What’s the difference between Melbourne’s dampwood and drywood termite?

By August 31, 2015Termites

As spring approaches more of us in the southern Australian climates will venture back into the garden.

If you turn over old timbers like landscaping retaining timbers, timber steps or even old stumps and fallen logs you may uncover what looks like termites.  The first thing to do is figure out if they are dampwood or drywood termites.

Dampwood Termites in Melbourne

The name damp wood refers to two families of termites the Termopsidae and Kalotermitidae.  They tend to do less damage to major built structures and you’ll find them hanging out in the garden.  Depending on what they are foraging on you may decide to leave them be or have them treated.  I would suggest if they are just munching on some fallen logs or an old stump, leave them to it.

After that you can try simply removing the affected timber they are feeding on and nesting in and replacing it with something like a stone, block, brick or even a metal or plastic alternative that will resist their foraging.  I would do this if the damp wood termites are attacking structures like fences, retaining walls or timber steps and paths.

Drywood Termites in Melbourne

If you have drywood termites its freak out time.

If they are in your yard, unless your home has a very well maintained termite barrier in place, they are very likely to be already in your home or at least on their way.

Drywood termites infest dry, sound wood including structural timber but you will also usually find them in the dead limbs and stumps of native trees, orchard and shade trees as well as things like utility poles and stored stacks of timber like firewood.

From these locations around Melbourne Cup Day in the southern states they will send off winged reproductive termites to seasonally migrate to nearby buildings, structures and trees to expand their reach and create new colonies.

These are the ones that are most likely to wreak destructive havoc on your home.

Identifying termites in Melbourne

So if you are out and about in the garden on the first week of spring in Melbourne, keep an eye out for termites.  Consider first if they are in damp or dry wood and then give Termite Solutions Victoria a call on 9555 5922 or complete the contact form to find out if you are in our free termite assessment radius.


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