There are about 20 species of subterranean termites which commonly attack timber- in- service throughout Australia and 10 of these can be found in QLD. So prevention, to keep termites out, to protect buildings especially our homes, is a major concern for most Australian home owner especially if you are the owner of a residence which was previously constructed before the year 2000.
The annual cost of termite damage to buildings in Australia is not known, but estimates exceed $100million. Whatever the real figures, termites can cause significant damage with devastating financial and social implications. Qld statistics also show that 1 in 3 houses will suffer from termite damage.
Termites are social insects, working and living together in groups (colonies). There are specialised tasks to perform by each type of termite and some mature colonies may number up to 2 million individuals. Some subterranean termite queens are capable of producing 1000 eggs per day. Termite colonies colonies may exist for as long as 25 years.
Subterranean termites feed exclusively on wood and wood products containing cellulose. Termites often infest buildings and damage lumber, wood panels, flooring, gyprock, wallpaper, plastics, paper products and fabric made of plant fibre’s. The most serious damage is the loss of structural strength. Other costly losses include attacks on flooring, carpeting, art work, books, clothing, furniture and valuable papers.
Subterranean termites species which make tunnels in the ground. They are capable of travelling up to 50-100 metres underground in search of a food source.
Some of the common types of termites located in Qld: