Facts you should know
- With 1 in 4 homes under termite attack –
Did you know that the annual damage bills outweigh the cost of all natural disasters combined?
- You may have your home insured –
Did you know your home insurance policy will reject a claim related to termite damage?
- No matter when your home was built –
Did you know that the conservative figures show 650,000 Australian homes are attacked by termites every year?
Why is my home under termite attack?
One of the first questions that homeowners want to know is ‘Why are termites attracted to my home?’ Termites are an epidemic problem throughout Australia. While some regions suffer more than others, Melbourne has a large termite population. Termites have an excellent source of food and an environment that supports their growth. Termites responsible for economic loss eat wood and thrive in warm moist environments. It is only natural that termites are attracted to invading a Melbourne home.
Why is it so hard to find termite damage before it gets costly?
Termites are often called the silent destroyers. They hide in your home causing damage from inside internal structures. It’s not until significant damage has been caused before you may see signs that you have a problem.
Termite nests are often underground, in damp tree trunks or within the internal structures of your home. When termites leave the nest in search of food, they tunnel through the soil and build mud tubes to gain access into your home. Not only does this create a constant environment for them to survive, it also makes them difficult to detect to the untrained eye.
Which termite species is responsible for causing damage?
There are over 300 species of termites distributed around Australia. Whilst many of these species play an important role in recycling plant material, it’s the wood eating termites that cause significant economic loss.
Termites can be grouped into three categories: Dampwood, Drywood and Subterranean. Dampwood live in rotting logs, Drywood obtain water from the wood in which they live and Subterranean are ground dwelling and require contact with the soil and moisture.
In Australia, the Subterranean termite is responsible for 95% of homeowner termite infestations.
How fast do termites populate?
Termites are social insects that live in colonies. With hundreds of thousands of termites making up a colony, they populate and spread rapidly. The Queen is responsible for termite population and can produce up to 2000 eggs per day. She can live for up to 50 years.
New colonies are created in early summer. The reproductive winged termites (Alates) make a maiden flight. When they land, they shed their wings and begin mating. Abondoned wings can often be found around doors and windows.
Extensive damage caused by termites in buildings is when the colonies become established. Given the right conditions, it can take approximately three years for a nest to grow to the size capable of causing economic loss.