There are many myths around termites and their behaviours that have developed over the years. The reality is that if there is timber on your property there is a massive probability especially in Queensland that termites are foraging close by.This article will uncover and correct just some of the myths that surround termites and there destructive nature.

MYTH

“Yes we know we’ve got termites, they’re only in the fences and they are happy there with plenty to eat”!

TRUTH

Termites will feed wherever timber is available – unfortunately you cannot contain them to one area. The Queen can lay up to 2000 eggs a day, which means 100s of 1000s of workers can forage for food as far as the size of a football field around their nest.

MYTH

“My next door neighbour told me that the Termites eating my retaining wall wont attack my house”!

TRUTH

There are 350 species of termites in Australia, and South East Queensland has 2 of the most destructive in the world.

House frames, window frames, door frames and skirting boards provide a nutritious supply offood for a growing termite colony.

How much of an expert is your neighbour?

MYTH

Termites won’t attack Hardwood timbers!


TRUTH

Termites will attack hardwood timbers and can also damage plasterboard, carpets, plastics, books, artwork, clothes, electrical insulation and fit out timbers.

MYTH

“We had a termite inspection done when we bought the house 2 years ago… I don’t reckon they’re here, we never see them”!

TRUTH

Termite inspections should be carried out every 6 -12 months. Termites are secretive by nature and very rarely will you see them eating your home, until they’ve caused thousands of dollars in damage. The sooner you identify a termite infestation the better for obvious reasons.

MYTH

“I have a steel frame house, I don’t need to worry about termites!”


TRUTH

Termites don’t just attack timber houses. Termites can get into your home through a small crack and eat away at the window frames, skirting boards, floor boards and wall linings. The overall risk of major structural damage to steel or masonry house is low, but all types of houses are at risk. A CSIRO study (Cookson 1999) found that steel and masonry houses had virtually the same chances of attack as timber houses.

MYTH

“I can’t have termites because I have termite protection built into my house!”


TRUTH

No termite management system is 100% termite proof. If this was the case, you would not need to have annual termite inspections. Pre-construction termite management systems are designed to make it more difficult for termites to enter your house by detering concealed entry into buildings. Termites can still enter your home through small cracks and joins in concrete slabs or around the external walls.

MYTH

I don’t need termite protection because I spray around the house for termites!

TRUTH

It is not possible or effective to treat termites via surface spraying.Termites set up nests underground and in the trunks of trees.They tunnel through the soil then build mud shelter tubes up the side or underneath structures to gain access to buildings. Effective termite treatments should be applied by either baiting or underground chemical treatments.

MYTH

It’s OK, my insurance company will cover the termite damage!

TRUTH

Insurance companies prefer not to insure against termites as they cause more damage than floods, fire and theft combined. Some termite companies will warrant against termites when full protection is installed around a building. These are just some of the myths and truths associated with termites. For peace of mind keep up your regular termite inspections and be pro-active with protecting your house from the high likelihood of a potential termite attack.