Termites in Tasmania – Why you don’t need to worry

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Does Tasmania have Termites? Yes! There are approximately 350 native and introduced species of termites in Australia, around 40 of which are destructive and invasive. But the good news is, there are no species of termite in Tasmania that are destructive to buildings.The Building Code of Australia requires that all new homes and additions have a termite management system in place in all areas of Australia (except Tasmania, where the termite risk is negligible).

The 3 types of termites: Subterranean, dampwood and drywood termites.

Subterranean termites: Subterranean termites (also called white ants) are the most common type of destructive termites, that are found worldwide. Termite management systems commonly only deal with subterranean termites because these species are the only termites recognized by the building code of Australia.

Drywood termites: The most distinctive difference between subterranean and drywood termites, is subterranean species make mud tubes to tunnel through the ground and invade your home, while drywood termites’ nest inside the wood they are infesting. Out of the two species, drywood are less common and are usually found around coastal or humid regions such as Queensland, New South Wales, and the ACT.

Dampwood termites: In comparison to drywood termites, dampwood termites normally do not cause such extensive damage to man-made structures. They tend to feed on dead and rotting wood in trees, however If dampwood species are found in a building they are an indication of a moisture problem. They are minor pests and can be controlled in buildings by removing the source of moisture. Dampwood termites can be found sparingly in Tasmania but have not been known to cause any significant damage

Are borers the same as termites?

Wood borers are timber pests that are an entirely different species of insect to termites. Unlike termites, there is no preventive treatment that protects existing structural timber, so inspections are important. However, if borers are detected, a treatment can be carried out. The best available current means of protection against these insects is timber borate treatments.

Thankfully, only Tasmania is free of “economically significant” termite attack to buildings. In conclusion, if you are a Tasmanian property owner and are concerned that destructive termites have colonised in your home or business, the answer is that it may be an infestation of borers and not termites.

Contact Scorpion Pest Management if you have any queries and concerns. 

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