Termites are highly destructive pests and annually cause damages to the tune of a hundred million USD in Australia. While a few species of termites are native, most of them are exotic and get imported to Australia via infested timber, furniture, and wooden artwork. The NSW government has strict regulations to prevent the spread of alien termites. If you suspect an infestation in your area, you should call reliable south coast pest control experts to assure that the problem is tackled before it blows up.
Two major types of termites can affect your property: Subterranean and dry wood. In this article, you will find out more about the subterranean termites that pose a threat to your home and business.
As their name suggests, subterranean species build their nests underground or in the root collar of a tree. They form extensive networks radiating nearly 50 m from their nest to nearby buildings to forage for timber. They rarely leave the comfort of their underground tunnels. If they have made their way into a moist location, say where a pipe leaks constantly, then they may make a secondary nest in that location.
Common subterranean species are the Coptotermes acinaciformis, Schedorhinotermes intermedius, and Coptotermes formosanus
1. Coptotermes acinaciformis:
They are a subspecies of subterranean termites native to Australia. They can be found throughout Australia, except in areas with high rainfall or the coasts. They strongly prefer areas with eucalyptus trees, and they are not usually prone to building mounds.
They resemble white ants, and the soldiers of this species get to the size of 5-7mm. In summer, you can see the larger, winged reproductive termites (Alates). They are about 12mm in length, are coloured brown to light brown, and have four symmetric wings. They typically release white latex, which can be easily identified.
2. Schedorhinotermes intermedius:
These termites occur along the coast, especially from southern Queensland to NSW. They are also endemic to Australia. The Schedorhinotermes intermedius is second only to the Coptotermes acinaciformis in terms of destruction. They are found across Australia and attack under the protection of extensive deposits of plaster-like earthen walls that they create.
This species has two types of soldiers: major and minor. The major soldiers have large heads, and are 5 to 7.5mm long, while the minor soldiers are smaller- 3 to 5.5mm with narrow heads and jaws.
3. Coptotermes formosanus:
Found largely in China, Japan, South Africa and the USA, the Formosan termite is an exotic species in Australia and poses a severe threat to forests and the local timber industry.
It builds nests from the soil, timber, and other plant material mixed with saliva and faeces. The nests can be found in the ground, hollows in trees and spaces between the walls. Their subterranean networks are vast and can measure up to 300ft in length.
They are highly attracted to light, and generally, you can find broken wings and droppings near bulbs. The soldiers of this species are pale yellow and approximately 12 to 15mm long. This species of termite, like the Coptotermes acinaciformis, produces a white liquid. Individually, they may be just as destructive as other termites. But with the sheer size of their colony, the Formosan termite causes much more structural damage than any other termite.
Termite infestations can be devastating to your property, costing you thousands of dollars in property loss. If you see signs of termites anywhere in or near your property, do not disturb them. Termites secretly abandon sites and set up new nests in neighbouring areas at the slightest disturbance. It is best to have an experienced south coast pest control expert look at it and decide how to handle the situation.