Termites, otherwise known as the “property destroyer” is certainly not an easy task to deal with as a non-pest control specialist. Firstly, signs of termites are not as visible and clear, secondly they do not physically crawl around in the home, and finally, the termite colony will take years to develop into a full termite infestation.
Rentokil Singapore shares the common top ten misperception of termites and best termite control approach to adopt for your home. In addition, Rentokil will provide useful termite prevention tips, and suggestions on how to get rid of termites naturally.
Ten facts of termite misperception we need to know
- Only landed homes are at risks of termite infestation
- All homes and property are safe from prior termite treatment
- Sun furniture and home is good enough for termite eradication
- Old homes are at risks of a termite problem
- All properties treated with pre-construction termite treatment
- Lower risk of infestation so long as minimal wooden furniture used
- No termite issue if there is presence of ants
- Those “flying termites” are just flies and not termites
- Saw dusts ignored as what are the signs of termites
- Termites only found indoors and not outdoors
Understanding more about termites and their habitat
- What are termites and the species type?
- Are termites and white ants the same?
- How termites start in the first place
- What does termite damage look like?
- Learn the early signs of termites
Taking proactive steps and best way to treat termites
- Take proactive steps in home termite inspection
- Common termite control challenges
- Engaging professional termite control services
- Find out more about price of termite control
Maintaining long term protection and maintenance against termites
- Adopt regular termite prevention remedies
- Debugged common termite pest myths
- Essential termite education and useful information
Part 1: Clarifying the top ten common misperception of termites
Only landed homes are prone to a termite infestation
Most would associate termite problems with a landed property due to its nature and build-up of the structure. For instance, there is a backyard and courtyard, front garden pouch and massive structure set up, flooring and beams constructed. However, do you know termites can travel upwards up to 25 storeys or more? Yes, termites can travel sideways and vertically. This means, even HDB flats and condominiums are also at risk of a termite infestation. In conclusion, termites could even travel from your neighouring unit or cluster.
All homes are safe so long as there is an initial termite control
Unfortunately, it does not mean that so long as the previous homeowner has taken up an anti-termite treatment or you have previously engaged termite services for your home, your property is safe from termites. This is because of a few reasons:
- The binding and residual effect of the active ingredient matters in efficacy
- Treatment may have depleted the colony control period
- The coverage area in termiticide application may be inadequate
- Termites invasion can enter through various source of entry
- Home activities and lifestyle may influence a problem infestation
- You may have brought in termite-infested furniture from somewhere
- Home designs and lack of housekeeping can introduce termites
Expose furniture and home to sunlight is good enough for termite eradication
Exposing your furniture with direct sunlight can eliminate termites due to its heat emission and dehydrating any possible moisture that termites thrive. However, this approach may not cover the entire furniture, or adapt to existing infestation taking place and the 24/7 termite activity that is taking place daily. This also does not address protecting the structure beams or flooring which is a risk of a problem invasion as well.
Old homes are at risks of a termite infestation
Most would believe old homes with poor and compromised structure conditions are at risks of all pests including termites. In some extent, this is true due to the following:
- Pipes and plumbing may suffer from wear and tear and leak due to defects
- Cracks and gaps resulted from weakened structure and expansion
- Moist and humidity developed within the home that promotes termites
- Prior pre-construction termite treatment may have expired its residual effect
- Historical existing termite condition that has not been addressed
However, new homes may be at risks of a termite issue as well. Firstly, termites can travel and spread from neighbouring sites. Secondly, the type and choice of furnishing and building materials may promote termite harbourage. Thirdly, urbanisation and lifestyle concepts such as patio units and water features promote moisture as a termite food source. Fourthly, it depends on the quality of landscaping that generates overgrown shrubs or mulch. Finally, poor air flows within the home if largely glass panels constructed with minimal ventilation. Above all, the warm and humid weather makes termite infestation a yearlong all round pest challenge for everyone.
