Termites are a pest that can cause significant damage across your home. It is estimated that 20% of Australian homes will become infested with termites. And the longer they are inside the home, the more damage they will do to the building. Therefore it is important to know how to get rid of termites. So in this article, we will look at how to.
What are Termites?
Termites are small, communal insects that live in a nest or hive that is located in the soil or wood. They are controlled by a queen who is responsible for breeding new generations of termites. They are sometimes known as white ants, but this is completely incorrect, as they are completely different and distinguished from ants.
They have pale brown or white bodies with darker heads. They have no waist located between the thorax and abdomen. They have two small antennas in their heads with bead-like segments. Termites come in non-reproductive and reproductive forms. The non-reproductive forms never develop wings and are blind. Reproductive forms have two pairs of wings that are equal in size. They also have one pair of compound eyes.
Termites are well-known to eat wood, but this is not strictly true. However, those that are found in the home are often wood-eating species and are considered pests. Those that eat wood, get the cellulose, sugars, and starches from the sapwood (outer wood) of trees and any wooden structures. These species are not able to eat the heartwood as it tends to be harder to consume and has toxins to repel the termites.
The termites will also eat fungus growing in the nest or the moist wood surfaces around the nest.
Why Get Rid of Termites in the Home?
There are many reasons why you should look to remove termites from the home. For one, they can cause significant damage to the home’s woodwork. Not only can they do damage to the structure of your building, but they can also damage your home furniture.
About one in five homes will suffer from this damage in a year and sometimes the infestations can happen slowly, especially if there is a new nest.
And while many people rely on their home insurance to protect them from the financial burden caused by termites, insurers do not cover these aspects. Therefore, the financial cost of a major infestation can be massive.
Another reason is that termites can spread diseases as they walk around a property. Termites are linked to moulds that can then cause serious health issues such as asthma, migraines, runny nose, cough, and conjunctivitis.
The Most Important Step in Getting Rid of Termites in a House
When it comes to controlling termites there is only one real way to make sure that the termites can’t return: killing the queen termite. When a new nest is established, there is a queen and king termite that are there to breed and rear up the young. However, the king does not last long, and soon it is the single queen that breeds.
If the queen survives any infestation control attempt, then the nest will survive. And that is where the problem is. You can kill as many workers and soldiers as you would like, but if that queen is alive, the nest will return.
However, if you kill the queen, then the nest will die. Workers will last about one or two years at most, but queens can live between twenty-five and fifty years, depending on the species.
But without a queen, workers, and soldiers will usually die within a few weeks. The reason why their lifespan is cut short is that the queen does more than just produce young, she will also control the termites and without her influence, the nest will struggle to survive.
How to Get Rid of Termites in the Home?
Getting rid of termites is then fairly easy. All you need to do is to target the queen and make your home a less inviting location for them. So here are some options.
Target the Queen with Anti-Termite Treatments
The first thing to do is to target the queen with bait that will attract workers. What these workers do is that they then transport this back to the nest where the queen eats it. The queen is then poisoned and dies, it is relatively painless and effective.
Once the queen is killed, the other workers and soldiers will die.
These types of termite stations can be purchased on our website. They are especially designed to target the queen. The most effective way to end an infestation.
Use Termite Traps
Even with the queen dead, it will take a few weeks to kill the workers. Therefore, it is recommended that termite traps are used to trap and kill workers as they move around a property. Traps used without killing the queen can also reduce activity, but the nest will persist.
As with most pests in the home, termite prevention is the best way to combat termites at the home. Therefore, you should try to avoid any wood connecting the soil around the home to the building. This is usually the best way for termites to enter the home. Another factor is to ensure that crawl spaces are drier, termites need humid air to survive. So when a space is too dry, it will quickly die or move on.
Another key prevention is to ensure that there is no wood stored near the home. Wooden logs for home fires are a key way that termites enter the home and can cause a significant problem for those, especially in rural areas. These piles need to be stored away from structures.
A more expensive, but often required step is to hire a professional pest controller. They can help identify where termites are and remove them from the property. Though expensive, they can be a great help for eradication with professional tools and equipment.
Final Word: How to Get Rid of Termites: What You Need to Know
If you want to know how to get rid of termites, then you need to be sure that you have the right tools. Termites can cause significant damage to your property, and therefore you should get rid of them before the nest becomes too big. The best way to do so is by targeting the queen.