Facebook Pixel
Article posted on March 09, 2022

Termite Damage Statistics in Australia

australia owned and operated

Australian operated

Free on-site visist & quote

Free on-site visit & quote

Over 14,000+ homes protected

Over 14,000+ homes protected

5/5 stars is most frequent rating

5/5 stars is most frequent rating

Termidor Accredited installs

Termidor Accredited installs

Each year, termites cause a huge amount of damage across Australia. That is why we take termite damage statistics very seriously at Pest-Ex. It is a warning that every home should be protected and seek out regular termite inspections.

Termites infest and damage approximately one out of every five houses in Australia, or anywhere between 130,000 and 180,00 Australian homes each year. Unfortunately, they can cause irreparable structural damage within 12 months of attacking a home, and regardless of the amount of damage, termite-associated costs aren’t covered by insurance companies in Australia. Read more about that here.

Termites cause a lot of significant damage that’s sometimes is irreparable. Unfortunately, with no central agency tracking termite activity and damage, all gathered damage data is averaged out across the number of affected homes. Let’s start from the beginning.

What Are Termites?

how-to-get-rid-of-termites

Termites are insects that are actually often mistaken for ants. However, studies have shown that termites have evolved from cockroaches, and are a sister group to wood-eating cockroaches and in no way related to ants.

What causes the most common misconception about termites is the fact that they divide into “workers” and “soldiers” that are usually sterile. They feed on dead plant matter and cellulose, generally wood, leaf litter, soil, or animal dung, which means that they’re helpful to the environment.

However, the fact that they consume wood makes them troublesome to man-made structures like houses, furniture, wooden boxes, and just about anything containing cellulose — including wallpaper, books, drywall, and carpet backing.

It’s worth keeping in mind that while termite nests usually start small (about a foot and a half deep underground tunnels), they grow as the colony grows. The nests are usually located up to 50 or 100 meters away from their foraging locations. The termites’ “range” increases with the size of their nest as well, so the longer the nest exists, the larger and more destructive it will become.

What Is the Largest Termite Population in Australia?

There are currently over 350 species of termites living in Australia, with approximately 40 of those species being invasive and destructive. Their exact numbers in Australia are difficult to estimate, but most estimates agree that they must number in trillions.

A single colony of these pests can have a population of over one million individual insects, with the queen living up to 15 years for most species, though in some species, the queen lives up to 50 years. Worker termites, who tend to the queen, usually live up to six years, while each year, approximately 60,000 alates (termites with wings) leave the parent colony to mate and start new colonies. A single colony can produce several other colonies each year.

Most Destructive Types of Termites

As previously mentioned, there are approximately 40 different species of termites (termite identification guide) that are both intrusive and destructive. These are divided into three categories, according to their natural nesting and feeding habits:

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites live in massive colonies that nest in or near the ground, as they need a source of moisture to survive. They also feed on wood and other products containing cellulose, such as stumps, dead branches, and fallen trees. During a home infestation, these pests infest timber structures, destroying entire foundations, support beams, and insulation. All three of the most destructive termite species are of the subterranean variety:

  • Coptotermes Acinaciformis — The most common species of termites in Australia, causing a damage bill larger than all natural disasters combined. They don’t require soil for moisture and can even chew through electrical wiring.
  • Subterranean Schedorhinotermes Intermedius — This species tends to make nests in tree stumps and living trees, though they’re no strangers to patios and fireplaces. A single colony usually contains several thousand termites, but the real problem is that they tend to cluster their colonies.
  • Subterranean Mastotermes Darwiniensis — Also known as the giant termite, this species is geographically limited to tropical climates. They’re the most destructive in terms of sheer damage and can eat through an entire home in a matter of months.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites usually live in small colonies and nest inside pieces of timber. Their diet consists of both hardwood and softwood, but they require high levels of moisture to survive.

What to look for

  • Infestations can be detected by:
  • discarded wings found near windows, in spiderwebs or a light source (like removable light fittings)
  • flying winged termites found within households
  • tapping affected timber, it may have a hollow sound
  • checking painted timber which can appear bubbled or cracked
  • the presence of dry, sand-like faecal pellets (frass) coming out of tunnel openings
  • finding frass in cone shaped piles or in circular patterns on the surface of infested wood.

