Termites are known as the home destroyer because not only do they feed on your home foundation such as wood and cellulose, they will eventually weaken the stability of the structure, damage walls and cause mal-functioning of the door frames and windows. In addition, as they build mud tubes to travel for food transportation, these signs of termites infestation can ruin the whole aesthetics, including the droppings or frass that they lay along surfaces. In this article, Rentokil shares essential information you need to know when dealing with termites problems.
- Signs of termites you should pay notice of
- How does termite activities come about?
- Why are termites challenging to eradicate?
- Which type of homes are at risk of termite problem
- What should you do if you encounter termite presence at home?
- What happens if you do not engage prompt termite treatment?
- How much does it cost in professional termite control service?
- What are flying termites?
- Is there a difference between white ants and termites?
- What is next after completing termite pest control?
Identify signs of termites’ infestation in your home
Termite infestations are not easy to identify because they are not as visible compared to other pests such as cockroaches and ants, and they hardly or never surface up for food. Hence, it is important to be more aware of signs from your home structure and environment for termite presence.
Firstly, observe the condition of your home flooring for signs of blisters or bubbling surface that caused by termite feeding off your flooring. Secondly, as termites need to hide well from the exposed sun while traveling, they build mud tubes from underground to above (on the walls) to transport their food supplies back. Thirdly, you will notice hollow wood, panel or wall, as termites feed on wood and any cellulose materials, thus reducing the foundation composition. Fourthly, there are times when you see “flies” or “flying termites” with discarded wings left along surfaces, which are signs of swarmers as they continue to build other nests and colonies. Finally, are droppings or “frass” which looks like saw dust along window sales and door frames, and they leave their excrement after wood consumption.
How does termite activities develop in your home?
Termites require three survivor elements comprising food (in this case, are the wood and cellulose), water (usually water spills, leaks and wet surfaces) and shelter (which is the underground and mud tubes they live in). As homes are largely made of wood, it means a good decent supply of food sources. In addition, housekeeping is essential, besides keeping the place dry, the outdoor landscape has to be maintained where excess mulch and rotten wood promote termite infestation. In addition, termites can travel and enter into homes, particularly with compromised integrity, cross infestation and pest entry is high. Finally, termites can attack furniture and buying infested, non-treated and recycled items can introduce termite infestation. It is helpful to engage a pest control specialist to perform a thorough home check for termite activities especially at key risk areas with special detection technology.
Why are termites difficult to eradicate?
Most pests are challenging to eradicate effectively because of reasons involving housekeeping, quality of pest management, consistency and regularity of treatment and uncontrollable factors including urbanisation and environment. Termites can be exceptionally challenging to eliminate because:
- Termite detection can be difficult and inaccurate due to inadequate inspection capabilities, thus leading to ineffective treatment
- Termites travel and spread as they work 24 hours daily, and hence spread of infestation can worsen the control
- There are ample food and water supplies in a home, such as wood, cellulose and moisture
- Environment and high humidity in Singapore, where moist and damp conditions attracts termites
- Compromised efficacy in the termite control, with inferior residual effect and colony control
- Localised treatment such as “spot treatment” instead of resolving the root source which is the colony underground
- Wrong identification of termite species and even pest type, where some may confused between ants and termites
- Incorrect treatment location due to poor inspection quality and expertise, thus not treating key risk areas
What type of homes are at risk of termite activities?
In fact, all property types are prone to termite infestation so long there is underground for termites to hide, abundance of wood food supplies and cellulose materials, and presence of water. Hence, regardless if it is a home residence of landed property or apartment, an office, commercial building or industrial warehouse, these premises can have a termite infestation if there is no engagement of prior termite protection. However, homes that comprise more presence of wood in their design and material choice, or premises with wet and moist conditions, are at higher risk of termite activities. Read more how home and décor can influence pest infestation.
What actions should I take if my home has termites?
