Termites

Termites are one of the most feared pests in Singapore as they cause costly damages to properties. Any structures created from wood in your home are immediately at risk if an infestation occurs. Termites can be major agricultural pests as well.

KNOW YOUR ENEMY

What Are Termites?

Termites are small soft bodied insects. They resemble ants but without the narrow “waist” like the ants. Their bodies are pale in colour, which often referred to as ‘white ants’. Termites do not transmit diseases, neither do they attack humans. However, they are still one of the most feared pests because of the damages they caused to our property. It often results in costly repairs, creating annoyance and stress.

There are many different termite species in Singapore. The common ones in Singapore are Crypcotermes species, Copcolermes species, Recticulilermes species, Macrotermes species and the Nosutilermes species. The most common ways of classifying them, will be based on the preferred location of the colony:

  • Dampwood Termites
  • Drywood Termites
  • Subterranean Termites

The Subterranean Termites account for estimated 90% of the termite activities on our island. They constantly forage and evaluate the size and quality of food resources as they seek out cellulose, the primary component of wood.

Termites live and work in large groups known as colonies. They are divided into various groups known as castes; the Queen, King, Soldiers, Workers and Alates.

The Queen has a life span of at least 20 years with its main role and function as an egg-laying machine with production of as many as 20,000 per day. It’s definitely a fast-growing colony which we can’t underestimate.

Typical Signs You Have Termites

You should definitely get into action if you spot any of these ‘white ants’ roaming around your property. However, it might not always be that easy. This is because many people only notice termites once they’ve started to cause damage to a property.

Although hard, it’s not impossible to spot them before things get drastic. There are several signs you have termites and it’s important you familiarise yourself with. These include…

TERMITES FAECAL PELLETS (DAMPWOOD (& DRYWOOD) TERMITES)

The most common tell-tale sign of many pests is droppings. This is no different with termites. Once they’ve consumed the wood they are eating, they emit grainy, brown-coloured lumps of faeces. You will normally find these close to wood that’s been infested.

MUD TUBES INSIDE THE WALL (SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES)

Termites often build themselves tubes for sheltering made from debris, dirt and mud. This allows them to move safely to their source of food, and elsewhere, stealthily. The tubes are normally a similar size to a small coin. They will be seen close to the termites’ entry points.

WINDOWS HARD TO OPEN/ TIGHT DOORS (SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES)

When termites eat timber, the mud and excrement they produce causes moisture, and with it a heat trap. As a result, the timber swells. This creates jamming when windows and doors are infected by a termite infestation.

TIMBER THAT SOUNDS HOLLOW OR PAPERY

This is another of the main signs you have termites. When termites are consuming wood, they normally work from the interior outwards. This leaves a very thin layer of paint or timber on the outside. Tapping on infested wood, will sound papery or hollow because much of it is missing.

DEAD WINGS OR TERMITE SWARMING SIGHTINGS

Alates – or winged termites – are one of the first signs most homeowners will spot if they’ve got a termite problem. This, and dry wings that have collected around floors and windowsills. These detached wings are a sure-fire sign there are termites nearby.

Solutions To Termites

Prevention and protection against termites is the most favourable. This means making the environment around your home as unwelcoming for these creatures as possible.

However, if you have an already established termite infestation, there are common methods that are normally used to treat them.

SPOT TREATMENT

Spot treatments can be effective, but there are several factors needed for them to work. First, the termite problem needs to be isolated, which mainly more for the Dampwood or Drywood Termites. There needs to be a clear sign of termite activities and the area needs to be easily accessible. It only work by using the proper product; a Termiticide made specifically for spot treatments. Visual evidence and accessibility are critical to just how effective spot treatment will be. Termiticide can be injected into the galleries, the “tunnels” which termites form to travel inside wood or on the termites, which can be very effective. However, there’s a limitation of spot treating for termites. Because we can’t see inside wood or walls, and can’t be assured that the termites will come into contact with the treatment. There could also be several individual colonies inside the structure that the treatment won’t be able to reach. If don’t eradicate all the termites, they’ll continue to mate and multiply.

THE BAIT APPROACH

This method involves placing termite food near the infected environment. The bait consists of cardboard or paper that’s been soaked in a formula that will kill the insects. Although it’s slow acting, this makes it more effective. This is because it allows enough time to pass for numerous termites to seek out the food out and take it back to their nest. Ideally, a piece of this poisonous cardboard or paper food will find itself in front of the Queen. And once the Queen is dead, the colony will not survive.

THE LIQUID METHOD

The liquid approach, also known as a Pre or Post-Construction Termite Treatment.

Post-Construction Termite Treatment also known as Corrective Treatment, involves the use of Termiticide which injected or doused around the infected area of the property. Treatment around the premise creating a chemical barrier between the soil and the building can last for 5 years. This treatment method will adheres to any termites that passes through the treated zone spreading it through the colony, resulting in colony eradication. This treatment comes with a 5 years warranty.

Pre-Construction Termite Treatment also known as Soil Treatment are technically the best time to carry out during the pre- construction stage. We saturate the soil with premium and NEA approved Termiticide solution after the soil is compacted and just before concreting. This treatment comes with a 5 years warranty.

HAVING TROUBLES WITH TERMITES?

Let Us Help You

PESTSHIELD have the experience and skills to deal with a termite infestation properly. Our NEA certified specialists will be able to assess whether the signs you have are signs of termites. We are trained in the latest techniques for identification, management and prevention of termites.

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