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We have gathered here information on the ecology and treatment of termites. There is lots of useful information on identifying termites and tips to help make your home less prone to termite attack.

Identifying Termites

Termites are sometimes called 'white ants', but they're not ants at all - in fact, they're not even closely related to ants. So what are they?

Termites are small (their size can range from about 3 to 10 mm long), pale or transparent, and have thin skins. Unlike ants they don't have a thin waist, they are usually blind (there isn't much need for vision in the dark tunnels they inhabit) and they cannot tolerate dry conditions. They are similar to ants in that they occur in large, complex colonies. Ants and termites also both have different social orders (castes) that include sterile workers, soldiers and a single large queen.

Entomologists have worked out that termites are really a type of specialised cockroach! They diverged from cockroaches on the evolutionary tree many millions of years ago, and have successfully pursued a plant-eating life ever since.

Preventing Termites

Regular inspections are the most important part of controlling termites before they do any damage.

The home owner can discourage termites by remembering these facts:

  • Arrange regular inspections – at least once a year in cooler areas and twice a year in warmer areas.
  • Remove potential termite food away from buildings. Their food can include timber stacks, old stumps, building refuse, garden decoration such as sleepers and logs, waste timber left in place or stored under the house.
  • Use treated or naturally resistant timber when it is in contact with, or close to, soil.
  • Termites are attracted to water, so fix leaking water pipes, drains, showers, sinks etc, plus capture water from air conditioning units.
  • Termites prefer humid conditions, so keep air under the house dry by improving sub-floor ventilation, drainage and access.
  • Termites cannot chew through properly laid concrete, so ensure concrete slab is properly designed, compacted, and cured.
  • Keep the edges of the house (slabs, foundation, piers and stumps) clear of clutter, including garden beds and vegetation.

   Termite Tidbits!

  • Termites are major pests in Africa, Asia and the Americas as well as Australia.
  • There are about 12 000 trillion termites on Earth.
  • The mass of termites is about 10 times greater than that of all the people in the world.
  • Termites are thought to be responsible for about 40 per cent of the global release of methane, a greenhouse gas.
  • Termites chomp their way through about 7 billion tonnes of plant material each year.

(Statistics from RMIT Openline)

Treating Termites

There are several hundred termite species in Australia. Only a few species have the potential to cause major damage to homes and timber structures. The three most economically significant species are Coptotermes spp., Schedorhinotermes spp. and Mastotermes spp. Species that sometimes infest buildings and structures but generally cause low levels of structural damage include Nasutitermes spp., Heterotermes spp. and Microcerotermes spp.

Control techniques for termites can essentially be divided into two broad groups: Pre and Post Construction. At Mr PEST we specialise in post construction treatments and barriers.

Post contruction techniques involve preventative meansures, and usually utilise a number of options including baiting, monitoring stations and/or chemical barriers to detect or prevent termite entry into your home. Our products of choice for post construction barriers include Termidor (with the active ingredient Fipronil), Nemesis Monitoring & Baiting Systems and the Sentricon Always Active Monitoring & Baiting Systems.

Treatments are different for every home, determined by construction and environmental factors, and we can tailor a termite treatment program specifially for you and your property.


If you have any queries we can help you with or you are interested in making a booking please Email or call us on 02 8783 8833

If you would like a quote for treatment at your property please complete our Free Quote Form



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