If you’re concerned about termites, you have good reason to be wary. Based on data collected by the CSIRO, approximately 32% of Australian homes feature some form of termite activity.
The most common form found across the nation are subterranean termites. On average, subterranean termites cause more damage to homes in Australia than fire, floods, storms, and tempest – combined. Unfortunately, these pests are renowned for their ability to destroy wall and roofing timbers within 3 months of construction.
With these facts in mind, the following list will equip you with the knowledge to identify the warning signs early and provide proven ways to address any infestations.
1. Termites Appear in Plain View
From afar, termites may be hard to distinguish from common ants. However, they are several ways to check and verify that the inspects in your property are, in fact – termites. Australian worker termites are generally lighter in colour and appear in shades of light brown or white. In contrast to the pinched style of ant abdomens, termites also have a tube shape from top to bottom. Whether you verify their presence or simply suspect an infestation, contacting your local pest control professionals is the best way to safeguard your home. Don’t wait until it’s all too late!
2. Damaged or Hollowed Out Wood
Another well-known sign, damaged and hollowed timber is widely associated with the presence of termites. So, how exactly can you tell if the wood damage is the result of termites or other factors?
Termites may go completely unnoticed until they have ploughed through an entire piece of drywood. However, there are still ways to check. If you knock on a wooden plank and it sounds hollow, chances are you have a termite infestation. Another common sign is the buckling of floorboards.
If you have concerns, check your timber for these two warning signs or contact a professional for immediate termite control assistance.
3. Strange Clicking Sounds
Ever noticed quiet clicking sounds behind your walls? This could be a sign of termites. While feeding on timber, worker termites emit a unique clicking noise. If disturbed, solider termites will also let out a sound as they bang their heads against the wood.
Your best chance of catching them out is during the night when all else is quiet. As termites never sleep, this sound could potentially be captured at any point of the day. Once identified on your end, you can apply a liquid barrier or contract an expert for a detailed inspection to verify whether an infestation has occurred.
4. Mud Tunnels
Mud tunnels typically appear in concrete or stone foundations, basement walls, crawl spaces, sub floors and window frames. Comprised of termite excrement, saliva, dirt and wood, these tunnels are an obvious sign of current or historic infestation. As one of the first major signs of termite activity, mud tunnels (like the one pictured below) call for immediate action. Early termite control can prevent serious damage from occurring across your home.
5. Damage to Ceilings, Walls and Floors
Another common sign of termite infestation can be found in the state of timber ceilings and floors. The presence of termite colonies can quickly lead to ill-fitting tiles, sagging ceilings, and punctured holes in your drywalls. As noted above, this may appear in addition to mud tunnels and trails.
Luckily, recent termite damage can be treated while the source of the colony is both tracked down and removed. Unless the destruction occurred some time ago, keep in mind that restoration is always an option.
6. Termite Excrement or Discarded Wings
In some cases, you may come across broken or discarded insect wings. Whether they appear indoors or outdoors, this is a common sign that active termite swarmers are circulating at your property. Termite swarmers are the young offspring that fly around to identify new areas for colonisation.
If you notice their discarded wings, you can either address the issue through a vacuum, a bug zapper or by contacting professionals for pest and termite control assistance. Regardless, the issue should not be ignored for too long.
7. Outdoor Signals
Termite outbreaks can begin outdoors and quickly spread to the interior areas of your home. If you have any concerns, you can always talk a walk outside and check for signs of wood rot, holes, and frass on the tree. Mounds may also be present. Additionally, make sure to look for mud tubes and check where they lead. Identifying these outdoor signs is a good way to get on top of the issue early and prevent it from getting out of hand.
Remember – Termites Are Manageable
Before you contact a professional for termite control, there are several measures you can take to manage outbreaks at the home. These include
- Liquid Termite Barriers (Efficient and Easy to Spray)
- Poisoned Bait (Effective for Smaller Colonies)
- Boric Acid (A Less-Toxic Option than Pesticides)
Alternatively, you can always get in touch with a local pest control business. Whichever path you choose, termites are best addressed quickly.