Can a termite sting you? | Coast Pest

Can a Termite Sting You?

One of the most common questions we’re asked is if termites can sting or bite humans. Parents especially worry about the possibility of their children being bitten, and then if they are bitten what kind of disease might be transferred and what kind of symptoms might be suffered.

Termites don’t sting

The answer to the question is that termites can bite humans but they can’t sting as they have no mechanism to do so. They have the equipment to bite: mandibles that are as big as a third of their entire body size and the strength to munch their way through any number of materials to get to their food source of wood.

Fortunately, though, termites do not like to come out into the open. They travel through tunnels, mud tubes and hollowed out wood, always taking care to be well concealed as they need moisture at all times. The majority of human ‘termite bites’ are actually caused by ants, mites, fleas, or bedbugs.

Termites are non-aggressive

In the event that you discover active termites, it is important to leave them alone and contact a pest control professional to deal with them.

However if you come across termites, they will not bite a human unless they are handled or feel threatened (such as putting your hand into a termite nest). If you are accidentally bitten by one, you’ll find the sensation is like any normal insect bite – there will be a little irritation for a few days, which will then subside and disappear. This irritation might include a very slight burning from the termite saliva that is used to break down the wood they eat through. It is a minor irritation and nothing to be alarmed about.

If you’re worried about any insect bite you’ve received, and you’re not sure what caused it, then it may be worth seeking medical advice in case the bite is from a poisonous insect. When it comes to termites, though, the most damaging bite they’ll give is the chunk they can take out of your wallet.

The financial termite bite

The real damage that termites do with their bite is to your home. If left unchecked, a termite colony will eat its way through your joists, ceilings, floors… in fact, anything wooden. The average cost of termite damage to property in Australia is more than $7,000. If you see any signs of termite infestation in or near your home, then you don’t need to worry about getting bitten on your hand or leg. You need to protect your pocket and call a professional to inspect and protect your home.

Make sure you keep a close eye on the area surrounding your home, your garden fence, shed, and under your building. At the first sign of termites make that emergency call, before the damage caused becomes a real emergency.

Myth busted: concrete slabs won’t protect you from termites | Coast Pest

Myth Busted: Concrete Slabs Will NOT Protect You From Termites

Many people either building a home or looking to protect their existing home from termites mistakenly believe that a concrete slab under the home will be adequate protection. In fact, unless it is used in conjunction with other protective measures, a concrete slab could prove no more than an expensive piece of over-engineering. Termites are able to tunnel through cracks in concrete, and the slab itself is unlikely to eliminate wood to ground contact. But if combined with other protective measures, then a concrete slab can prove to be one of the more effective long term physical termite barriers.

How termites penetrate concrete slabs

Termites will look for any opening they are able to exploit in their search for food. Edges of slabs are particularly at risk, while holes for service pipes may provide the perfect aperture for tunnelling termites. If the concrete slab is at or below ground level, then the risk is increased.

When installing a concrete slab, it must measure up to Australian Standard 2870. Poorly designed slabs are more susceptible to cracking, which will allow easier termite access.

How to ensure concrete slabs protect from termites

For concrete slabs to be effective in the fight against termite attack, they need to be augmented with other protective measures. These include physical and chemical protection.

On top of joists, piles, or stumps, ant caps or termite shields should be used. These help to prevent termites direct access, so although they can still gain entry to the home they can be more easily observed. Crushed granite does a similar job, and both methods can be used underneath the concrete slab.

Chemical treatments include the injection of termiticides at the inner and outer edges of the concrete slab, as well as around the external perimeter and through expansion joints and cracks.

How to install the extra protection needed

To make a concrete slab as termite proof as possible, it is best to use a combination of both physical and chemical barriers to augment its strength. While a builder will be able to put physical barriers in place, chemical barriers can only be installed by licensed pest controllers. In many cases a trench will need to be dug to allow access for the chemical barrier.

Whether you are building a home, extending an existing home, or simply seeking to ensure your home remains termite free, a consultation with a Pink Pest expert will help you to make the right choice for your needs. The sooner you consider your termite protection needs, the better your protection will be.

