Insect experts have been closely monitoring insect activity after our exceptionally wet warmer months throughout the Springtime. First we saw an increase in mosquitoes, then flies, and now the most destructive insect of all, termites. Unfortunately for Sydney home owners, they’re headed your way.
Linked with a series of ideal weather events, termites are currently “having a ball” said Dr Don Ewart, an entomologist teacher Melbourne Polytechnic.
According to Dr Ewart, the same weather conditions that have made the environment right for the recent mozzie and fly explosion are also perfect conditions for termite breeding and exploring.
“They have had a good, wet spring and we are getting this moisture, and they are still quite actively exploring,” he said.
“The pest managers who do specialist termite work are all run off their feet.”
Dr Ewart says it is shaping up to be a particularly bad summer. The sad fact is, termite infestations are already occurring, it’s just unfortuante that the unsuspecting property owners are yet to uncover any damage.
“Generally the soil moisture is high, that makes a big difference to termites. Termites are really just organised cockroaches,” he said.
“They like to go tunnelling and so it is much easier for them to find a place to attack … their attacks [often] go for several weeks or several months before anybody notices.”
Additional moisture around walls and flooring is what attracts the termites. Anything from the kitchen sink can be hazardous for home owners.
“Termites always need a drink” Dr Ewart says, “and if the food is close to the water source then life is really good. Otherwise they have to keep carrying water with them and that means they explore less.”
Suburbs including Pentrith, Sydney and the outer suburbs are getting lots of attacks at this time of year. Newer properties are no safer than older ones.
“New suburbs will have a few attacks and then they get about 10 years old and tend to have a whole lot more,” he said.
A good indication that termites have invaded your home is discovering thousands of tiny wings. While this doesn’t necessarily mean a colony has been established in your home, it is without doubt a necessary time to arrange a professional pest inspection.
Those with the most experience in Australian subterranean termites are most likely to discover any termite activity in its early stages. We have heard stories from our customers stating that within hours of certain pest inspectors “giving the all-clear”, live termites have appeared inside their homes!
Some even say that finding a termite infestation is similar to finding you have an STD in that, “you have to go round and tell all your neighbours”.
Copping a house full of termites can happen to anyone. Even homes far inland and away from waterways are susceptible to these incredibly efficient pests.
Homeowners are being cautioned to take extra care this summer and ensure proper checks are made. Be on the lookout for piles of wings anywhere inside & out.
Dr Ewart believes there is no silver bullet with termite control and it can sometimes “get ugly”. Keeping termites out, he says, can be “really complicated”.
“The only thing you can really do is get the place inspected by someone who knows what they are doing and get their advice,” he said.
Tips for dealing with termites
Warning signs of a termite infestation include:
Lots of discarded wings from swarmers inside the house
When the vacuum cleaner leaves a dent in the skirting board
Strange bits of mud in plasterwork
Any cracked or bubbling paint
How to prevent termite infestation:
Have regular inspections so you find and deal with them before damage gets bad
Eliminate any moisture problems – keep house dry
Ventilate all possible subfloor areas and ensure vents are kept free and clear
Fix all plumbing leaks
Check all gutters and down spouts- make sure water ends up well away from the house
Avoid having gardens directly against walls
What to do if you have termites:
Don’t try and get rid of them yourself – if they are disturbed they will move to another place in the house
Call Assassin Pest Control on 1800 674 115 and we will come and inspect your house immediately
How To Protect Your Home From Termites
Well once the first few days of Autumn hit us with a big wet we wonder where sunny summer went. Usually the summer months are the active days of Termites and the feeding frenzy they perform on our most prized possession- our house and garden. Termites have an active season which usually runs during the warmer months, but over the last few seasons termites have had the most consistent weather of sun and water over a longer period of time with only the cooler months of June, July and August slowing down the activity of termites, now this does not mean NO termite activity only a slowing down of their movements as termites now prefer the warmth of the nest and termite colony, in some sense they are bit like the human race- when it’s cold we are more likely to stay indoors around the heater with a cup of coffee than mowing the lawns and keeping the garden maintained.
