Commonly known as ‘white ants’, subterranean termites are social insects, much like ants and bees, with queens, workers and soldiers. They can cause extensive damage to the structure of a building if not managed or controlled by qualified pest professionals. Densely populated, coastal areas face a greater risk due to the large concentration of buildings and associated climate.
White ants build their nests underground, so wood damaged by these pests usually has an accumulation of soil or mud within the tunnels of the wood they are eating. As white ants only eat the softwood, damaged wood appears to be layered, the result of the workers not eating the hardwood portion. In addition, white ants feed “with the grain” rather than across the grain. While they feed off timber above ground, they return to, and live in underground nests.
General practice in KZN for effective treatment for white ants (subterranean termites) is preventative, in that it is done at the time of the construction. The compacted soil is sprayed with a registered termiticide, prior to the concrete slab being laid.
However, where infestation is detected in an existing dwelling, holes are drilled along all walls and the termiticide injected into them under pressure. In some instances the foundation perimeter would also be excavated and flooded with the chemical. All holes and excavations are repaired and are seldom noticeable on completion.