Termites are one of the most dread pests among homeowners as not only are they difficult to identify and treat, but cause aesthetic and financial challenges to a home. As they are not visible and tend to be secretive, we tend to take actions once the termite infestation turns clearer and damages are too serious. Rentokil Singapore shares the five different ways termite can destroy your home and what termite control measures you can take to address the problem.
Cracked and damaged walls and structures
There are various types of termites in Singapore, and one of the more notorious and damaging types of species is the subterranean termite. They hide within wooden parts and frames of a structure and behind the wall. As they feed on the wood and soil that made up the entire home’s structure, it can weaken or damage the integrity of the wall and surface in no time. As they feed on constantly to the targeted area, it infests and thin the wall further, consuming the makes of the wall and thus, this is also another reason why you notice hollow sounds when hit or tap.
For homes with wallpaper, they are not spared as well because termites also feed on cellulose that is found within the wallpaper. Hence, blobbing or damaged wallpaper surfaces is one of the termite infestations signs to look out. One of the key risks in the development of cracks and gaps on the wall is the opportunity for pests to either enter or hide and nest within, causing potential pest infestation in your home. Some of the common pests include ants, cockroaches and mosquitoes.
Unsightly appearances of mud tubes
Perhaps the most obvious signs of termite infestation are the appearance of mud tubes you see on the wall. They are made up of termite droppings, saliva, soil and wood and are hard tubes formed on the wall as they dry up and harden over time. They use the tube as a traveling platform to and from, securing food supplies and moisture to keep them surviving. This is also another reason why termites can spread widely, be it horizontally or vertically, and all the more important to protect your home with termite pest control to minimise the infestation escalation. Sensitive to light and in need of moisture and water, the mud tubes function as exploratory, working by connecting to their colonies and often found near window frames, sills and joists and swarming tubes to house swarmers (flying termites) for hiding purposes.
Unstable and weakened home structures
There are instances where a wall beam or panel of structure collapses. In severe cases, the roof and ceiling weaken and drops from the top thus causing hazardous risks to the people around. As termites consume and attack their way right into the wood, they feeds and eliminate the foundation that is keeping the structure together. Over time, it compromises the integrity and thus, causing a safety threat in the home or at the workplace. Termite specialists come in handy to conduct a thorough home inspection to identify any signs of termite activity and look out for compromised property integrity. This can raise the health and safety protection against being hit by a large item like the panels and beams.
Malfunctioned doorframes and windows
Ever wonder why you have defective doors or windows in home with difficulty opening and closing them. At times, these may not be malfunctioning of your home but a result from termite infestation. When a termite infestation occurs, they basically chew up the wood and timber within, and as they defecate and release their droppings, the excrement builds a layer that prevents ventilation, thus accumulating heat and moisture internally. Heat causes timber to expand, thus affecting the proper functioning of the window and doorframes.
Here is a tip for new homeowners, to check on the malfunctioning of these openings, and to rule out the possibility of a termite problem before committing on the purchase. Find out from the previous owner on any prior termite treatment done and best to engage in professional pest control company to perform a proper termite inspection and reporting. Read here to find out more on what other key risk areas you need to check during your home buying process.
Recurring frass and droppings lying around
Droppings are common signs of pest infestation where we spot them within the cabinets and walls left by lizards, cockroaches and rats. However, droppings or termites are represented in a different manner where they are not cylindrical and round in shape that is often black or dark brown in colour. Instead, they excavate out of the wood to deposit their faeces that looks like a pile of sawdust or shaves. You often see deposits of pellets along surfaces and at the bottom of windows and doorframes. They are usually mistaken for housekeeping lapses, with uncleared debris and dusts.
It is essentially important to find out how to get rid of termites in Singapore, because termite saliva, droppings and for instance, the frass, can cause allergies and contact dermatitis. In fact, not just termite dropping that is health hazardous; cockroaches on the other hand cause similar health implications. Read here to find out the health dangers caused by cockroaches.
About Rentokil Long Term Termite Treatments
There are both short and long-term termite control, whereby the average cost of termite treatment varies depending on the following factors:
- Application methods such as spot treatment (localization), baiting (above or in-ground) and injection (termiticide application into the ground)
- Choice of active ingredient that ranges from generic, fast acting and environmentally-friendly
- Inclusion of termite inspection using Microwave technology and reporting on termite activities
- Number of years warranty and assurance where treatments can range from five, seven and up to ten years
- Type of tools and gadgets used for treatment, for instance drywood termite treatment involves a generator and foaming agent
- Pest management services including the yearly inspection, active inspecting and monitoring of your premise
- Intangible assets of the specialist including the brand reputation, certification, safety policies and customer reviews
What are the various termite solution options?
It is not a one-size fits all solution and no definite claim on what termite treatment is most effective. Every infestation is unique, considering additional factors relating to the home, environment, habits, design, structure and other pre-existing conditions. However, the recommended termite treatment is one that addresses the right termite species identified (subterranean, drywood or damp wood termite). It targets the right problem, and delivers the adequate treatment coverage.
There are incidences where pest type was detected incorrectly, where carpenter ants or any types of ant species were mistaken for termites or vice versa. This causes a wrong diagnosis and recommendation, implicating the treatment efficacy in eradicating the infestation.