All properties may undergo pre-construction termite treatment
Most properties are required to undergo 10 years pre-construction termite barrier treatment before the building is established. Under the recommended guidelines for structural engineers under the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), there is a checklist for termite inspection and treatment by the appointed termite specialist. However, this typically covers the exterior of the development and for individual units within the condominium blocks; a separate treatment package is required. Above all, the efficacy and effectiveness of termite treatment also depends on the type of active ingredient and treatment delivery adopted prior to the construction process.
Lower risks of infestation so long as little wooden furniture used
There are many possibilities and opportunities on where do termite live. Besides furniture, they live in the soil, build their paths, and plan their routes up with mud tubes. For species such as Dampwood Termites live within wood such as a log or branch, commonly found outdoors of the home. However, Drywood Termite, which is also a common home pest problem, also stays in the attic, door frames and wooden framing around the home. In summary, termites are present both indoors and outdoors, not just eliminating furniture placement itself.
We will not have termites if there are ants around
A pest myth we should debug the fact around only either termites or ants found in a home. Here are some reasons to clarify this myth:
- Ants are present due to the food source available such as sugary and greasy food
- Carpenter ants which is an ant species are found in furniture as well
- While ants may feed on termites, the colony comprising thousands of workers are impossible to eliminate
- Set up of the home and conditions can bring about a termite issue
- Both pest types can be present at the same time due to its different habitat
Those flying termites identified as flies wrongly
These flying termites you see around the home are actually called swarmers. They have pinched waists with equal length wings that are different from those of ants. Typically, you will spot them during wet weather or conditions are humid, and take place usually the day and sometimes at night. While these swarmers may not be an indicator of an infestation but merely entering from elsewhere, it is always good to seek professional termite infestation to rule out any possible termite problem.
Saw dusts ignored as potential termite signs
Who would have thought those dirt and sawdust lying on windowsill and panes or floor surfaces could be a sign of termite infestation. These are not the dirt and grime due to housekeeping gaps but rather, the droppings of termites, called frass. Very tiny in length of around 1mm, they are easily mistaken for dust, or sprinkles of seasonings such as pepper.
Termites found indoors with the home only
Another major misperception is the presence of termites of a home. The exterior or outdoors are often neglected, be it landscaping, pests’ presence and potential hot spots for pests to breed. Most efforts and investments are spent internally but it is important to know, the first cause of a pest problem is by entering from the outside. In the case of termites, they can breed near the garden where there are trees, shrubs, wood logs and picket fences, and if the foundation is connected to a home.
Part 2: Understanding more about termites and their habitat
What are termites and the species type?
The first basic step on how to get rid of termites is to know your termite enemy better. Understanding their behaviour, what they like to feed on, where they live, what makes them breed, how they look like and what attracts them helps.
Are termites and white ants the same?
Termites and ants belong to different types of insect family, and the term white ant is another way to describe or address termites. However, termites are not the same as ants. Firstly, both are associated with wood, however for carpenter ants, they do not feed on wood. Rather, they need to dig and remove wood out for their nesting purpose. Secondly, their wings are different when looked closer. Termites have equal size on all their four wings. Thirdly, ant’s waists have a thinner diameter compared to termites. Finally, the infestation signs and mode of treatments differ for both pest types.
How termites start in the first place?
A series of factors causing termites to start an infestation within a premise includes:
- Are there moist soil readily available for termites to survive
- Is hydration and water source sufficient for termites to rely on
- Is the wood in contact with the foundation of the home
- Weather and humidity that promotes more termite activity
- Opportunities for termites to enter through gaps and crevices
What does termite damage look like?