8 Most Common Household Pests in Sydney

8 Most Common Household Pests in Sydney

Sydney’s heat and humidity is a perfect breeding ground for a multitude of bugs and other pests. And, as we all know, finding an infestation of pests in your home and the process of getting rid of them can be a major problem requiring professional help.

Here’s some information on the most common household pests and what you can do to remove them.

  1. Spiders – Certainly one of the more cringe-worthy critters that pop-up, spiders will appear from time to time especially in raining periods. Fortunately, most spiders don’t pose an on-going problem like other pests (except for the initial scare) except in rare instances. With that said, spiders can pose a serious threat to children, pets and adults alike and should be treated with extreme caution. Fortunately, over the counter bug spray will often do the trick (unless the problem occurs repetitively).
  2. Flies – Flies in Australia are notorious, especially in warmer months, but in many cases they’re easily managed with practical solutions. Make sure all food scraps are wrapped before tossing them in the bin and keep all door and window fly wires shut at all times.
  3. Cockroaches – Cockroaches are another unfortunate consequence of the Australian climate. The best roach prevention is to keep waste and food containers totally sealed. Roach sprays, bombs and bait traps can be effective if the problem is treated early enough, but if roaches become uncontrollable, call the team here at Pink . Don’t leave it too late otherwise you will find German cockroaches can be extremely difficult to eradicate completely.
  4. Ants – A few ants in your home is not a problem, but when an army marches in looking for food you could be in for a lot of trouble. Unfortunately, it’s rare to see just a few ants. Most DIY methods can temporarily eliminate ants but cannot destroy the nest. Our ant baiting methods stop the problem at the root cause for quick, effective removal. Find out more here.
  5. Termites – Commonly found throughout Australia, termites (or white ants) will chomp on any wood they can find and are able to destroy entire wooden homes pretty quickly. Termites are serious pests that should be exterminated as quickly as possible by termite control experts. Thermal pest inspection is particularly useful for finding termite infestations in walls without causing any interior damage.
  6. Fleas – Fleas thrive both indoors and out and are most comfortable in warm, humid situations. They’re most likely carried indoors on household pets, such as dogs or cats, but are also found on indoor birds. A female flea can lay several hundred eggs during her short life, so flea infestations can get out of hand very quickly. Professional flea pest control is the fastest way to remove fleas, but future prevention consists of cleaning pets and their bedding with an approved flea wash.
  7. Birds – Birds can nest in very small places and tend to like the sheltered areas that a commercial building or residential home provides. While that may not appear harmful at first glance, nesting birds also means bird droppings and the possibility of bird mites. There are many do-it-yourself remedies to prevent nesting, however once the birds have established themselves, you should seek professional assistance to remove them.
  8. Possums – In developed areas where trees have been cleared, Possums have lost most of their nesting sites and natural habitat. As a result, these nocturnal animals have taken up residence in roofs and other sheltered areas around homes. They may damage household electrical wires, destroy insulation and leave behind urine and fecal materials. As a protected species, you must have a permit to remove a possum, so this task is best left to a pest control professional.

The good news is most household pests can be either easily prevented or eliminated with simple solutions and professional advice.

How to protect your home with termite resistant timbers | Coast Pest

Termite Resistant Timbers

Just the mere mention of termites is able to quickly spread fear into anyone who owns their own home. Termite infestations are currently on the rise, making the fear of these tiny little pests that can literally eat away your home very real. And it doesn’t take as long as you may think, making it necessary to take immediate action if any signs of termite infestation are found in your home.

The good news for homeowners is that there are some timbers that are proven to be resistant to termite infestations. These timbers can be used when building a home, or when adding onto the home, decreasing the probability of a termite infestation.

Termite Resistant Timber types

Although there are a few species of timber that are known to contain natural properties that can ward off termites, there simply aren’t any timbers that are completely resistant to the threat of termites. Nevertheless, it’s a really good idea to do everything in your power to deter these home-destroying pests, especially if you live in an area that has a lot of trees.

The native cypress trees is the type of timber that’s most commonly chosen, and is one of the species of timber that can really help make your home resistant to termites. The narrow-leaved red ironbark tree, the broad-leaved red ironbark, the turpentine and the satinay are all also considered to be timbers that will all naturally resist termites.