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White-Ants Pest Control Guide into the main damaging white-ant species in Australia; your pest control options and consumer protection advice.
Subterranean termites are also known as"WHITE-ANTS" in Australia are an extremely destructive timber pest, causing major structural timber damage to buildings.
Recent APCA Industry polls suggest about one in four of unprotected properties in Australia is going to be assaulted by subterranean termites (white-ants) during the life span of the building.
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Intense structural timber damage to Australian homes is on the increase because of more homes being constructed of materials and designs that encourage hidden termite entry and infestation.
Super-Efficient White-ants are known to destroy most of the wall and roof framing structural timbers of a home within 3 months of construction.
Wide-spread Damage White-ants are estimated to cause more structural timber damage to homes in Australia than from fire, floods, storms and tempest, combined.
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White-ants occur across the Australian mainland, using a high incidence of attack in virtually all urban areas.
Home insurance does NOT cover the repair costs of damage brought on by white-ant infestations in a house and commercial buildings in Australia.
White Ants have a Central Colony - Subterranean Termites AKA"White-ants" build a central colony nest from which they construct underground tunnels that radiate throughout the land in about a 100 metre radius in search of cellulose wood food sources... possibly your property.
Picture on left includes a Timber Pest inspector examining an above ground white-ant subsidiary nest inside a wall cavity.
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White-Ants often build such above ground nests, where moisture collects in the wall cavity, for example, from leaking pipes, shower recess or faulty guttering, etc..
Picture shows a massive mud shelter tube built by White-Ants up a a brick foundation wall in the sub floor of a cottage.
White-Ants travel in these mud shelter tubes as protection from predators, sun-burn, dehydration and to maintain a high humidity environment that's essential for their survival.
White-Ants are highly secretive insects preferring to enter a building through areas inaccessible to inspection, including, through in-fill patios, fire heaths, expansion joints and cracks in concrete slab (on-ground) flooring.
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The smallest of openings white-ants can pass through a 2 mm crack or expansion joint eating through rubber compound between adjoining concrete (on ground)n flooring. White-ants often travel under parquetry and floor tiles for the wall framing timbers.
White-ants are not"ants" at all - white-ants are ground dwelling timber eating insects originating from ancient cockroaches. The earliest termite ever found was in Arizona preserved in amber fluid and obsolete at 220 million years old (been dead along time!) .
Interdependent caste system within a white-ant nest there are members of different castes, each with a different role but interdependent role to do including the queen, king, the winged swarmer or reproductive (young king and queen), soldiers and workers.
The one that does the damage; they are a creamy translucent colour, soft bodied and carry out all work in the nest, including gathering food (timber and other cellulose); constructing tunnels; repairing and enlarging the White-ants colony nest; grooming each other and feeding the soldiers, the king, queen and also caring for the young nymphs until mature. .
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Worker white-ants are 3 mm to 4 mm long, have no wings, are sterile and blind; operate 24 hours a day for many years life span in some species.
With mandibulate pinchers that they use to conquer an attacker, such as ants; a few have hard pointed snout which yank on a white sticky latex to ensnare their enemies.
Commonly seen when they swarm on a hot humid summer evening around dusk - they have eyes and therefore are poor fliers but are swept along by the wind - they land, drop their wings, find a mate to become king and queen of a new white-ant colony.
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Nest is close by and a comprehensive inspection and report to Australian Standard 3660 by a termite
White-ants constantly groom and feed each other. A valuable technique for your white-ant pest controller is to instal and monitor a white-ant termite baiting system next to any live activity found in and around the premises where white-ants are foraging. Subsequent inspections (preferably monthly) may reveal dead or sick employee white-ants, they change colour to a mottle look as they spread the white-ant lure to other white-ants leading to the eventual elimination of the entire wqhite-ant colony...
in the colony including the queen. With a sufficient dosage taken back into the nest can lead to the
It's essential for the white ant inspector to correctly identify the species of white ant found in a building or surrounds. Some white ant species will not attack dry seasoned timbers, whilst others are highly destructive to building timbers in a short amount see this site of time.