AUSTRALIAN AUTHORITIES REMIND LOCALS TO KEEP UP WITH TERMITE CONTROL TREATMENTS
The Australian Association of Building Consultants has just issued a call for homeowners in the country to inspect their termite control treatment history and verify that their last treatments have not reached the seven year mark yet. The call comes as a result of warnings released by Australian entomologists that the recent wet season in the country has resulted in termite figures surging upwards.
Termite control experts are already experiencing a rise in business as well as Australians prepare for the summer season’s termite swarms. Summer in Australia is winter in the West, taking place from December to February. The Australian winter is in June to August. Hence, while people in the United States are setting in for cold weather and generally unable to detect termites—which retreat into the woodwork in cold months—for December, people in the Australian continent have to deal with heat and the swarming of thousands and thousands of termites.
Australia has some of the most rabid termites in the world, and is actually rich (the term shall be viewed as ironic by many Australians) in termite species. Some of its termites are feared all around the globe, such as the Mastotermes darwiniensis or great northern termite, a monster almost twice the size of the average subterranean termite in the United States and endowed with an appetite to match.
The warning for homeowners to stay on top of their termite prevention programmes thus does not strike a new chord: Australians are used to the threat of termites, more or less, because it is ever-present where they live. What is new about the warning is the fact that it comes with strong evidence that termite numbers may be rising beyond the figures for recent years.
The cause, say the entomologists, is in the rains. Australia, like many other parts of the world, has been suffering a rather nasty drought for some time now, and the drop in moisture saw the country—one that is already largely typified by a semi-arid climate—almost literally turning into dust. Soil moisture levels were at depressing lows, and this left termites with very little of the essential moisture they need to stay alive: being soft-bodied creatures, termites perish easily when exposed to extremely dry situations or elements. The return of moisture to the soil via the recent rains, then, has provided the pests with renewed opportunities for growth and expansion.
Termite control officials are urging Australians to take every precaution possible. Already several houses have been discovered to be victims of the termite resurgence, with hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth being spent just to repair the damage. In some cases, the damage was not even reparable, showing the serious dangers and costs associated with these pests.