Termites are often called the “silent destroyer” because they may be secretly hiding and thriving in your home or garden without any immediate signs of damage. All termites consume cellulose-based plant materials. Unfortunately, all homes, regardless of their construction type, can provide cellulose food for termite infestation. Lawns, house foundations, furniture, shelves and even books are all possible feeding sites for termites. Although termites are ecologically beneficial they can cause major havoc once they invade structures or gardens causing irreparable damage that can lead to thousands of rands in repair costs and inconvenience for the building owner.
NORTHERN HARVESTER TERMITES
They can deplete grass in pastures and contribute to soil erosion, but are less effective when grasslands are not overgrazed or disturbed. Over the long term, however, their decomposing and recycling of plant material contribute to soil fertility and the global cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and other elements.
‘Macrotermes mossambicus / natalensis’
These termites are the major perpetrators of structural damage to buildings. A common trait of subterranean termites is their habit of building shelter tubes when they have to venture over exposed areas. These “mud tubes” are noticeable in heavy infestations. They allow the termites to cross exposed surfaces without getting seen, as well as protect them from dessication. Their underground habits mean that many species have evolved a pale color, often leading people to refer to them as “white ants.”
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