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What Are Termites?

What are white ants & termites?

Termites in wall cavityWhile termites are often referred to as "white ants", they are not ants at all. They do however look a little bit like a creamy white, somewhat translucent ant. The difference between a termite and an ant is that the termite is a little bit thicker in the body and won't have an obvious waist. If you can see an obvious waist it is most likely an ant.

Some termites will have a pair of wings and can be mistaken for flying ants. These are the reproductive members of the colony known as "swarmers".

The major problem with termites is that they eat dead plant material, especially wood, making them significantly destructive pests when they infest a home. Termites live in colonies that can include anywhere from a couple of hundred to millions of individuals, working together to feed and grow the colony.

Each termite colony will be made up of reproductives, workers and soldiers. The soldiers defend the colony from insects and other termites, the workers do the feeding and building of the nest, while the reproductive (and Queen) will produce eggs.

Types of termites

Termites activity under tree stumpWhile there are over 300 different species of termite there is only a handful that are capable of causing significant damage and likely to infest your house.

There are two main types of termites you're likely to find in your home;

A pest inspector will need to identify which type and species of termite are infesting a home to determine the best course of action for removal.

Where are termites found?

Termite damaged property

Termites generally like dark, damp areas where they aren't exposed to too much air, requiring a source of moisture in order to survive. In the natural environment, they will form a nest in tree stumps, fallen logs and sometimes mounds.

In your home, they will usually form a nest within walls, the ceiling or under the house. Dampwood termites usually aren't too much of a problem so long as you don't have rotting wood or leaking taps in your home. It's the drywood termites that can be found anywhere throughout your home.

Houses near natural bushlands are often at a higher risk of termites moving in from the natural environment.

Check our Termite Map to see if termites are prone to your area.

Read more about what attracts termites and view our gallery for photos of common termite damage found in homes.

Do you have termites?

If you think you may have a termite infestation in your home its best to act as quickly as possible. Contact Wildman Building & Pest Inspections for a thorough Pest & Termite Inspection of your home. Our experienced inspectors use the latest tools recognised by Australian Standards, including moisture metres, an acoustic tapper and even a thermal imaging camera.

Get peace of mind on where you stand in your home with a full report on findings, courses of areas of your house that may be susceptible to termites and other infestations. 

Book an inspection today!