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Termite Colony Myths

2. Termites Fact and Fiction: The Facts

Termites in Australia are shrouded in folklore and misunderstanding. Much of this folklore has grown out of the overactive imagination of bar stool storytellers and BBQ conversation stoppers. Unfortunately, this misinformation can be financially dangerous and mentally disturbing. In this post, I will explore some the commonly misunderstood facts about termites.

The Facts:

Termites and white ants are the same thing, just different names... Fact.

Borers are not termites... Fact.

Termites are blind and have little sense of smell... Fact.

Flying ants are mostly swarming termites... Fact.

Termites are more closely related to cockroaches than ants... Fact.

Termites are not white and don't look like ants... Fact.

Termites must start a nest in the ground. Can't (almost never) start a nest in a building... Fact.

There are termites in almost every square metre of every yard... Fact.

Every house will get infested on average once every 20 - 30 years. About 3% of houses become infested each year... Fact (but no real proof because no one has ever done the research).

98% homeowners find termites without even looking for them... Fact.

98% homeowners find termites before major damage occurs... Fact.

98% of homes get less than a few thousand dollars' worth of damage... Fact. A few thousand I hear you exclaim. Yes, a few thousand. But did you know that a preventative termite treatment will cost you a few thousand in the first year, then a few hundred every year after that until it is time to reinstall the treatment which will cost another few thousand. And to top it all off, no real certainty that the termite won't get in a do damage, which you will have to pay to have repaired anyway.

Termites are more difficult to treat...but treatment can ALWAYS be successful and will generally involve an integrated approach using several different treatment strategies... Fact.

Pest control technicians can only provide part of the solution... Fact.

Your home will get termites, it's when, not if... Fact.

No termite treatment or strategy can give 100% protection... Fact.

Eternal Vigilance is your only defence... Fact.

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