Termites

Termite or known as white ants (anai-anai) can cause extensive damage to the structure of homes and commercial building. For every year, 40 million is spent in Malaysia just to repair the damage caused by termites. Termites are silent destroyer. Normally it takes at least 12 to 18 months beyond the initial infestation in order to detect the house has been infested with termites. It is important to take fast action for prevention and control of termites to avoid these termites infestation from becomes severe.

Termite Caste

Termites are social insect and live in caste. Each of them have different role in their caste:

Queen

Queen can live up to 25 years and in one day it capable to reproduce 20,000 eggs of termites. For a new colony, the queen will cares for the first eggs. For each colony there is only 1 Queen. The queen lives in a very tight space in the royal chamber. Queen does not move too much and also known as a reproduction factory. Over 20 year life span, queen can produce up to 200 million eggs. In order to determine between soldiers and termites, queen will emit pheromones. When a queen dies, the pheromone that keeps her offspring sexually immature vanishes thus one of her offspring capable of becoming a queen.

Workers

90% of termites’ colony consists of termite workers. They play main role inside the colony. Besides finding for foods, they are capable to repair the nest, take care of eggs, create and maintain the tunnels.

Soldiers

When we disturb the mud tubes, soldier is the first one will come out. The main function of soldier in the colony is to protect the others from insects such as ants. Soldier termites have prominent jaws and some can emit a chemical repellent as a form of defense.

Alates

Alates or known as flying swarmers are reproductives agent in termites caste. When the termites colony has reach maximum size, pair of alates (male and female) will move out from the nest and search for suitable places to mate and start new colony. Alates also attracted to light and usually found at human habitation.

Groups of Termites

There are 3 group types of termites and each of them has different biology and characteristics

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites get its name from its habit to make nest under the soil. They are dependable on soil for moisture. They will construct mud tubes in order to prevent them from dessication. This type of termites causes the majority damages compared to other two group of termites. This Subterranean Termites belong to the family Rhinotermitidae and Coptotermes are the main species that cause structural damages to most of houses in Malaysia.

Drywood Termites

Unlike subterranean termites which built colonies in the soil, drywood termite colonies do not need contact with soil moisture nor any other water source. As their name suggests, drywood termites occur in dry wood that may be above ground level. Drywood termites build colonies in structural wood, fence and utility posts, furniture, moldings, door and window frames.

Dampwood

Termites belong to the families family Kalotermitidae and Hodotermitidae and live in wood with high moisture content. Most dampwood termites do not require contact with the soil. Dampwood termites are rarely found in homes or other man-made structures, since wood in these structures typically does not have enough moisture.

How to know if you have termite infestation?

Mud Tubes

Termites build mud tubes which consist of dirt and wood particles that are join together by their saliva and other liquids. The function of the mud tubes is to allow them to search for food from their nests to their feeding sites without cause dehydration. These mud tubes are commonly found on foundation walls or slabs, crawl space piers, attics, and floor joints. In order to determine whether the termites infestation are active or not, just remove piece of mud tubes. If the infestations are active, it will only take 1 day for them to repair the mud tubes.

Damaged Wood

Here are the sign of termite infestation. During termite inspection, we will observe the infested area to confirm whether the wood infested with termites or other pest such as wood boring insects. Wood that infested with termites will look like this. Wood that looks fine on the outside may be riddled with tunnels on the inside. To check if an area is infested, tap or probe it with a screwdriver. Severely damaged timber sounds hollow and is easy to pierce. Untreated or moist wood that touches the soil is most likely to be affected.

Swarmers

Swarmers or known as flying alates are reproductive members of termites. When termite’s colony reached maximum size, pair of alates will move out the colony and search for suitable place to start new colony. These alates are frequently seen by home owners especially in warm and humid evenings. Alates wings are often left on the floor around doors or windowsills. This is the easiest way to tell whether termites are active nearby.

Termites Control Program

Termites Baiting Concepts

Termite baiting systems capitalise on the natural behaviour of termites. As social insects, termites share their food in a process known as trophallaxis. This trait allows slow acting toxicants to be transferred through the colony. It is important that the action of the toxicant is slow enough to allow the termites to feed, travel back to their nest, and share before taking effect.

The key to this concept is the use of a system that attracts termites to a readily accessible feeding station containing a suitable bait matrix that is then carried back to the nest. In time, the slow acting toxicant will have reduced the numbers to a level that can no longer maintain the colony, which ultimately falls “sick” and dies

Why Baits?

Conventional termiticide treatments often involve the drilling and pumping of large volumes of chemical into the soil with a variety of associated side effects including disturbance and even property damage. In comparison, termite baiting is an environmentally friendly way of treating termite infestations, using very small amounts of a pest-specific chemical in a non-disruptive low hazard application. Baits are ideal for all situations, even those sensitive to insecticide use.

How Does Xterm™ Work?

The Xterm™ Termite Baiting System includes both Above Ground and In Ground components that utilise cartridges containing a bait matrix specially designed to maximise termite acceptance.

Xterm™ bait cartridges contain the latest insect growth regulator which provides fast eradication of subterranean termite infestations. It is easy to handle and install, works without having to drill and is environmentally friendly.

The bait attracts termites to the bait stations to feed even when there is a plentiful supply of alternative foodstuff in the area. The slow acting insect growth regulator within Xterm™ is then taken back to the nest and spread throughout the colony before taking effect. This allows the effect to reach even the Queen and the King. In other words, Xterm™ targets to the heart of the colony.

Xterm™ offers a professional looking and cleaner, non-messy formulation that is easy to install, service and monitor.

Benefits of Xterm™

  • Faster action
  • Fuss-free installation
  • Environmentally sound
  • Unobtrusive bait station design
  • Unique, highly attractive compressed cellulose formulation
  • XtermTM Above Ground (AG) Bait Station

Subterranean termites in multi-level buildings are lured into Xterm AG Bait Station, then travel back to their nest to share the bait with their nest mates.

Subterranean termites that have infested a landed property being lured into Xterm AG Bait Station to feed then travel back to their nest to share the bait with their nest mates.

XtermTM In Ground (IG) Bait Station

Subterranean termites active in the soil around a landed property are intercepted by XtermTM IG Bait Station and feed, then travel back to their nest and share the bait with their nestmates.

Pre Construction Termites Treatment

Pre-Construction Termites Treatment is normally carried out to apply a layer of termiticide or to create a barrier between termites and the building before it is constructed (pre-construction treatment).

 

Subterranean termites are prevented from entering the building. Any subterranean termite colony that infiltrates through the treated areas will be destroyed. This treatment is proven to be effective in controlling subterranean termite infestation.

Post Construction Termites Treatment

Post construction termites treatment function is to create a chemical barrier in the soil under the concrete slab to prevent subterranean termites’ infestation. Holes will be drilled into the slab along the side of the wall and both sides for the door frame at intervals of 12 inches. Chemical mixture at a rate of five (5) litres per hole injected at a pressure of between 21-25 psi into these holes, into the soil beneath the concrete slab.