Termites are the most destructive pest in the world. Many properties are damaged by termites each year, which can result in large financial impact. While there are 300 different types of termite in Australia, only a handful cause problems to properties:
- Coptotermes acinaciformis
- Coptotermes frenchi
- ‘Giant Termite’ Mastotermes darwiniensis
- Cryptotermes spp. (native)
- ‘West Indian Drywood Termite’ Cryptotermes brevis (introduced)
- Heterotermes ferox
- Schedorhinotermes intermedius
- Nasutitermes fumigatus
- Nasutitermes walkeri
It can be very difficult to distinguish the different types of termite from each other and should be done by a pest expert, who will assess based on the locality, nesting habits, and measurements. Misdiagnosing the termite species could lead to preventable, costly damage occurring.
Coptotermes generally do not build mounds. They mostly nest underground and in trees, stumps, poles, or verandahs where timber has been buried. Common trees for nesting are English Oaks, various eucalypts and peppercorns. The colony is mostly found in the top of the root system to the lower trunk. Coptotermes are present in all the areas we service including Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens, Maitland, Wine Country, Hunter Valley.
This is one of the most destructive types of termite in Australia. It attacks all timber structures and damages forest and ornamental trees as well as fruit trees. Soil contact is desirable for this species, but not essential, as long as it has a moisture supply and safety in its habitat. Coptotermes lacteus and Coptotermes frenchi are also very destructive pests in their own right but cause far less damage to established properties than Coptotermes acinaciformis. Coptotermes frenchi are mainly a green forest pest and Coptotermes lacteus attacks serviceable timber that already has a level of decay.
A termite colony consists of a Queen, king, workers, soldiers, workers and alates.
Termite Queen & King
The function of the Queen and King in the termite colony is to reproduce giving life to a colony. Starting out life as an Alate, they leave their parents’ colony, drop to the ground and shed their wings to seek out an environment to nest. They care for their young until they are able to take over duties of the colony.
The workers make up the largest number within a colony. They do all of the work apart from reproduce and defend. They feed and groom others, excavate the nest and make leads/tunnels. In doing their job of feeding it is the Workers that cause the destruction to your property.
Soldiers defend the colony against attack by their enemies, such as ants, and are equipped with large jaws, sticky fluids or chemical spray to kill them.
Alates are the winged reproductives that swarm out from the nest to establish new colonies. Male and females pair off and look for a suitable environment to mate.