Source: https://www.awe.gov.au/biosecurity-trade/pests-diseases-weeds/plant/exotic-drywood-termites

Dampwood Termites

This type is much larger than the subterranean and drywood type, but their colonies are significantly smaller. They live in wood with high moisture content, and when found in a home, they’re usually an indicator of a moisture problem.

Termite Damage Statistics in Australia

Termite Damage Statistics
Considering that the professional pest management for termite treatment costs approx.$2,500 and the average home repair costs $4,500, dealing with our termite problem totals at approximately $7,000. Multiplied by the number of homes, that amount amounts to anywhere between $910 million, and $1.26 billion, with total costs to the building industry totaling roughly $4 billion.

The situation isn’t so dire if you discover termite activity on time. Call in the exterminators for a termite inspection, and pay for services that will exterminate any termite colonies in the vicinity of your home. In a best case scenario, you’ll pay your $7,000 due and invest in termite prevention.
Damaged area of eating termites.
Our estimates didn’t include the price of termite protection, which can cost up to $1,500 a year, for bi-annual home and equipment inspection. Termites are always on the lookout for new food sources, so termite prevention is something Australian homeowners should take seriously or risk a significant loss of value on their property.

In this video, what how termites eat through hardwood underneath this home that we recently inspected.

Summary

Termite damage costs the construction industry and homeowners a total of $4 billion, which is just $1 billion shy from what U.S. residents are paying — an estimated $5 billion annually to control the pests and repair termite damage.

Why you should never leave pieces of wood up against your home?

If you suspect any termite activity in your home, don’t hesitate to contact us at Pest Ex to book an inspection.

Ask a question below. To contact Pest-Ex directly click here

Your email address will not be published.

Prevent infestations & protect your property

Reviews Icon
White Star 5.0

30 reviews

Google Reviews
White Star 5.0

30 reviews

5.0
×image

5 Star Google reviews from both Gold Coast & Brisbane locations

5.0
Google image
Kent Bailey
11 months ago
Just had my home barrier treatment for termites by Pest Ex. In every way a brilliant job and fantastic friendly service unlike...read more anything else I have struck on the Gold Coast. This is a very professional company and every person involved was excellent in every way. Strongly recommend them to all who read this review because you won't do better.
Google image
Christie McCabe
a year ago
On time. Efficient. Friendly. Informative. Well priced. Our experience with Pest-Ex was easy from the moment Reception answered our call. Our routine...read more pest inspection could be done the next day (a Saturday which is most convenient for full time workers). Karl arrived at 7am with a smile to complete the service and carried out the work efficiently informing us of the process where required. Thanks team.
Google image
Chris Burt
2 years ago
Very professional and able to identify our pest problem on the spot. Was on time and great communication with admin girls via...read more phone. Very conscious of keeping our pet safe after the treatment which was a classy touch. Highly recommend!
Google image
Phill
6 months ago
Great people and always helpful and providing a good service.
Google image
Lorrie Cruickshanks
a year ago
Thank you to Garyn who first identified the issues, he was extremely thorough and prompt and then to John and Janine and...read more the team who treated and area and placed the baits. The process was fully explained and they were extremely courteous and very professional. Thank you to all the team. The office also kept us up to date with when their representatives would be visiting and this is very much appreciated. Great work.
Google image
Donna Hamerton
a year ago
After reading reviews, I'm glad that I chose Pest-Ex. Maria in the office was more than understanding to accommodate me and times....read more I was able to get a booking the same day I made the enquiry. Garyn my technician was even able to come earlier. When he arrived he was happy to explain everything that was going to happen and how to work around my pets and children. Need pest control done - hire these guys.
Google image
Phoebe Worth
2 years ago
Impressed with the service. The technician Steve was on time, friendly and thorough - you could tell he was not rushing the...read more job. Will be using Pest-Ex again. Thanks guys!
Google image
Mickey Ketch
a year ago
This company actually investigates the problem instead of just spraying your place and leaving. Very HIGH knowledge and experience in what they...read more do. They took the time to investigate the cause, the source of the problem and elimnated it completely which included going through every cupboard, cracks hiding spots the lot. We had a cochroach problem in our apartment for 3 months and we had 4 different companies come out and NONE of them investigated they only sprayed. After we called PestEx, Mr. Phillips was very knowledgeable and experienced eliminating our problem entirely. We also use PestEx in our shop and both Mr Phillips and Marty are EXCELLENT in resolving and maintaining pest problems. HIGHLY RECOMMEND PEST EX. BEST I'VE SEEN IN QUEENSLAND.