The termite alate signals the start of this year’s termite season.
The termite alate signals the start of this year’s termite season.

Little insects could eat your home

THE SURVIVING siblings of the little winged insects you see caught in cobwebs about the house are not harmless.

They could eat you out of house and home, literally.

Chris Ryan from Amalgamated Pest Control said the Fraser Coast was experiencing a number of colonising flights of the termite alate, signalling the start of this year’s termite season.

“The alate is a winged, reproducing termite,” Mr Ryan said.

“They fly to an area, drop their wings and start setting up new colonies.”

Mr Ryan said wet weather during spring and recent humidity had combined to produce ideal breeding conditions.

“It’s a seasonal thing but they are a bit later this year with the cool weather hanging around longer.

“They’re attracted to light and you often see them caught in cobwebs.

“Our phones have been ringing hot over the past three weeks.”

Mr Ryan said homes with fly screens had a definite advantage in preventing entry. However cracks and crevices around doorways were potential danger areas with the termites able to crawl through.

Archicentre state manager Ian Agnew said persistent spring rainfalls had left many homes, especially those with poor drainage and poor ventilation in the sub-floor area, damp and vulnerable.

Home owners should take action to dry out sub-floors by increasing ventilation, removing debris and generally allowing more air to circulate.

“Dampness problems accompanied by inadequate ventilation encourage rot, borer and termite attack. Look carefully for termite ‘shelter tubes’.

“Termites build mud shelter tubes, between 5mm and 50mm, up stumps or piers and brick walls to connect their nests in the ground to the timber on which they are feeding.

“Home owners with concrete floor slabs should be looking for signs of termite attack such as mud tubes on the edges of concrete slabs and damaged skirtings and architraves.”



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