White ants are a pest that can destroy your home if left undiscovered or unaddressed.
But what should you do if you happen to find white ants around your home?
In this blog, we explain what steps you should take if you find white ants in your home.
What are white ants?
White ants are another name for termites.
Termites eat cellulose. Cellulose is an organic compound found in wood, plants, cardboard and paper.
Thus, termites are a serious threat to your home.
How to identify termites
You should always be wary about the possibility of a termite infestation due to the risk they pose to your home’s structural integrity.
There are several ways you might discover a termite infestation.
As the name suggests, white ants look a lot like regular ants. However, you can distinguish them from regular ants by the fact they are lighter in colour and are thicker around the middle.
Flying termites, also called alates, are the only ones that possess wings.
These flying termites are the ones who travel around and start new colonies.
They do this by flying around in swarms and mating with other termites from different colonies.
After they have mated, they will land, shed their wings, and build new a new colony. It is not unusual to find termites with their discarded wings nearby.
You might also notice termites by the tracks they leave which come in the form of mudding.
Mudding refers to the tunnels constructed by termites that they travel through.
If they cannot travel through the ground or some other concealed way, they will construct these tunnels to keep themselves safe and hidden.
These tunnels are constructed of termite feces and saliva, mixed with dirt and wood.
You are most likely to find mudding built around ant caps, which are metal plates designed to force termites out into the open.
If you find mudding, there is a very strong chance you have an active termite infestation.
Do not disturb any white ants you find
If you find live termites anywhere near your property, you should do your best not to disturb them.
If you disturb them or try and treat them yourself, they will quickly retreat and block off the nest to protect it. This will prevent any effective treatment of termites.
Destroying white ant nests at the source is the best way to keep yourself safe.
If you only kill the termites you find with bug spray, this will do nothing to stop the queen from simply producing more termites and continuing the infestation.
That’s why you should always consult with a pest technician who can equip you with a termite management plan.
Termite management plan
A termite management plan typically involves the installation of a chemical barrier around the home.
A qualified pest technician will create a chemical barrier, which offers you the best protection against termites.
A chemical barrier is installed around the perimeter of your property and lasts for 8 years.
It involves spraying of a chemical, such as Termidor HE, which is undetectable to termites but slowly poisons them over time.
When the termites return to the nest after being poisoned, the poison spreads throughout the nest, killing it at the source.
What to do if you disturb white ants
If you have accidentally pulled away or destroyed timber and discovered live termites, you should immediately cover up the exposed area.
It is recommended you cover it with a form of thick tape that prevents light or air from getting in. If the area is dark and damp, termites will continue to do their work and will not block entrances to the nest.
Instruct everyone else in your household to leave the termites alone.
Then, book an inspection and termite treatment with a qualified pest technician as soon as possible. They will know exactly how to eliminate white ant nests at the source.