Did you know that there are approximately 4000 species of termites worldwide?  Well you maybe more interested in the fact that there are over 350 species in Australia.  And while that is a lot and most people cringe when I tell them that (none more than my wife!), of all of the termite species we have here, only about 30 species do infest houses to some degree or another, and even less are responsible for most of the termite damage we find.

When carrying out pest inspections not only do we need to find out type of termite we  are dealing with, but also the species. This information lets us decide what course of action, if any that needs to be carried out.

There are 3 types of termites, Subterranean, Drywood, and Dampwood.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites are what we most commonly find in houses in South East Queensland.   They enter your house via the soil, thus their name subterranean termites. Our most destructive species actually live inside living trees, nesting firstly in the root crown of the tree, and working their way up the middle of the tree, completely hidden from view.  Some species make arboreal nests (nests attached to the outside of trees) others can be mound builders. The important thing is though, that despite their different nesting habits, they all access their food sources via subterranean tunnels.

Coptotermes Soldier Termites coming out of a wall. Note the mudding around the hole - a sign of subterranean termites.

Subterranean termites have built their nest in this red gum - eating all the way through the core of the tree.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites live in timber and trees, mostly in small colonies, and do not make mud shelters or subterranean tunnels.  They are introduced into houses via infested furniture and renovations (rare), and during their annual colonising flights.  Generally the damage caused by Drywood termites is minimal, except when the infestation is of the species known as the West Indian Drywood Termite (Crypotermes Brevis spp.)  Drywood termites are most likely to be found during pest inspections in older houses.

Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites infest live trees and the only real bother they cause is to millers, as they eat the trees and prevent their timber being useful. They usually live in small colonies and are of no concern to the homeowner.  It is extremely rare to find Dampwood termites in a house, and is normally only found on the outside of a house in timber window frames that are decayed and holding a lot of moisture, and do not dry out.

So while it may be tempting to buy into some DIY termite control products, it’s vital that first of all you know what you’re dealing with. It is worth the small cost and time involved in having a licensed, experienced Termite Management professional come out and have a look at your home.

Conquer Termites offers a free half hour check to all Brisbane homes. If you have any concerns, contact us at the following numbers, or use this web site to arrange a check or a termite inspection in your home right away.

Brisbane North-side – 3356 8801, Brisbane South-side – 3399 1226 Brisbane South Central – 3343 3934