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How to know if my building and garden has termites?

Termites are a small species of wood eating insects. Termites can cause a lot of destruction if not taken care of proactively.

There are several checks you can do to establish if termites are in your building and/or your garden and these include:

  • Are there mud tunnels along your walls or trees?
  • Are your skirtings, doorframes, cupboards brittle and can be torn apart because it is hollow?
  • Are there swellings in your wooden floor?
  • Did you stumble upon a swarm of termite-looking insects next to or under your cupboards?

If your answer to any or all the questions above is “Yes”, you should call a pest control company immediately, because the chances are, you have termites.

What do termites eat?

Termites’ main source of food is wood and organic plant matter because of the nutrients in these objects called cellulose. Termites need this to survive because it gives them energy. Cellulose is an organic fibre and can be found in the following items:

  • Wooden furniture
  • Skirtings
  • Wooden flooring
  • Doorframes
  • Cupboards
  • Logs
  • Fallen wood
  • Firewood
  • Any other structure and product made from wood

Termites are drawn to these wooden items and would do almost anything to reach their food source. Termites make their way through drywall, lead, asphalt, cement or even grout to get to their wooden food source, and that is why termites can cause so much destruction.

How do termites eat furniture or trees?

The adult worker termites usually digest the wood and other items by chewing it off and then eating it for the cellulose fibre nutrient. The worker termites then throw it up again to feed the rest of the colony after it has been digested or decayed in the gut of the termite, this also still contains the necessary nutrients that termites need to survive, and they therefore will continue to do so if you do not get rid of them.

Calling a Pest control and Termite specialist to do a full evaluation is recommended.

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