Termites cause over 1 billion dollars in damages across Australia every year. Termite damage repair bills run higher than storms, fires, and burglaries combined, which is why your homeowner’s insurance does NOT cover you for termites. To protect your most significant financial investment, every homeowner must understand how to recognise the signs of termite damage in their home.
Data from the CSIRO (The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) and the APCA (Australian Pest Control Association) national survey shows Perth and surrounding southern and northern areas are at a very high risk of termite damage.
Sacred, we are! Termites are very quiet and hollow out timbers, often leaving nothing but a veneer shell or a thin layer of paint, making it extremely difficult to know there is a problem until it’s too late.
So, how do you know if you have termites? What are the telltale signs that your home is infested with termites?
Signs Of Termite Damage
The signs of termite damage in your home can be hard to spot. Despite termites being super sneaky and stealth-like, there are several signs to being aware of:
Mud tubes, like the ones pictured above, usually are like the picture on the left, streaming up from the foundations of your home. In extreme cases, you may see them coming down the walls from the roof.
Other signs are:
- Peeling paint that resembles water damage
- Tiny, pinpoint holes in drywall
- Blistered or warped wooden, and laminate flooring
- Tiles loosening from the added moisture termites can introduce to your floor
- Doors and windows that are stuck.
- Sagging drywall or discolouration
- Damaged wood that looks crumbly
- Hollow sounding wood
- Maize like patterns in wooden furniture and exposed beams
- Very squeaky floorboards
- Flying swarms of termites anywhere on your property or piles of wings that look like fish scales
- Small mounds of fine dry wood, looks like light brown pepper
- Can you hear hollow scampering/scratching noises
How Termites Enter Your Home
Now, how do those sneaky termites enter your home? Well, they usually enter through places people can not get to, such as:
- Cracks in your concrete slab
- Fire hearths
- In-fill patios
- Expansion joints
- Plumbing/electrical ingress points through the slab
- Weep holes
Species of Termites
There are many species of termites; for instance, some species will generally only frequent dead trees, decaying matter, and grasses and will not typically attack dry house timbers.
However, other species common to Perth and the surrounds are subterranean termites and can be extremely destructive and do irreversible damage to your home in a very short period.
If you think termites will move out on their own, guess again! A queen after her mates becomes a terminator egg machine. She can produce more than 2,000 eggs a day and can survive for 25 years or more! If she were a human, she would potentially be entitled to half your property! Professional termite removal is required to protect your home.
CSIRO data and the APCA national survey shows Perth and surrounding southern and northern areas are at a very high risk of termite damage.
The WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety have some great tips regarding termite barriers, building tips, and important information around buying an existing home or building. Termites and your home, Government of Western Australia Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety Building and Energy – PDF
There is new technology available that allows for non-invasive termite detection, which means no unsightly cutting into your beautiful flooring.
Swat-A-Pest uses the latest non-invasive termite inspection methods utilising the Termatrac T3i, a 3 in 1 inspection tool. The T3i is thermal heat, moisture, and microwave movement detection. As termites eat timber from the inside, often detection with the naked eye is not possible. With our inspection tool, we can find termites that would have been otherwise undetectable without destroying walls, ceiling, or floorboards in the process.
If you suspect termites have moved into your home, contact the team at Swat-A-Pest today for expert advice. We are here to help!