February of 2014 has been one of the wettest on record in Australia and being the last month of the Australian Summer, this obviously coincides with some of the hottest days of the year. In what is already the peak season for termite activity around New South Wales, this additional humidity has made for near perfect conditions for subterranean termites to multiply and swarm to new locations rich with their favorite resource.
Sensational termites regroup and plan another attack on surrounding areas which will include termite damage to your house and home. Assassin Pest Control recently performed a termite treatment on a house that was less than 8 months old from new, a result of certain mistakes the home owner had made that compromised the original termite protection installed by the home builder. This allowed the termites to gain entry into the timber frame of his home.
The wetter conditions make it easier for termites to create their mud tubes in which they commute out in the open, so to speak. This enables them to more quickly penetrate your home or business so that they can reach the wood inside what is quite possibly your most prized asset. As is true in so many termite cases that Assassin Pest Control manage for our customers, you will be totally unaware of their approach and they will silently create their mud tubes up your foundation, allowing them to reach an entry point. Before you realize that these pests have invaded your home, weeks or even months may have passed and the repair bill for the damage they’ve caused could reach many thousands of dollars. Adding insult to injury, chances are your insurance policy doesn’t cover any of the damage either.
A pair of Queen Termites is NOT what you want near your property
Why should you be worried about the latest spur of wet weather in Sydney?
Termite activity is currently at it’s peak across Australia.
Moist soil conditions are supportive of colony construction.
New homes provide new locations of resources for termites.
Pest controllers around Sydney have had a spike in termite treatment cases.
What should you do?
If you’re at all concerned about termtie activity in or around your home, arrange a termite inspection today.
Termite inspections should be carried out every 6 to 12 months if your property does not have bait stations installed.
Termite inspections by Assassin Pest Control technicians are non-invasive by use of infrared scanning technologies, so there’s no need to tear your property apart.
Coupled with our extensive experience in the field of termite identification & treatments, our customers can rest assured knowing that if there is a single termite inside their home, we will find it and eradicate it!
How do we protect our house from termite attack?
Fix leaking taps.
Remove any timber debris from your property.
Trim heavy vegetation away from the side of the building to allow more direct sunlight on to damp soil areas.
Improve the ventilation to the subfloor area in the house in built from a timber bearers and joist set up.
No one can stop termites from attacking your property but you can certainly minimize the risk by following the few simple steps as noted above.
There are about 2000 known species of termites throughout the world. There is a concern in 7 out of 8 states and territories in Australia. Subterranean Termites, are extremely destructive, because they tunnel their way to wooden structures (like your home), into which they burrow to obtain food. Termites all share a virtually insatiable appetite for wood and other cellulose-containing materials. Given enough time, they will feed on the wood until nothing is left but a shell.
A Case of Hundreds of Thousands
Termites are highly social insects that live in large colonies where populations can reach more than one million. A colony consists of several structurally differentiated forms living together as castes (including reproductive, soldiers and workers with different functions in community life.
In the spring, winged reproductives leave the parental nest in swarms to create a new colony. The swarming lasts less than an hour, so it’s very likely you’ll never even see it. The winged reproductives themselves look quite a bit like flying ants, for which they are often mistaken.
Those “Ants” Might be Termites
Both ants and termites have two pairs of wings, but ants’ wings are different sizes while the termites’ wings are all the same size. Also, ants have narrowed waists and elbowed antennae while termites have thick waists and short, straight antennae that resemble strings of beads. Don’t be fooled by colour or size. Ants can vary in size, and winged termites can be brown or black like ants.
Look for Signs
You’re more likely to discover you have a termite problem by discovering the evidence they leave behind rather than the actual termites themselves. If you encounter any of these tell tale signs, there’s a good chance termites are busy snacking on your home:
Piles of small, delicate wings shed by reproductives
Small piles of sawdust
Mud tubes built by termites for aboveground travel
Damaged or hollow sounding wood
Pinholes in drywall or wallpaper
Of course, it’s quite possible to have a hidden termite problem even if you never notice any of these signs. The best way to be sure is to contact a licenced pest control professional to conduct a complete inspection of your home. A Termite Professional will be able to determine if you have termites and recommend the best course of action for eliminating them quickly and completely.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
Coptotermes Subterranean termites are one of several termite species that threaten homes and other structures in NSW and Sydney areas. Nasutitermes and Schedorhintermes are next in line for destroying the most property in Sydney Australia. Drywood termites threaten homes in Northern Areas of Australia.
On a warm, humid evening, large numbers of winged male and female termites, the “alates” or “primary reproductives”, are released by the colony. A small number survive the flight, drop their two pairs of distinctive, equal sized wings, pair off, mate and, if they can, find a suitable location and start a new colony.
As the other castes take over the running of the colony the young queen of most species becomes “psysogastric”. Her abdomen distends to many times its original size and she becomes and egg laying machine, laying up to 1000 eggs a day. She is confined to her royal chamber, tended and fed by the workers and regularly fertilised by the king.
The eggs are removed from the royal chamber and transferred to a nursery by the workers. Here the broo (the eggs and nymphs) develops into the castes that the colony requires for development and survival; workers, soldiers and primary or secondary reproductives.
Soldiers and Workers
Soldiers and workers are blind and sterile termites. The workers carry out the work of the colony and are responsible for gathering the food the colony needs. In most species, the heads of the soldiers are uniquely armoured and equipped to allow them to defend the colony against attack, notably from ants.
Can I find out if there are termites in my house myself?
This is a question we are often asked, and unfortunately 100% of the calls received from customers stating they’ve discovered termites in their home are a result of them discovering DAMAGE to their home, not insects! This is always a devastating blow to families and consequently we cannot recommend that you self diagnose any threat of termties around your property- get an experienced professional with a proven track record to conduct a proper pest inspection. Experienced pest controllers have a highly trained eye for finding any termite activity. Time and time again we’ve visited properties where the occupant has insisted that there are no termites within, only for us to discover multiple colonies within minutes. Put simpy- don’t take the risk.
A termite inspection is far more affordable than most people think. When you analyze the potential savings, the benefits of a thorough inspection significantly outweigh the cost. What we can do is have regular termite inspections at no more than 12 months between inspections and in some heavy termite prone areas where the surrounds have the idea breeding ground of termite colony’s those inspections can be performed anywhere from 3 to 6 months apart to help minimize the length of time termites are doing damage to your property.
Why not take advantage of our specials when you book in for a termite inspection we will perform a second service of a general pest spray for the low price of $110 dollars a savings of over 50% off normal prices.
There aren’t many people that enjoy the sight of a spider in their yard or home. These 8 legged creatures will often invade your home in search for food, shelter & protection from predators.
Contrary to popular belief, spiders will not engage in any form of attack on humans unless provoked. Hollywood films often portray spiders as cunning predators and very deadly & dangerous insects.
All spiders can bite & cause pain & discomfort, some spider bites are more painful than others. A select few species such as the Redback or Funnelweb have a highly poisonous venom than can cause extreme pain & result in a trip to the hospital.
Although it is true that some Australian spiders have deadly venomous bites, the majority of spiders found throughout Sydney & New South Wales are of no real threat to a persons health. Obviously you need to take the necessary precausions inside your home & exterminate any spiders you find (mainly to keep the cobwebs away!) but we recommend that any spider found in the garden be left alone to take it’s natural course. Like any insect, spiders play a role in the Earth’s ecology and are part of the food chain.
The more dangerous spiders such as Redbacks & White Tail Spiders will however often find their way into sheds & homes, meaning they have to be dealt with. Accidentally coming into contact with a spider web or directly with a spider could result in a bite.
The important thing to do is identify the type of spider(s) you are dealing with. ASSASSIN PEST CONTROL have provided a free spider chart that you may use to assist with this process.
If you find a large number of spiders on your property and are concerned about controlling them yourself then you need to call a professional pest controller in for the job.
Download your free chart by clicking here. We recommend printing it in full colour & placing it on the fridge or somewhere that it will be easily accessed.
If you have any questions relating to spiders in your home, don’t hesitate to call ASSASSIN’s toll free number – 1800 674 115.