White Ants, or Subterranean Termites, are the most common type of termite and the most destructive pest when it comes to Queensland homes. Once in your home, evidence of termites can be seen when they can strip the framework within your walls and wreak havoc with the safety of your home, which is why it’s critical to recognise white ants signs on your property.
White Ants and Termites: Are They The Same Thing?
White Ants are, in fact, the same as Termites. It was a name given to Termites because of their whiteish colour and because they moved like ants. But throw in a microscope, and you’ll soon see there are many differences between ants and termites.
Signs of Termite Infestation on Your Property
Sign One: Mudding
Termite mudding is most commonly visible in old trees on the property and can also be found in old timber retaining walls. Termites require high humidity levels and so create mud tubing in trees and timber that are close to structures they are feeding on. This mud tubing regulates the nest temperature. Watch Ben in the video below as he explains the termite mudding he found during one of his building inspections in Brisbane.
Sign Two: Hollow Sounding Timber
If you rap on timber with your knuckle and it produces a hollow sound, that would be because … it is hollow. Termites like regulated temperatures and humidity and so most damage is INSIDE the wood they are eating.
Sign Three: Sagging Floors or Doors and Cracked paint or plaster
In older and wood-based homes such as Queenslanders, sagging doorways and floors can be a pretty good indicator that the stumps and structure of the house have been eaten away by white ants. This is one reason why proper ant capping is an essential preventative. Likewise, cracking in walls can indicate structural damage and is why it’s essential to have a thorough inspection when buying a house to renovate or not.
Sign Four: Easily Damaged Skirting and Architraves
Ever accidentally kicked a skirting board and had it crumble easily? Termites hollow those out, too! Tapping skirting boards and architraves can quickly reveal termite damage hidden in plain sight! See Ben at work in the video below, looking for signs of white ants in the house during a building inspection in Brisbane.
Sign Five: Power Failure
Termites love the heat put out by electrical fittings behind walls!
How Modern White Ant Pest Control Works
White Ants are symbiotic feeders. The “workers” are who biologically process the wood to feed the rest of the colony, so most modern pest control substances use this to their advantage.
Back in the old days, “gassing” (much like using fly spray) was the standard method of pest control. The downside to this method was that it killed the white ants local to the pesticide, but not necessarily the nest. It was also pretty bad for humans!
Modern white ant baits are designed to be eaten by the termites and taken back to the nest to be shared. The fact that white ants have cannibalistic instincts increase the effectiveness of this treatment!
There Aren’t Any Obvious White Ant Signs, But An Invasion Be Prevented?
Whilst there are no guarantees in life, there are amazingly effective building products designed to act as barriers to termite invasion. These barriers are non-toxic, permanent and generally don’t require maintenance.
Ultimately, though, it’s recommended that you have a yearly white ant inspection carried out to get on top of potential pests before white ant damage becomes a headache.
Don’t ignore the white ants signs or wait for your house to crumble!!