termite colony is large, composed of the queen, king,
winged reproductive swarmers, soldiers and workers. Worker
termites are small, creamy white insects. They are the
most numerous and the cause of all the termite damage.
insurance will help recover losses from fires, storms
and earthquakes, but it is almost impossible to
carry insurance against termite infestation.
Termites are pests because they feed voraciously
on wood and may also destroy paper products such
as books, cardboard, boxes and a variety of other
items. They cause very extensive damage to buildings,
and endanger lives when they attack building foundations
and beams that are made of wood. Even buildings
with steel framing and masonry walls are targets
because of the wooden door and window frames, cabinets
and shelving within the buildings.
The two main types of termites in South Africa are:
1. DRYWOOD TERMITES
are so-called because they establish
themselves in wood that is not decayed, or in contact
with ground moisture, and which appears to be perfectly
dry. This species can live in wood with as little as 3%
moisture content. They tend to be found in attics of buildings
where they can live without any soil connections whatsoever.
Drywood termites are larger than their cousins, the subterranean
2. SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES
are the most damaging species among
termites. They must, however, be in regular contact with
water. Hence, they nest underground sometimes attacking
timber foundations. Subterranean termites differ from
the dry-wood and damp-wood termites in that colonies usually
need to maintain contact with the soil in order to acquire
enough water to survive. In some cases, where structural
timbers are sufficiently moist, colonies are able to survive
without ground contact. The underground colony lives in
a series of chambers and galleries from which they construct
mud tubes to the wood which they use as food. They can
also nest above the ground if there is a constant source
of water such as from a leaking pipe or air-conditioner.
1. Ideally, ensure that all wooden
items be kept at least 20 cm above the ground.
2. Remove decaying tree stumps and wooden debris.
3. Trees should be planted away from the house.
4. Replace with concrete all wood that's in contact with
5. Because termites are seldom discovered until the damage
caused is visible (and very costly to rectify), only a
professional can safely say if your property is infested,
and most definitely, only a professional can treat the
6. Termiticides are necessary to treat a termite infestation,
and this termiticide can only be handled by a licensed
pest control operator.
7. There are two main forms of professional termite control:
i) Soil Treatment for the preconstruction
phase of a building
ii) Corrective Treatment(Slab Injection)
for properties already built
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT
1. What is a termiticide?
It is a type of chemical used for the control of termites.
Each is extensively tested for effectiveness by proper
authorities and registered by the Ministry of the Environmental.
2. Will the wood in my home be treated?
Direct treatment of the wood is seldom done since the
soil application procedure will eliminate the majority
of subterranean termite problems. If required, there are
special products available to the professional to effectively
remove termites from the wood.
3. Will there be an odour?
There might be a slight odour from the treatment but
it should only last a short period of time.
4. Are termiticides a danger to my health?
Studies show that when termiticides are applied according
to label directions no adverse health effects occur to
persons applying the product or to occupants of the treated