How to tell if you have a termite or wood borer infestation

Posted on: September 3, 2020, in Blog

When it gets hotter ants and termites tend to pop out everywhere. The common ant might be irritating, but cannot cause severe physical destruction to your property like termites or wooder borers do.

The damage termites do can devalue a home by up to 25%! Therefore, as soon as these are detected action must be taken.

Termites and wood borers have been known to damage structures such as:

  • Internal timber frames
  • Roof Trusses
  • Timber pergolas
  • Furniture
  • Timber artifacts 
  • Wooden floors
  • All joinery – which includes doors and door frames, windows and window frames, skirting boards, build in cupboards etc These are the most commonly affected.

Basically, any form of soft timber will make a perfect meal for termites and wood borers. They like to congregate around damp, dark and mouldy areas. Therefore you should be on the lookout for a potential site that would suit a termite or wood borer infestation.

Inspect your home closely for evidence of the following to tell if you have a termite or woodborer plague:

  • The evidence / droppings that you see tells a story – is it hard granules similar to beach sand either beige, brown or black (wood borer frass) OR softer uneven dry “sand” mixed with signs of exoskeletons of dead insects (common ants doing housekeeping),  OR mud “tunnels” either damp (active) or dry (old)  is clear signs of subterranean termites / white ants.
  • The environment i.e. damp wall or water leak in the vicinity can indicate termite activity. Are there “sand” mounds or tunnels? Is it damp or dry?
  • Sound of hollow skirtings and door frames being eaten away from the inside, you’ll literally hear “chewing” sounds inside wood in quiet times etc. tap on the wood – does it sound hollow? If it is fragile and your finger pokes right through the wood, it is definitely termites or wood borers!

Pest identification from visible evidence is similar to detective work. We need to get as much evidence and clues from the environment as possible, and knowing the habits of the pests, helps us to make a positive id.

If you are still unsure if you have termites or wood borers in your home or business, give Service Master a call or WhatsApp us, on 072 224 1116.

When you sell your house, you will also need a Wood Borer Clearance certificate. It is usually written into bond agreements by the banks, and the Deeds office requires it as proof that the purchaser is getting a property that is structurally sound, and not riddled with wood borer or termites. Most of our branches offer Entomological Inspections and Clearance Certificates for sale of properties. Take a look HERE to find your closest branch.

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