Termites 101 – The Basics of Termites in Australia

Termites in Australia

If you’ve found your way here you probably have questions about Termites.

So here are the basics and check out our links to other articles, especially if you suspect you have termites or want to know how to get rid of termites.

Are termites and white ants the same thing?Termites in Australia

Yes, people use the terms white ant and termite interchangeably. They are the same thing although white ant is a bit of a misnomer as termites are more closely related to cockroaches.

What is a termite?

A termite is an insect species of which there are heaps of different varieties. Some termites are worse than others.  Whilst termites play a critical role in the natural ecosystem, the fact they like to eat wood and timber or cellulose products has meant humans have waged a never ending war on the little buggers.

Why are termites important?termite nest Australia - Termite Solutions Melbourne Victoria

For me they are a reminder of home. I grew up in the Kimberley whose landscape is synonymously associated with the large red termite mounds of the local termite species.

These guys would eat up the tough Spinifex grass and would play a significant role in the ecosystem as recyclers.

That’s their primary job and why they are important, they break down timber and cellulose.

Why are termites a problem in the Built Environment?

As we clear trees to make way for new subdivisions we disrupt and dismantle the termites natural home. So when we plonk our new timber framed forever home with yummy timber floorboards the termites say thanks very much I’ll move back in.

It’s an even bigger issue in older homes and structures that have a greater prevalence of unground timber structures like deck and verandah posts, post and rail fencing and worse still timber stumps or piers.Timber verandah and termites

Any time timber in ground contact is a neat little pathway from ground to home.

Why do timbers in ground contact matter?

Termites have a soft outer body that needs to stay damp,  they are primarily subterranean which means they travel in and under ground to get from tree to tree or worse tree to your biggest life investment, your home.

Most but not all termites  make nifty little mud tunnels and mounds of various shapes and sizes as bridges between nest sites and to get up and over inedible objects like bricks, vents and concrete steps or piers.

Termites are tiny but many.Termite nest in Melbourne - Termite Solutions Victoria

An individual termite is pretty small although they vary in size dependent on their job.  There is a queen ( you go girl ) but she is usually dedicated to baby making and bossing.  Worker termites are protected by solider termites and others are on nursery duty.  They live in connected networks of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands.  So it’s not an individual termite that’s doing the damage its them and their army.

The small size of termites however mean that many structures we build are vulnerable and the barriers we create to prevent home damage by termites have to be more sophisticated than ever.

Want to know more about Termites?

If you want to know more about termite biology, termite species, their positive role in our environment g or their destructive one you’ll find all of that information and more in this blog.

If you suspect you have termites and want to know for sure contact us, or ring our Melbourne based team 9555 5922 or email info@termitesolutionsvictoria.com.au

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