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Subterranean Termites

Subterranean Termites

Meet the Subterranean Termite

Subterranean termites are a common pest in Australia that cause significant damage to homes and buildings. These insects are small in size, ranging from 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch in length, and are pale in color, often appearing white or translucent. Despite their small size, they can cause significant harm to the structure of a home due to their ability to eat through wood and other materials.

Key Characteristics 

One of the key characteristics of subterranean termites is their large populations. They live in colonies that can consist of hundreds of thousands of individuals. This large population allows them to cause significant damage in a short amount of time. The termites live in underground nests and use tunnels to travel from the nest to their food source. These tunnels can extend up to 50 feet or more from the nest, and the termites will typically target any wooden structure within their reach.

What Does the Subterranean Termite Eat?

Subterranean termites feed on the cellulose found in wood, which means that they can cause extensive damage to the structural elements of a home. This includes the flooring, walls, and framing, as well as any wooden furniture or decorative items. The termites will often eat the inside of a piece of wood, leaving only a thin layer of the outer surface intact. This makes it difficult to detect the damage they are causing, and many homeowners do not realize they have a termite problem until the damage is extensive.

Home Damage

In addition to causing structural damage, subterranean termites can also affect the aesthetics of a home. For example, they can cause wooden window frames and doors to warp and become distorted, which can lead to a loss of energy efficiency and increased heating and cooling costs. Additionally, termites can also cause staining and discoloration on surfaces where they have been feeding, which can detract from the appearance of a home.

There are several strategies that homeowners can use to protect their homes from subterranean termites. One of the most effective is to maintain a barrier between the soil and the wooden structure of the home. This can be achieved by ensuring that any cracks or gaps in the foundation are properly sealed, and by removing any wooden debris or scrap wood that may be near the home. Another important step is to keep the soil around the home dry and well-drained, as termites prefer moist environments.

Pest Control Options

Another effective strategy is to have regular termite inspections performed by a professional. These inspections can help identify any signs of termite activity and allow for early intervention to prevent or limit the damage. If a termite infestation is found, there are several treatments that can be used to eliminate the problem. These include baiting systems, chemical treatments, and physical removal of the colony.

In conclusion, subterranean termites are a serious threat to homes and buildings in Australia, and they can cause significant damage to the structure and aesthetics of a property. However, there are several steps that homeowners can take to protect their homes, including maintaining a barrier between the soil and wooden structure, keeping the soil around the home dry, and having regular termite inspections performed. With the right precautions and treatments, homeowners can help prevent or limit the damage caused by these pests.

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