What are termites?
Termites are tiny insects that feed on wood, paper, and cardboard. Though small in size, they can cause severe structural damage to your home’s mainframe and furniture.
In Singapore, there are around three types of termites you might encounter, mainly subterranean, dampwood, and drywood termites.
The first type of termites is around ⅛ to 1″ long. They are narrow and oval in shape and come in a creamy to dark brown colour. You can find them usually underground, where it’s wet and moist. They live with their colonies and are known to create mud tubes along the surfaces to reach their food source.
Dampwood termites, on the other hand, are long and narrow. In addition, they have a rather dark brown colouring, which makes them blend easily with wooden surfaces.
As their name suggests, they prefer to feast on rotting and damp wood, which is usually found on your home’s exterior. Through this wood, they can gain access into your home, breed colonies, and ultimately cause structural damage.
Compared to the first two types, drywood termites have wings and can access your home through your roofline. They look for cracks and crevices on dry wood and make their way inside. Drywood termites also thrive on dry wood and don’t need moisture to survive.
What are the signs of termite infestation you need to know?
To know if you are experiencing a termite infestation, be mindful of the following telltale signs:
Perhaps the most obvious sign is wood damage. As their main source of food, termites first target wooden structures and furniture. Depending on the termite present in your home, the damage they cause to your wood differs.
Drywood termites typically leave behind a pile of wood particles where they dig through. Additionally, you will also find tiny holes on the wood surface because they enter the wood from the exterior.
On the other hand, dampwood termites damage wood from the inside. Because of this, it’s seldom to find external damage to the wood. Rather, they destroy the body of the surfaces, leaving behind empty shells of wood.
Discarded wings will only appear if you have drywood termites in your home. As swarmers, they take flight in colonies towards their next destination. Once they find their next habitat, they dig through wood and discard their wings. Therefore, you will generally find discarded wings near their entrance points on window sills and around the door.
Mud tubes are unique to subterranean termites, and it’s made up of wooden particles cemented with their bodily fluids. As moisture-dependent insects, these tubes preserve the ideal temperature and humidity they need to survive. That’s why they build it anywhere they go. Aside from their access to food sources, these tubes also serve as their shelter, and you’ll usually find this crawling on your walls or ceilings.
The next sign you need to watch out for is the presence of brown pellets. These are termite droppings mixed with discarded wood particles and dirt. You can find these pellets around the termites’ entranceways.
Dampwood termites destroy the wood from the inside. As a result, you will notice hollowness when you tap on the surface. In instances where you hear tiny tapping sounds, chances are, there is a live termite colony still residing in the wood. When this happens, you need to call a termite control specialist in Singapore to eliminate the problem.
Health Risks of Mould Exposure from Termites
Termites do not spread diseases to humans like mosquitoes and flies do. But since they live in damp and humid areas, they carry mould and fungi. When termites eat and move through wood, they release mould into the air. This can be dangerous because mould can cause health problems, including allergies, asthma, and fungal infections.
How do you get rid of termites in Singapore?
Termites travel and infest a home in colonies. They are very stealthy insects that hide well within cracks and crevices. Although they’re small in size, they’re much harder to kill than you assume. So, to eradicate termite problems, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
Here are some proven methods we use to permanently eliminate termites:
One of the most common termite solutions in Singapore is baiting. This is an efficient and non-obtrusive method that involves driving out termites from their hiding spot and trapping colonies in one area. Once they’re collected, our expert pest control specialists will apply the necessary treatment to destroy them.
The second solution is soil treatment. In this procedure, we apply a termite insecticide (termiticide) solution on your property’s premises to kill termites before they get the chance to enter your house.