Termite Myths and Facts

12 Termite Myths And Facts You Need To Know

I have a steel frame house, I don’t need termite Inspections– MYTH

This is a question we hear all too often and it’s alarming the misinformation that is given to homeowners about this topic. While yes, termites cannot eat steel, the fact is that even if you have a house with steel frames you still require an annual termite inspection. People often forget that decorative timbers such as, skirting boards, door frames, window frames, floorboards, window frames, ceiling joists, cabinetry and other wood fittings within the house are susceptible to termite infestation and termite damage can be costly to repair if undetected in its late stages.  

So whatever information you may have been told about steel frames and termites, take away from this that you still require an annual termite inspection.

Termite inspections need to be carried out by a Timber Pest Inspector Licence – FACT

Termite inspections and management require specialist training and accountability due to their destructive nature and structural integrity risk to your home and property.  Their identification is more than just finding termites (which in itself is an art form) it is also to identify the species, producing a customised approach to management based on species, location found in the house (yes a one-sized fit all policy doesn’t work) and professional advice to protect your asset. A paper trail is also recorded for your evidence of inspection findings and recommendations. 

I had a termite Inspection when I brought the house, I don’t need a termite inspection – MYTH

Having a timber pest inspection on the purchase of a house is absolutely one of the best things you can do before committing to investing in such an asset, however, having the timber pest inspection on purchase does not protect you from termite attack in the future.

Termites are a constant and consistent pest in Australia, particularly prevalent in southeast Queensland due to our climate, the conditions, therefore, are great for termite activity with the queen laying thousands of eggs per day and the humidity making it perfect colonising flights of reproductive termites. This in a nutshell explains why continuing to have at least an annual termite inspection is paramount to a termite-free home, and without home insurance covering termite damage – why take the chance?!

Termites can’t eat hardwood – MYTH

In fact, termites in Australia that do significant damage to properties are actually hardwood eaters. hard woodSuch species of termites include nasutitermes, coptotermes and schedorhinotermes.  Some termites can eat both softwood and hardwood. Therefore, having hardwood in the property does not protect you from termite attacks, despite hardwood taking termites a little longer to chew through to eat and process, nevertheless, they can and will as termites exist only to eat timber, coincide that with their large colonies size and persistence, it is a real problem – end the cycle, be sure to get a termite inspection.

I only have Termites in a stump outside, that’s nothing to worry about – MYTH

termite damageIt is very common for people to have railway sleepers, old timbers lying around their garden or stored under or around the property.  The misconception is that some people notice active termite damage and believe that if they are feeding on these items they won’t be feeding on their homes. This is incorrect, as termites are subterranean, they can travel up to 50 meters in search of timber and will build an underground network of tunnels to locate timber, so activity on a tree stump in the garden may well just be the tip of the iceberg. 

When you discover a spot where termites have infested something on your property, it’s important you have us perform a full inspection so that as a team we can contain and manage the infestation and prevent the risk of further damage.

I need to ensure the termite pest inspector has a Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) License before carrying out an inspection?FACT

It’s the Law. A termite inspection must be carried out by a QBCC licenced timber inspector and is a legal requirement under the QBCC Act 1991.

You are able to check active QBCC licence status here: 

Queensland Building and Construction Commission

My home insurance will cover termite damage. – MYTH

This is a myth that can be truly devastating to an individual who thinks it’ll be alright to claim for any termite damage repairs on their home insurance, most home insurance policies do not cover the homeowner for termite damage. 

This is because termites have done more damage to Australian homes over the past twenty years than fires, floods and storms combined, and the insurance companies are more than aware of this and therefore exclude it from their policies.

To make sure you don’t get any extensive termite damage, have your property inspected for termites by a fully licenced and insured termite inspector who holds a current and active QBCC Licence and performs termite inspections to AS3660.2.  

I have black ants, I don’t need a termite inspection. – MYTH

This is another myth that unfortunately people believe and again they are under a false sense of black antsecurity. 

While ants will eat exposed and easily accessible termites, the way termites are as a species behave and travel actually protects them from ants. As mentioned, termites travel in mud tubes that form a protective tunnel which makes it difficult for ants to break through and get to them. The tunnels extend from their central nest to forward bivouacs (sometimes erroneously termed as a sub-nest) so termites can go from underground to above ground and vice versa without ever being under threat from predators. 

If I think I have termites, I shouldn’t disturb them?FACT

Disturbing termites may cause them to go elsewhere – which potentially will lead to a delay in future detection and destruction in a new area.

TIP: On discovery of termite mudding, leave the mudding intact, resist the temptation to spray and call us for specialist advice.

Termites are “white ants” – MYTH

This is an age-old myth, the term “white ants” came misinformative from advertising. Ironically, Termites do not share any biological similarity to ants in any way. The only similarity between ants and termites is that they divide labour among castes consisting of sterile male and female “workers” and “soldiers” and colonies have fertile “kings” and “queens”. In fact, the closest ancestor to termites is actually the cockroach.

I have a termite management system installed; I don’t need termite inspections anymore – MYTH

Like any protective device, they need to be maintained to be effective. Termite management systems are most reliable when they have been installed to manufacturer instructions by an accredited installer, regularly maintained and the conditions in which they have been placed have stayed the same or suitability adapted to remain effective if there has been changes ie, extensions, landscaping etc.

This is why we can not stress enough to ensure the termite management system installed is installed by a fully licenced and fully insured termite technician with accreditation by the manufacturer to install the system, this ensures they are trained to use the product, have knowledge of the system and maintenance requirements. Our team at Bruin Pest Management Brisbane is licensed and fully equipped with the proper gear and knowledge in termite and pest control. 

To check the system you have, a sticker can be found usually in your outside electrical meter box, it should state the type of product installed, details on the installation and date installed. Paperwork should also be provided on installation and any manufacturer warranty. Almost all termite management systems require at least an annual termite inspection by a fully licenced and fully insured termite technician with accreditation by the manufacturer to uphold the manufacturer warranty of the system.

Check yours today, if you’d like general advice about your system contact us.

A Termite check and a Termite inspection is the same right? – MYTH

Wrong. A Termite Inspection is to Australian standard AS3660.2 

A termite check is a marketing tool some companies use to sell their general pest control services (cockroaches, spiders etc).  Termites are separate and specialist pests compared to general pests. A termite check is not a sufficient account of termite activity hence the name “check and not inspection”. A termite check holds no official standard to adequately reassure you of the absence or presence of termites and has no legal binding. A termite check is not the same as an inspection and certainly not sufficient to risk the structural integrity of your home, buyer beware.

We at Bruin Pest Management Brisbane take termite and pest control + management seriously. Contact us today for an obligation-free consultation!

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