Termites. The name alone is enough to send a shiver down your spine if you’re a home owner. These tiny insects are responsible for millions of dollars of damage to Queensland homes and businesses every year. You don’t want your property to become another casualty of their insatiable appetite for all things wood. Experts at subterranean subterfuge, termites have the upper hand when it comes to avoiding detection. A termite inspection’s the only way you can really know for sure whether they’ve already moved in. Problem is, do you know when and how often you should get a termite inspection done?
Termites—getting to know your enemy
Termites are also known as white ants. That’s quite a misnomer: They’re not actually ants at all. They were initially confused with ants by early European settlers who were appalled at the damage they caused to the rudimentary wooden structures they relied on for shelter. Because they hadn’t encountered them before, they mistakenly thought that they were a new species of ant. What they were actually looking at was something more closely related to a cockroach … and a thousand times more destructive.
Of the hundreds of termite species in Australia, fewer than 20 are responsible for the type and extent of damage that termites are usually given credit for. By far, subterranean termites are one of the most destructive termite species—and one of the hardest to detect and eradicate. That’s why a comprehensive termite inspection is a must for you if you own real estate in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.
Why termites are such a problem on the Gold Coast
Termites love a warm, moist environment and build their colonies underground to get maximum benefit from the insulating and protective benefits of the soil and leaf litter above the colony. However, they feed on cellulose. Unfortunately for you, cellulose is an organic compound found in plants and plant derivatives such as wood. What that means for you is that the termite colony may be far beneath your feet, but the termite workers will leave the colony in search of wood. With your home a veritable smorgasbord of delicious wood products, it’s not hard to see why termites make a beeline straight to your address. They’ll use mud tunnels and existing cracks and crevices to stealthily gain entry, access and digest the wooden framework of your home, architraves, doors, panelling, cladding and flooring. The reality is that termites will get into your property and cause extensive damage before you even realise they’re there.
How termite colonies are formed
Invariably, termite colonies are formed by termites from other larger, more established colonies. When the colony gets too big, the winged alates (also known as reproductive) leave the colony to breed and establish colonies of their own. This tends to happen in the warmest months of the year, from November on. That’s when you’ll see them take to the air in swarms.
Termites are, for the most part, out of sight and out of mind until then. For that reason, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that there’s a right time and a wrong time of the year to get a termite inspection done. It sounds logical that the best time for a termite inspection is when they’re active and swarming, because they’re so visible. Wrong! NOW is actually the best time for a termite inspection. Here’s why.
Why NOW is the best time to get a termite inspection
Sure, you see termites everywhere when it’s time for them to swarm. What you might not realise is that most of the winged alates never get to reproduce, let alone form a colony. They’re quickly picked off by a range of natural predators, sucked into air conditioning units and splattered on windscreens. Only a tiny fraction of them get to find a mate and shack up to form a new colony. The risk when they’re swarming isn’t greater than any other time of the year.
It’s not just new colonies you should be worried about. You should also be concerned about the well-established colonies already in your area and under your feet. After all, they’re the ones with the proven track record when it comes to infiltration and destruction.
The reality is that termites are active all year round, not just when they’re taking to the skies to show off their aerial abilities. What that means for you is that they’re active, destructive—and detectable—the rest of the year.
Why you shouldn’t put off your termite inspection any longer
Putting off your termite inspection until the warmer months is a huge mistake to make. It means you’re giving free rein to any termites already in your home, underfoot and on the march to your place. Left alone, they’ll cut a destructive swathe over the next few months. The damage they’ll cause in that amount of time could cost you thousands of dollars. Your best course of action is to detect and prevent termite infestations NOW. The only way to do that is by getting a thorough and professional termite inspection done by a qualified and experienced professional.
What a termite inspection involves
A termite inspection should involve a comprehensive visual inspection of the interior and exterior of your property by a trained, qualified and experienced professional pest inspector. The signs of termite infestation can be extremely subtle. That’s why infestations can progress unnoticed to the point of causing extensive and costly damage before they start to become obvious. Your termite inspection should also go beyond a visual inspection though. It should also involve your pest inspector using state-of-the-art equipment. That way they can fully inspect and assess areas that are concealed or otherwise inaccessible for the purpose of a visual inspection.
How often is often enough when it comes to termite inspections?
An annual termite inspection is a sure-fire way of preventing a termite infestation taking hold. Termites can move quickly and decisively, and so should you! You should also organise a termite inspection if you notice any of these worrying signs of a potential infestation:
- gnawing noises
- wood dust
- mud tunnels on your stumps or under the house
- termite activity in sheds or on dead trees or logs in your yard.
You should also consider getting a termite inspection before buying a Gold Coast property, no matter old or new it is.
Contact Pegasus Environmental on (07) 5522 0089 today. Our friendly and professional inspectors will conduct a thorough termite inspection. If you’ve already got a termite infestation we’ll advise you of the extent of the problem and about the range of safe and environmentally friendly termite treatment options open to you.
If you’re lucky enough to have escaped a termite problem so far, we can also give you comprehensive advice as to your options when it comes to preventing an infestation.
Get in touch with the termite inspection experts at Pegasus Environmental today!