Firstly, short-term treatments tend to localise and treat the visible problem, by injecting termiticide into the affected area (or wall) and require multiple injections depending on spread and severity of infestation. In this case, there may be possibility of negligence by missing out other infested areas. Therefore, resulting in escalation or spread of termite colony.
Secondly, another way of dealing with white ants is the use of baiting. Bait units with wood chips are used to lure and detect traces of termites, before replacing with active ingredients. This allows them to feed on and spread the residual effect to the entire colony.
Anti-termite protection and elimination treatment
Thirdly, the more comprehensive and complex method is the injection of termiticide around the home. This creates a barrier and protection while stopping the termites’ ability to feed on your home further. Such treatments usually warrant up to seven years with quality binding effect and spread of active ingredients. For example, the Rentokil Termite Treatment allows the termite to start feeding and reacting to the termiticide within four days, efficient control to the colony within days and eliminate termite activity within ninety days.
Drywood Termite Foaming Treatment
Finally, there is another form of termite treatment that addresses another termite species type, the drywood termite. Drywood termite is slightly different from subterranean termite. They infest furniture such as cabinets, door frames and structure beams and feed on cellulose and wood as well. However, they are less aggressive where they go for softer material. Additionally, they do not need as much moist and water like the subterranean termite. For such infestation, Rentokil Initial utilises the foaming technology to deliver a strong and well dispersed penetration of the active ingredient to cover traces of infestation adequately.
Termite prevention tips I need to know
Termites may sound disruptive and damaging, however, you can take extra precautionary steps to keep termites away. It all starts with clarity on how to know if you have termites. Similar to health checks, it is important to know if your home is at risk of a termite problem, or already suffering from early signs of termite issue.
Take charge by building more awareness on facts relating to termites. This includes their habits, signs of infestation and things that attract termites to a home. Next is to understand what to do if there are termites. Most people will react to it by spraying insecticide on it, splashing water to flush them away, scrapping of the mud tubes or applying natural remedies such as orange oil. Termites need to be treated and dealt with properly through proper pest control, as they can get complicated and nasty. Additionally, maintain your home further with these useful tips:
- Remove traces of water, spills, leaks and moisture in the home that attracts termite
- Avoid using too many furniture, flooring and carpentry with wood finishing
- Maintain landscaping, remove rotten wood and timber and clear mulches
- Ensure good ventilation of the home to reduce humidity level
- Move any connecting joints of fences, logs, greenery away from the home
- Refrain from using recycled furniture and wooden items that might be infested
- Engage pest control specialist to perform active pest inspection and detection
Debugged five common termite myths today
Termites are actually ants
Termites are ants only because they are called white ants for their whitish and translucent body nature. However, they are not ants and belong to a very different pest type category. Besides the different types of food, they feed on where ants favour sweets and grease, termites go for wood and cellulose. Their infestation signs and nesting habits differ and more importantly, their treatment methods are very different. This includes the application method, active ingredient and treatment frequency. However, carpenter ants have a close resemblance due to their presence on wood furniture as they tunnel their way out. Thus, damaging the item that is similar to how termite damages furniture.
Sunlight is one way to eliminate termites
Termites are scared of the sun. They spend most of their time hiding underground or within their mud tubes to stay away from lights. Some believe the method of exposing your furniture and home furnishing to the sun can get rid of termites. However, this elimination method may have a compromised efficacy. This is because a colony can house thousands of members constantly feeding, growing and developing. There is perhaps a limitation on how far and effective the DIY control option will go. With ongoing conditions that favour termites’ presence, this might not be a viable option to consider.
Only need one termite treatment for lifetime
Unfortunately, there is no one-time solution for lifetime guarantee as there many factors that allow a re-infestation to occur. Effective termite control can last up to seven or even ten years. However, the residual effect can be impacted by several conditions. Home condition that allows termite to enter or manifest, neighboring unit with a series infestation, cross infestation and housekeeping standards are some expamples. As termite travels, you need to constantly remain vigilant and guard against termites turning up in your home with ongoing protective termite barrier formed.
Termite treatment plans are very costly
The pest control price to treat may cost more upfront depending on the home dwelling type and treatment coverage size). By breaking down the lump sum into yearly coverage (seven to ten years) and further breaking them up into monthly and daily costs to cover, the price to treat your home for termites is less costly as compared to the damages termite caused. For instance, termite damage usually requires a renovation, furniture or door frames/window panels replacement or restructuring the connecting parts of the home, such as kitchen to the dining area. Most of the time, these rectification and recovery costs more in an accumulated to the total cost of termite packages. This is also not including the time and effort to see through these works and treatments.
Only large landed homes are prone to termites
This is a common myth associated with termites and larger properties. However, this is not the case as termites attack any premise and home dwelling types so long as there is water, wood and cellulose to feed. They infest homes including apartments and flats to other property types. These include factories, offices, restaurants, warehouses to name a few. They are capable of traveling to as high as twenty levels and beyond. Hence, it does not only affect ground level properties. Moreover, termites attack furniture as well. This include door frames which is a common home aspect in any type of dwelling.
Call Rentokil Termite Specialists at 6347 8138 for pest control services today.