Did you know that termites cost US property owners an estimated $5 billion annually? I'll say it again, $5 billion... that is the value that The National Pest Management Association of America puts to property damage caused by termites.
Known as "the silent destroyers", termites can infiltrate your home and cause costly damage to the structural wood of valuable possessions in no time at all. In most cases, they aren't detected until it is too late.
Closer to home, you might be interested to know that after the heavy rains we experienced in Gauteng recently, Rentokil recorded a 30% increase in termite control service requests. For this reason, I would like to remind you of some key facts about termites to help you recognise the pest and signs of their presence to address a possible problem before it hits your pocket.
Who am I looking for?
In our blog "How to spot the signs of termites" we discuss the four termite colony members namely;
- The termite queen and king
These termites start off as alates who shed their wings and reproduce when they find a suitable nesting environment. They care for their young until they are able to take over the duties of the colony.
- Termite workers
The workers are the primary cause of damage to your home. Their role is to feed, groom, excavate the nest and make tunnels. Sadly (for us), workers make up the largest number within the colony.
- Termite soldiers
Termite soldiers' function is to protect the colony and us their large jaws, a sticky fluid or chemical spray to do so. Natural enemies of termites include ants, cockroaches, centipedes, cockroaches, crickets, dragonflies, scorpions and spiders.
- Alates (swarmers)
Alates are often confused with flying ants. These winged reproductive termites' purpose is to leave their colonies, find a mate and to find a suitable environment to establish a new colony.
There are 3 species of termites that cause damage to South African properties, namely;
- Neotermes spp (Dampwood Termites)
- Coptotermes spp (Subterranean Termites)
- Cryptotermes spp (native) (Drywood Termites)
Subterranean and drywood termites are the two species that cause the most damage.
What am I looking for?
It is important to be able to spot the signs of termites as these critters prefer dark, humid and protected environments as opposed to open spaces.
- Papery or hollow sounding timber
- Your vacuum goes through the skirting board
- Tight fitting door or hard to open window
- Cracks in the cornice or door frames
- Termite mud
Why choose Rentokil as my trusted termite control partner?
It is important to do your homework before appointing a pest control partner to assist with your termite problem. I recommend that you consider reputable companies who are registered with SAPCA and that the termiticides used in your treatment are registered through the Registrar Act 36 of 1947.
Internationally, Rentokil plc has been around for more than 90 years and currently operate in more than 80 countries. Locally, we have been operating in South Africa for more than 50 years. Our team are highly qualified and have a wealth of experience so rest assured, you are in good hands.
Watch this case study that was put together by our colleagues in Australia to see what you can expect from Rentokil.
For more information on termites, take a look at our termite FAQs.