Termites can cause severe damage to the structural integrity of your property, often costing thousands of Rands in repair costs. Additionally, they open you up to hazardous situations where inhabitants – such as your staff or customers – are under the threat of falling ceilings and trusses caused by termite damage.
What’s really concerning is that termites can go undetected for a number of years and by the time they are discovered the real damage has already been done. In this blog we will explore the dangers posed by termites, how you can identify them, and how Rentokil can assist in eradicating a termite infestation.
Are termites chewing away at your investment?
How could termites damage your business, you wonder? in one of our previous blogs – Termites, the $5 billion problem we mentioned that termites cost US property owners an estimated $5 billion annually, hence the name “the silent destroyers”.
However, this is not just a US issue. In the past 2 years alone we’ve seen a 546% increase in termite related traffic to our local website! We’ve also seen up to a 30% increases in termite service enquiries during and after a spell of rain. In addition, according to various global research sources, termite activity is expected to increase by a further 5.64% (CAGR) by 2026.
Much of the pivotal infrastructure of a building is made of wood: trusses, cross beams, deck beams, ceiling boards and cross bracings, and I’m no engineer but I’m certain that repairing those such is no easy feat – and it certainly won’t be cheap.
Even properties built primarily of brick or stone can still suffer from termite damage. This is because structural supports – as well as other building components – are constructed of wood and other cellulose-based materials; the substances on which termites like to feed.
(Termite damage seen in substances that aren’t wood – in this case plaster)
How do you identify termite activity?
Different termites have different modus operandi; however the most common identifier is that you may notice little heaps of sawdust here and there. You may also notice “mud tunnels” which can be seen close to ceilings or floor areas. These are caused when termites excavate and push sediment out of their tunnels.
Skirting boards may be hollowed out and start crumbling and termite tunnels might be visible. Lawns may become patchy and tunnel holes may become visible where termite activity has taken place. Below is an image of the damage termites can cause.
There are a number of termite species around the world but termite species found in South Africa are:
- Neotermes spp (Dampwood Termites)
- Coptotermes spp (Subterranean Termites)
- Cryptotermes spp (native) (Drywood Termites)
Termites, much like ants, have a queen and a king in a colony who are responsible for reproduction. Then there are the workers who form the largest population of the colony, and they are responsible for making tunnels and excavating. The soldiers are the defenders of the colony. Alates are the winged reproductives who leave the nest to form new colonies.
How to prevent termites from invading your business:
Before you start building a new property, a pre-construction treatment can be carried out on the area on which you intend to build. This service involves applying a termiticide to the soil during the construction phase of your building.
This kills off any termites trying to gain access to your new building. This service comes with a 5-year guarantee and is not invasive, unlike having to treat for termites after your building has been completed. Your pest technician will be able to advise on further preventative steps to take if you are in an area with high levels of termite activity.
How to get rid of termites from your existing premises:
Some termite species live inside wooden structures which and are often only spotted once they have completely infested your property
If this is the case, a post-construction treatment can be carried out, which means the existing ground structure needs to be treated. This could mean that holes need to be drilled into the structure at regular intervals around the perimeter and flooded with termiticide in order to eradicate the pest as quickly as possible and prevent further damage to your property.
Environmentally friendly treatments:
In times of panic, we tend not to think less about environmentally friendly treatments, we’d just like to get rid of the problem. With more and more South Africans trying consciously to think of the environmental impact of the choices they make, Rentokil offers environmentally friendly termite treatments that are just as effective as chemical poisoning treatments.
Rentokil’s range of environmentally friendly solutions includes a pre-construction treatment which is applied during the construction phase of your building and creates a barrier which prevents termites from invading your premises.
Rentokil’s exterior termite baiting solution is an environmentally friendly solution whereby termite traps are placed strategically around the perimeter of your building and charged with a pesticide and a termite lure. Termites are attracted to the baiting trap and are intercepted before they can reach your building. Long lasting attractants and baits are used which are transported back to the colony, killing off the king and queen and the rest of the colony.
This treatment is self-contained and this ensures that no chemicals reach and contaminate our groundwater. It is, therefore, a completely safe option to use close to dams and other bodies of water, or at schools where children may be at risk when spraying techniques are used.
Rentokil’s experts can customise the most effective options for stopping termites in their tracks or preventing them from gaining access to your new build. Contact us today for your free termite survey. You may also be interested in downloading our guide to termites in your business.