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Homeowners' 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.
A 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.

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 termites.
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 soil
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 problem.
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

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 building.
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