Pests feeling right at home
for termites,” she said.
“One of their methods of building a new colony is the queens will produce winged alate (flying termites), ants can also do this.
“They can only fly once and when they crash, their wings fall off.
“If you have a king and queen who land together and they have a reliable food source and water source, they can begin a future colony.”
Ms Cooper said it could take up to 10 years for a colony to become large enough to cause extensive damage but she urged homeowners to get a pest inspection at least once a year.
“All of Cairns is high risk because we are in the tropics, and we have the right weather for them.
“Houses that back onto bush or rainforest are slightly more susceptible. In block homes they get in without being seen.
“Queenslanders being on stumps, you tend to see them come up the stumps.”
Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association (AEPMA) Queensland director John Graham said termite cont rol methods ranged f rom chemical to physical, and somet i me s a c o m b i n a t i o n was required.
Chemical systems were often via reticulation around the outside of the home and needed ongoing maintenance, while a physical barrier was incorporated into the home during construction.
‘The difference is the chemicals are designed to either deter or kill the termites ... whereas a physical barrier is designed to stop concealed entry and force the termites out into the open, where they can be rapidly and easily seen,” Mr Graham said.
Ms Cooper said termite treatments usually started at about $3000.
“Quite often, termites are very clever at hiding,” Ms Cooper said.
“Sometimes i t i s d r a stic (when people find termites), I’ve seen one instance where they ate all the cornices in.”
include species that make tunnels in the ground, usually in the top 200mm, to reach a source of food which is sometimes a considerable distance from the colony. Included in this group are the mound-building and some tree-dwelling (arboreal) species.
obtain water from the wood in which they live and do not have contact with soil. The native species live in dead branches, branch stubs, fire scars and logs of a variety of host trees. Attack is mainly restricted to the sapwood, but galleries may extend into outer layers of sound.
are always associated with damp, decaying wood, usually in the form of fallen logs in the forest, but may sometimes be found in decaying wood in buildings or fences. They depend on the moisture in the tree.
UNWELCOME GUESTS: Senior Pestaway technician Dave Watts inspects a house in Mt Sheridan for termites.