Termites, sometimes known as 'White Ants', are the cause of the greatest economic losses of timber in Australia. It is estimated that up to 1 in 4 homes has active termites or has a termite history. There are several 'forms' or castes in a termite colony, each having a specific role in the survival of the colony. Queen & King - responsible for the establishment of the colony and reproduction; Workers - These are the ones that do all the timber damage. They are resposible for all the work in the colony such as gathering food, feeding young, repairing damage, feeding the queen; Soldiers - These are responsible for protection of the colony against invaders. Identification of termite species is usually done by looking at the soldiers as they have distinctive bodies and heads.
Most termites are grass feeders or feed on decayed wood in the ground and are important converters of fallen trees to organic matter and minerals. Some of these non pest termites occur in the same areas as the pest species and it is therefore important before applying a treatment to identify the species.
Termite control can be achieved through a range of different methods. Most commonly the use of termiticides can be used as a direct nest application or to protect a timber structure against termite attack. Termite bait is also a popular control method especially if the nest is not able to be located. Termites will feed on the bait (which contains an insect growth regulator), take it back to the nest and over a period of time eliminate the colony. Termite Traps or Monitoring Stations are a good way of monitoring termite activity around your home or property.
Termites - Termite Trap