Firstly, regardless of what pest you encounter, it is important not to panic and take extreme or incorrect actions and remedies that put your safety at risk or escalate the problem. Secondly, particularly for complex pests such as termites, self-remedies do not work such as direct spray onto the mud tubes, or scraping off them. Thirdly, it is helpful to take photos of affected areas to help map out termite activities and key risk areas. Fourthly, avoid attempting to “wash” or “flush” them away with water, as termites thrive in moist condition and escalate the infestation level. Fourthly, natural remedies such as orange oil have limited efficacy and pose safety risks. It is best to leave the job to the professionals, where termite specialists are trained to perform proper and qualified pest control.
What happens if you do not engage prompt termite treatment?
Termites are construction destroyers and because their colony comprises thousands or millions of members, and their capability to chew off wood, the damages and impact resulting from termite activities is great. For starters, you may notice that you are unable to open and close the windows and doors easily.
Next, you will observe lines, crack and mud tubes on the structure and wall. As they produce droppings, you will experience housekeeping challenges with the wings and frass on the surfaces. Finally, for severe infestation, it will affect the stability of the structure, such as the panel, beam, ceiling and wall, and for some cases, it will weaken, collapse and fall over. Finally, their droppings may have some allergies impact among individuals, thus affecting health and safety of family. In summary, termite damages are not only dangerous, harmful to safety but cost an investment to rectify and repair.
How much does it cost for a termite control in Singapore
Termite treatments cost more typically compared to other pest control services such as ants and cockroach treatment or bed bug control. Termite control ranges from affordable (basic packages) to premium or enhanced protection programme. Depending on the following factors, the cost range may differ.
- Size of the home and treatment coverage that covers internal and external
- Type of home dwelling where price differ between landed property and apartment
- Termite species where treatment and cost ranges for subterranean and drywood termite
- Quality and choice of active ingredient used for instance basic, generic or eco-green
- Type of termite treatment where localised treatment are one-off and affordable
- Range of solutions with options of injection, baiting and localisation
- Brand reputation and credibility of the pest control company
- Severity of the infestation such as a spread of termite activities to other parts of the home
- Comprehensive services including termite inspection, reporting and value added services
What are flying termites?
Termites are not flying insects. However, a fraction of termite species do fly before they discard their wings to form new colonies. Flying termites, or also known as alates or winged termites are among the termite castes that fly. We refer their flying patterns and habits as swarming (or labelled as swarmers). They swarm to breed and build new colonies by going through the entire cycle of termite life stages. Upon completion of their mating process, they will leave and relocate to other parts of the home to start new colonies. Hence, an unresolved termite infestation can spread across the home. You tend to see flying termites’ where there are light sources such as street lamps and home fluorescent lights.
What is the difference between white ants and termites?
Both meant the same as white ants are a term to name termites due to its “white and transparent” nature and its shape and body structure resembles those of ants unless identified by professionals. However, there is difference between carpenter ants and termites that we should know:
- Termites feed on wood whereas carpenter ants feed on plants, juices, extracts, sweets, protein fat and grease.
- Subterranean termites attack wall structure, flooring, window and door frames but carpenter ants infest on furniture largely.
- Treatments for carpenter ants are usually residual spraying. On the other hand, termite control usually involves termiticide injection, above and in-ground baiting units or localised injections.
- Cost of ants control versus termite treatment ranges where termite solutions will cost a lot more compared to ants treatment
- Treatment location differs between both pest species. Termite treatments involves from ground inwards, on panels and beams. Contrarily, ants treatment are typically residual spraying on key risk areas.
- Frequencies are more regular for ants’ problem (usually monthly or bi-monthly unless treating heavy infestation that requires regular frequencies) and termite treatments are one-off injections with seven to ten years warranty and inspection.
What else do we need to do after termite treatment?
Ongoing maintenance and housekeeping can help improve sanitation and home condition that may trigger termite presence. For instance, dispose of any rotten wood, planks and fences, removing weeds and mulch and ensure proper landscaping in place. Repair any leaks, cracks and crevices that allow moisture build up and termite entries. Keep checking for any potential signs of termite infestation. Ensure consistent protection and monitoring by the professional termite control specialist. As termites travel, you can also consider requesting your neighbours to have their homes treated, so that protection barrier is well covered as termites can move upwards and sideways as they continue expanding their colony and search for food.
Call Rentokil Singapore at 6347 8138 for a termite control today.