, soft-bodied insects that live together in enormous colonies, sometimes containing over a million individuals.

Termites vs Ants

Pale yellow or cream in colour vs Usually brown or black in colour

Thick, fat body vs Narrow waist

Antennae resemble a string of beads vs Antennae shaped like an elbow

Workers usually blind & soft-bodied vs Workers with large eyes & strong armour

Why do termites swarm?

There are three different kinds of termites or castes that live in a colony:


Reproductives include the King and Queen termites which are responsible for controlling the colony and keeping it stocked by producing thousands of eggs.  At certain times of the year other winged individuals called alates are produced.  It is the winged alates job to leave the parent colony and start a new one.  This behaviour is referred to as a termite swarm. All other termites in the colony are sterile.


Soldiers are large, strong, heavily armoured termites whose sole purpose is to guard the nest and protect it from intruders.  They are often equipped with large jaws (or mandibles) for biting and fighting.  Some soldiers even have specialized nozzles on their heads that can spray intruders with sticky or toxic chemicals!


Workers are the smallest in size, but largest in numbers.  They are soft-bodied, usually blind and do almost all of the work in the nest, including foraging for food, feeding the soldiers and reproductives, building and repairing the nest and caring for the young.

What do termites do?

Termites usually start new colonies in the summer, when high rainfall softens soil and timber, making it easier to dig a nest.


Thousands of winged alates will emerge from the mound, mate and search for a suitable nesting site.


The newly fertilized Queen will dig a tiny chamber, lay a batch of eggs and care for the young.


Once the first generation of workers has matured they will begin construction on an elaborate nest, leaving the Queen to concentrate on egg laying – up to several thousand a day!


Social insects such as bees, wasps and ants produce grub-like larvae that form a cocoon before emerging as an adult.  However termites are much more primitive and instead have an incomplete lifecycle.


This means they emerge from their eggs resembling their parents and gradually grow by moulting their skins several times.

Where to termites live?

Termites are found world-wide, preferring warm, moist locations.


They construct elaborate nests or mounds in tree canopies, deep within the soil, or in dead logs, tree stumps and timber structures.


There are generally 3 types of termites, based on the way in which they construct their nests.


Subterranean termites have a network of underground tunnels leading from the termite mound to sources of available food and moisture.  This group contains the most serious urban pest species in Australia.


Dampwood termites live in trees, stumps and any other timber that has direct contact with moisture such as damp soil.


Drywood termites are found in warm, tropical areas and can live in dry wood without a source of water, instead drawing their moisture from the surrounding humid air.

What do termites eat?

Termites feed on a variety of plant material, such as dead and rotten wood, grass, bark and living shrubs and woody plants.


The problem is they can’t distinguish between the wood in a tree and the timber that makes up the walls of our house!

What do termites do to timber? They cause extensive Termite Damage!

Despite their tiny size, termites can cause enormous damage to our homes.  It has been estimated that around 130,000 homes are attacked each year in Australia, resulting in a total Termite Damage bill that exceeds $900 million dollars. Worst of all, termites are very secretive with their feeding, so we usually notice them only once major termite damage has been done.


  • Termites damage homes, factories, commercial buildings, bridges, fences and trees
  • Evidence of termite damage can impact on the resale value of your house
  • Termites weaken the structural integrity of your house
  • Some species of termites attack fruit orchards, destroying living trees and impacting on fruit production

What do termites eat besides timber?

They can damage plastic coverings in underground wiring, causing black-outs, bringing down communications and can even trigger fires.

Termite Protection

The key to Termite Protection is to target their source of food and moisture and restrict access to our homes by:


  • Removing any dead trees and stumps from your property
  • Eliminate any dead logs or rotten timber in your soil and garden beds
  • Improve drainage around your home and garden to reduce patches of wet soil that can attract termites
  • Avoid planting garden beds against the walls of your house
  • Keep trees and shrubs well pruned to avoid contact with your house
  • Regularly inspect sheds and outdoor furniture for termite damage
  • Always use treated timber where possible
  • Invest in Termite Barriers to cut off access to your home.  These may be impenetrable Physical Termite Barriers such as metal, mesh or rock, or Chemical Termite Barriers applied to soil and foundations
  • Be vigilant!  Keep your eye out for crumbling wood, newly formed gaps and tubes and tunnels.
  • Most importantly, get an annual Termite Inspection by a qualified termite controller

Termite Response

Our Termite Treatments are environmentally friendly, child and animal safe


Termite Control measures are specifically tailored to suit your budget, house design, location and climate. Termite Control methods may include:


Termite Barriers: Long-lasting termite treatments are applied to your soil & foundations for maximum Termite Protection.


Termite Baiting stations: Termite Baits pair highly attractive food with the active ingredients in Termite Treatments that are lethal to termites, luring the Termites in to remove the contents and transport the Termite Bait back to the Termite colony.


Termite Treatments: Contact chemicals can be directly applied to infested areas, which lands on workers who inadvertently bring it back to the colony, where the active ingredient in the Termite Treatment will spread and eliminate the Termite Nest.

Interesting Facts

Did you know?

Despite being referred to as “white ants”, termites are more closely related to cockroaches than they are to ants.


Termite Control has advanced significantly in recent years. 1300 Pest Control supports Industry best practices and keep up to date with the continuing improvements in Termite InspectionTermite Treatment and Termite Prevention.

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