Termites

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Signs of Termites

Termite infestation is usually not apparent until severe damages have incurred. They live in dark, humid and protected environment, which make them so hard to find - until it’s too late.

As termites devour their way through wood from the inside, it can be rather challenging to detect a termite infestation but there are some tell-tale signs that indicate their presence.

Here are a few common signs of termites that you might see (or hear) around your home or business premises:

What to look for

  • Mud tubes on wall - Subterranean termites build shelter tubes made of mud, dirt and debris in order to travel to and fro the food source without being seen. These tubes are about the size of a coin and are usually found on exterior and interior walls leading up to the entry points of the building.

  • Sightings of termite swarmers (flying termites) or discarded wings – Usually the first sign of infestation noticed by property owners are the presence of swarmers or alates. Another common indication is the remnants of discarded wings on windowsills and floors. While they may quickly disappear after they found their mating partner, the identical and disembodied wings are sure signs of an indoor termite swarm.

  • Papery or hollow sounding timber - Termites usually consume woods from the inside out, leaving a thin veneer of timber or paint. So when you knock or tap on an area that has termite damages, it will sound hollow or papery due to parts (or all) of the timber having been eaten away.

  • Tight fitting door or hard to open window - As termites devour timber, their excrement or ‘mud’ creates a protective environment that traps heat and moisture. This causes timber to swell, making it harder to open or close the infested windows and doors.

  • Tunnels in the wood - Also known as 'galleries' which are quite difficult to see from the outside.

  • Termite droppings - After consuming wood, dry wood termites often leave behind brown-coloured and grainy faecal mounds. These faecal pellets are usually found beneath the infested wood.

Have you seen these signs?

Termites eat 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week. This means they are constantly consuming wood and damaging it. If left untreated, termites can weaken the wood within your home leading to costlier damages. Watch real life cases of Indonesia homeowners who have lived with termites in their home.

Call us today at 0 800 1 333 777 or contact us online to arrange for a termite inspection for your home or business.

Is that Termites or Ants in your home? Can you spot the difference?

Be it termites or ants, both are considered a menace or nuisance to a home. While there are some similarities between both pests, the negative impact resulting from a termite problem is few folds more serious and damaging compared to an ants problem.

For home owners, here are some quick tips to spot if that is a termite or ants bothering you

  • Appearance: Creamy, white to dark brown or black in colour, long narrow and oval in shape, has straight antennae, has 6 legs and wings are in the same size. (To note: Ants’ wings are not in same size, they have more red and black colour combination and antennae are elbowed)
  • Eating habits: Termites do feed on wood and cellulose, whereas ants feed on sweet food, dead insects & proteins.
  • Habitat: Termites are largely found in underground or within structural platforms (Danger: Hence, it is harder to spot and identify them, till the problem gets severe, comparing to ants, termites are less obvious and visible)

Have you notice, in some properties or homes you have entered, there is some sort of mud tubes developed on the wall or structure, or there are damaged wood or cracked walls, and in some cases, you might see “wings” along the window sills. In fact, there are cases reported on structural incidences such as collapsed wall or ceiling, or unstable structural platforms in the premise that impacts the health and safety risks of the home owners.

These are the negative outcome a termite infestation can potentially cause to a property. This is because termites feed on wood (or in another words, your home) 24 hours daily, and their scissor-like jaw and means, they could chew and bite off small fragments of the wood 1 piece at a time! This would also mean, over time, your home would slowly damage and collapse if preventive measures are not taken timely.

The big misperception, termites are very small, since they are only 0.4mm long, and hence it is all right to ignore. However, the consequences can be really detrimental to a home. With more than 350,000 termite members within a termite colony eating your home daily and the reproduction opportunity, you can imagine the build-up structural risks over time.

But the good news is, with today’s advanced standard of living, with various introductions of innovation and technology; it is not that difficult to figure out if your home has turned into a permanent lifetime meal. Similarly, to what you have seen on crime scene inspection in TV series, termites can also be scanned and detected with microwave technology. Liquid crystals are designed to display signals or interruption activities caused by termite movements. This means, we have clear visibility and transparency on any presence of termites, and more importantly, where are they resting within the home!

But the question is when is a good time to have your home checked and inspected? For new home owners, it is wise to have the home inspected thoroughly before you move in and start the renovation and home décor activities. This will save you the trouble of moving your furniture around to have them inspection during midway, giving you the assurance and peace of mind on safety, and more importantly, to avoid unnecessary and additional renovation, replacement and disruption to your home and family subsequently.

Imagine, your home is equivalent to your health. It is always advisable to do a home check to ensure all is in order, before it is too late and only start taking rectification actions to correct and address the condition and home damage.

If you are an existing home owners, you can look for potential tell-tale signs or engaged in inspection technology to see what the current condition of your home is. You might face 2 scenarios:

Scenario 1, the positive outcome: If your home is termite-free, you can opt for a home protection plan, by “planting” a protective barrier against termite activities around the perimeter of your home. Alternatively, there are strategically placed termite monitoring baits around the home for routine-based monitoring for termite activity and termite activity control in a safe and environmentally-friendly manner.

Tips: It is always advisable to prevent and protect your home before a major home disaster starts!

Scenario 2, the negative outcome: If your home is termite-infested, there are various safe, effective and responsive termite treatments you can consider. Liquid termiticide is injected into the ground and termites which are working through the soil and tunnel gets exposed to the termiticide, and eventually, spread to the other termites, and thus, controlling the colony effectively and safely.

Prevention and protection is always better than cure. Are there any useful tips that home owners can practice to prevent a possible termite infestation?

  • Repair any leaking taps and pipes: this will reduce moisture level which attracts these termites
  • Remove any dead tree or stumps: these are ideal sites for termite nesting
  • Do not place any climbing plants or bushy gardens to grow against structure: this allows termites entry without detection. The roots of the plants could also penetrate the foundations of the property
  • Remove any tree branches, debris, cellulose materials or dead leaves: these are attractive food source and nesting sites for termites

However, especially for landed homes which are connected in a cluster or a row, termites could potentially travel and spread sideways or upwards, and thus, while your home might be termite-free for now, or you might have done some diligent DIY tips, the neighbouring homes could potentially spread these termites to your property and hence, it is important to build a protective barrier to keep your home safe from these disruptive and destroying pest.

Rentokil Indonesia uses comprehensive termite inspection technology to accurately detect the presence of termite activities to give home owners a peace of mind. Residents should avoid guessing and subject your home to chance of a potential termite infestation.