Small and mighty, termites can cause detrimental damages and risks to your home and property. These damages include:
- Presence of mud tubes on the wall that is unsightly and unsafe
- Cracked and damaged walls and structures
- Weakened structure or signs of instability
- Layers of frass and droppings on surfaces
- Compromised ceilings and attics that seems to be posing collapse danger
- Flying termites or swarmers around the home
What should you do if your house has termites and what are some termite damage repair options? Here are some options you can consider:
- Engaging a professional pest control company to control the termites is critical
- Do not attempt to use off-the-shelve spray or scrap them off the wall
- Avoid washing them off with warm water as moisture makes situation worse
- For weakened or compromise structure and ceilings, it is helpful to seek repair immediately
- Seek professional advice to replace infested door frames or have them treated with drywood termite foaming
Learn the early signs of termites
Having said all the worrying concern of termite damages, how do you know if you have termites? Is there a way on how to test for termites? Firstly, you can try the traditional method of knocking the wall as termites make clicking sounds when they sense danger. Secondly, you can take the observation approach by looking out for common termite infestation signs. Finally, there is a modern and innovative way of detecting termites by using microwave technology to detect termite activities. It involves using a hand-held scanning device to trace for termite presence along the wall structure.
Part 3: Taking proactive steps and best way to treat termites
Common termite control challenges
It is not as easy when it comes to eliminating termites. Some common termite control challenges include firstly, it is not easy to spot and identify unless conducted by a professional. Secondly, we tend to mistake termites for ants and utilise the wrong treatment methods. Thirdly, there are many termite control services options in the market to consider. Fourthly, most packages require quite hefty sums to maintain. Above all, lack of familiarity on what is to be expected of a termite treatment process poses a bother to most homeowners.
Take proactive steps in home termite inspection
Seems tough as it seems, but it is not difficult to ensure you have an annual termite inspection in place. During termite inspection, professional termite specialists will perform both visual and digital detection of your premise for termite activity. Early remedies and actions are suggested upon detection of termite presence. Above all, you can start to take notice of these termite signs while doing daily housekeeping as an ongoing detection effort.
Engaging professional termite control services
Rentokil Initial shares a series of termite control services for your convenience and ease of research
- Post-construction termite treatment programme
- Pre-construction termite solution
- Termite baiting and monitoring treatment
- Drywood termite foaming solution
- Termite inspection and reporting
Find out more about price of termite control
How much it costs to get termite treatment varies and depends on a few factors. Firstly, we need to consider the type of termite species treated. Secondly, the mode of treatment via baiting for injection matters. Thirdly, there are different active ingredient grades and brands offered in the market. Fourthly, we need to consider if it is a long term 7 years package or one-job removal job. Finally, the brand and credibility of the pest control company you engaged.
Part 4: Maintaining long term protection and maintenance against termites
Adopt regular termite prevention remedies
Most would think that by having a termite programme in place, we have completed our job. This is not the case. As we spend some investment in protecting the home for at least 7 years, ongoing maintenance and proactive protection is necessary. This is because termites can occur in various conditions and situations, and for some may be uncontrollable and unavoidable. Follow these useful termite preventive tips to safeguard your home further.
Debugged common termite pest myths
You may have tried some do it yourself (DIY) treatment for termites remedies but have you wondered if they work? It may seem cheaper, easier and more attractive to adopt compared to going through some process in engaging a termite specialist. Here are some natural pest remedies to get rid of termites.
- Vinegar is largely used as a common pests repellent even for cockroaches, ants and bed bugs
- Orange oil that contains d-limonene strangely used to deter termites.
- DIY pest trap by placing wet cardboard as a bait to lure these termites
- Mixture of water and borates that is commonly used for laundry
- Nematodes or parasite worms are used in some countries to feed on termites
Essential termite education and useful information
A complex pest such as termites requires multiple information and facts to understand how to tackle this pest challenge. Here is a series of information for your knowledge on termites
- Are you getting the right termite treatment to resolve your problem?
- What do termites look like and do they fly around?
- Why are DIY termite remedies harmful and dangerous?
- Five things you need to know about termite control services
Call Rentokil Termite Specialists at 6347 8138 for a termite pest control today.