Author : Leigh Tiegan.
Published : Wed, Jan 16 2019 :3 AM.
Format : jpg/jpeg.
The presence of shelter tubes over the surface of foundation walls is the primary sign of a termite infestation. These tubes are 6mm (1/4 inch) to 12mm (1/2 inch) wide, and can extend many centimetres in length until wood is discovered. These tubes protect termites form the drying effect of air, and maintain the termites` contact with the soil.
Termites have a very thin cuticle (skin) and are subject to rapid desiccation (drying out) if exposed to the environment outside their enclosed habitat. In order to maintain a highly controlled environment, termites must live in a closed system. Colonies in wood are always contained within an outside shell of cellulose material. In this way, they are protected from exposure to the outside.
Break the wood-soil contact. To little clearance between the soil and wooden structures often results in all of the physical requirements for a termite infestation being met (moisture, decaying wood, and food readily available). A general rule is that there should be a 45cm (18 inch) clearance between the soil and lowest horizontal members of the structure. If wooden lattice-work is used around verandas, there should be a space of 50 - 75 cm (20-30 inches) between the soil and this lattice-work. Other problem areas include veranda and basement steps, where the wood is in direct contact with soil.
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Subterranean termites are social insects, feeding on cellulose and living in colonies in the soil. These colonies are close to moisture, and can be readily relocated due to temperature or other environmental changes. Termites travel through soil, in wood itself, or through shelter tubes.