2 species of termites (Subterranean and Drywood) in urban Singapore are commonly known as “silent destroyers”. All species of termites live on a strict diet of cellulose, an organic compound, found in wood, plants and paper. However, whether or not they build their nest using cellulose depends on their species.
Subterranean termites tend to build their nests underground as they are not too fond of sunlight. Such termites primarily use tunnels made from mud and their excrement to navigate an area for food. When mud-liked tunnels or small shed wings are found near areas such as skirting boards, window and/or door frames, that is usually a strong indicator of a termite infestation.
Termites are eusocial insects that are classified at the taxonomic rank of infraorder Isoptera, or as epifamily Termitoidae within the cockroach order Blattodea. Termites were once classified in a separate order from cockroaches, but recent phylogenetic studies indicate that they evolved from close ancestors of cockroaches during the Jurassic or Triassic. Although these insects are often called white ants, they are not ants.
Although very similar to ants in terms of shape and size, termites have their own unique identifiable features:
- Light color; usually white/cream color and can appear to be translucent at times.
- Straight antennae compared to ants.
- Thick waist.
- Two body sections.
When winged termites (Alates) commonly known as swarmers appear indoors, it is an indication of termites sourcing for suitable place to start up a new colony. To eradicate termites in the home, contact a termite management specialist who can assist in identifying the species and address the root of infestation in order to recommend a proper course of termite control.
Each year, termites cause more than $5 billion property damage costs that aren’t covered by homeowners’ insurance policies. Usually a routine inspection from a termite management specialist helps to identify the infestation in an earlier stage thus preventing further damages to properties.
- Spot Treatment with Termiticide Powder
- Integrated Baiting System
- Roof Rafter Treatment
- Soil/Corrective Treatment (up to 5 years warranty)
Tips to prevent Subterranean Termite infestation
The best method to control subterranean termite begins with eliminating sources of moisture both inside and outside of home. Indoors, homeowners should reduce humidity in crawl spaces such as attics and basements via proper ventilation. Outdoors, if possible, divert water away from the home’s foundation or any wooden fixtures will help to prevent subterranean termite infestations.
Home owners should also store any wood fixtures at least 20 feet away from home and maintain a one-inch gap between soil and wood portions of the home.