Termite Identification

Identifying and Reporting Termite Activity

Termites, sometimes called white ants (although not related to true ants), are a part of the natural environment but can cause significant damage to timber structures including your home.

Termite colonies can extend over large areas, often more than 100 metres, taking in food sources such as trees, woodpiles, landscaping timbers as well as buildings.A colony consists of hundreds of thousands of individuals, a queen and a king, winged-reproductives (swarmers), workers and soldiers.

Of the 350-recorded species of termite in Australia 30 are regarded as pests of timber and cellulose products.

Several of these species are found in Sydney. Subterranean (soil dwelling) termites will eat any materials that contain cellulose or cellulose products, with timber and wood products their primary food source but building contents such as furniture, fabrics, paper and cardboard, clothing etc also being suseptable.

Termites can also cause damage to materials such as plastics, inferior concrete, building sealants and other soft materials.

Despite the above, subterranean termites have highly specialised needs, including requirements for humidity, warmth, darkness and safety from natural predators. In order to move about, they travel underground and can only access vertical objects by constructing mud tunnels though which to move in.

Therefore they tend to enter buildings through areas close to the ground and inaccessible to inspection such as weep holes, under sub floors, expansion joints and cracks in concrete flooring.

When conditions are favourable winged reproductives also fly out of the termite nest to mate and attempt to start new colonies.

A check for termite activity should therefore involve inspection of the areas around the building, the external lower edges and secluded spaces such as the under-floor. Piers and stumps should be examined for mud tubes by viewing with a good torch.

In some cases 'ant caps' or shields may have been included with the original construction of supports and floor bearers.

These are not guaranteed to prevent termites but are intended to show a pest control expert any mud tubes.

The presence of winged reproductives, usually on summer nights, will indicate a termite colony is nearby and should prompt a check.

Termite safe provide a service to check for and deal with termites.

If termites have accessed a building, infested timbers are usually not easily visibly detected.

Infestations are often not discovered until damage is so severe that the works required to repair a building are substantial. Timbers infested with termites can appear undamaged on the outer surface because a thin outer layer of the material is left to preserve the inner environment for the termites inside.

Sometimes the evidence of wood borers is mistaken for that of termites.

Borers tend to attack softwood timber (pine) such as baltic pine floorboards, oregon posts etc. Borers are much smaller than termites and leave small exit holes surrounded with fine dust (frass) when the larvae mature and fly out as part of their life cycle.

To Find Out more about the control of Termite and the services that we offer,

Please Contact Us On 1300 822 800


Identification Photos


Queen Termite


  King Termite 

Immature Reproductive


 Winged Termites

Coptotermes spp.


 Heterotermes spp.

Nasutitermes Walkeri


 Schedorhinotermes spp.

Termite Identification


  Termite Lifecycle

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