It is wrong to think that termite infestations are a small problem that won’t affect you. The darker reality is that termites can easily hide from the human eye in unsuspecting parts of a building. There are various termite species we frequently deal with. This blog post will discuss the termite treatment and species in Melbourne.
Termites always conceal themselves and most Melbournians never actually see a termite even if their home is infested. It is more common for people to see evidence of termite workings and damage, and termite mud leads in dark cavities (such as under the floor) are common.
GARDENS- In the garden you may come across live termites in old logs and landscaping timbers. While many termite species may damage a building, there is really only one that is responsible for mayor damage in Melbourne – that is the genus COPTOTERMES.
There are several species within this Genus, but they all look similar. The key is to find a soldier within a cluster of termites.
This is easier than you might think, because if you come across a cluster of termites, perhaps by splitting open some old timber, you will notice that the termite disappear quickly- repelled by daylight, but the soldiers are the last to leave. These have honey coloured heads with a pair of distinctive ‘tweezers’ for jaws. If you annoy them by lightly tapping them with your finger, they will spit a globule of sticky white glue from the front of their heads.
Nest – You are most unlikely to locate a Coptotermes nest site, even though you may see thousands of live termites in a split log. Nests are usually located securely, in a strong and solid tree trunk or deep under the soil.If you find this species in your garden, you should be concerned and call a termite specialist for guidance.
This species is the most common one found in garden in Melbourne. They have very distinctive appearance which cannot be mistaken. Find the soldiers in a group. Look closely at the picture above to see the soldiers’ almost black head. He does not have ‘tweezers’ but instead has a ‘bird’s beak’. This is used to squirt glue at predators such as black ants.
If you find these termites in your garden, then there is probably no need to react, since these termites are not a major hazard in Melbourne. If you live in country Victoria, such a Kilmore or Broadford, then this species could be more invasive and you should seek advice from a termite specialist.
These are large termites with fierce looking soldiers measuring up to 10mm long! They have vicious looking jaws and are unmistakable to see. You may also notice that their clusters have a mixed composition of sizes, as the entire family of reproductives, mature and immature termites all mix together.
These termites are found in rotting timber and are little risk to a properly ventilated building. Dampwood termites do however, damage buildings that are poorly ventilated, especially in the inner city of Melbourne.
Such infestations are difficult to treat, since very few products are effective or registered against this genus. Such infestations need careful and skilled management, which usually involves timber replacement and ventilation improvement and need for followed up on-going assessments.
Although the main swarming season in Melbourne is October/ November, various genera swarm throughout the summer. It is mature termites that fly during the swarming season, this is to reduce overcrowding in nests and to mate. After the season, you will likely find termite wings scattered on the ground.
Flying termites in the garden. It is normal to see flying termites floating about in the warm evening air in a Melbourne summer. You do not need to react. If they fly into your house or shed they will die- all of them.
Flying termites coming out of a tree. This could indicate that a termite colony nest is very close. You should have it checked out by a termite specialist.
Flying termites coming out of timber/ walls inside your building. This means that the building is already infested and you need it managed by a termite specialist immediately.
Identifying the termite species is important in termite control. Our team is knowledgable with various termite treatment and species in Melbourne. If you suspect a termite infestation or require termite control in Melbourne, please don’t hesitate to contact us.