Does My Home Have Termites?

Termite workings and damage to a pitched hardwood roof

Sydney is in the second highest risk category for termite attack in Australia, according to research developed by the CSIRO.

This means every home in Sydney is at high risk for termite attacks and infestations.

While there are hundreds of termite species in Australia, the most damaging found in the Sydney area are of the subterranenan termite group (not a typo – it’s subterranenan, not subterranean).

These termites get into your home through a complex network of underground tunnels, sometimes travelling underground as far as 50 metres from the main nest colony.

The subterranenan termite group includes mound building species and even some tree dwelling termites.

With the high risk of termite infestation, you should consider contacting us to  organise a thorough pest inspection report. You can call us on (02) 9130 2499 or book your Sydney pest inspection online.

How do Termites Attack?

termite inspection 3Termite infestations occur when underground nests mature near your home. The most destructive termite species live in nests of millions of timber destroying pests. Your home is a wonderful source of food for termites, as well as shelter and potentially a new place to nest.

They will have networks of tunnels that allow a single termite colony to exploit the food sources of multiple homes. They can gain access to your home in many different ways and not even concrete slabs act as barriers.

Termite Mudding and Shelter Tubes

Unlike many other species of insects, termites don’t move above ground. Subterranean termites remain underground as they need high moisture levels to survive, which they can get through soil. They need their colony and passages to maintain almost 100% humidity in a temperature range between 26°C and 35°C, or they will dry out and die. To prevent this, they keep the nest sealed from outside.

termite inspection 7So they can move about, termites create shelter tubes at night when it’s cooler and the humidity is higher. These tubes allow them to move about between their main nest and sources of food, such as your home.

These shelter tubes start from the ground and can be found on walls and subfloor structures like brick piers. On rare occasions they will even make freestanding tubes from the ground straight to a home’s timber flooring.

Your home should be designed with termite infestations in mind, with barriers in place to prevent concealed access into timber areas. These termite barriers can be physical or chemical.

Barriers like the ant caps placed between brick piers and your timber floor framework are there to prevent termite access, not stop. They force termites to build their mud tunnels around the ant cap in order to access the timber beams.

Our  experienced Sydney building and pest inspectors look for things like termite barriers or shelter tubes, before looking deeper for signs of termite activity that suggest they have made it past the barriers.

If you’re looking at building a new home or you believe you may have a termite problem, contact Inspect my Home for a thorough pest inspection report, or book online today.