Subterranean termites, in natural settings, work as beneficial insects by breaking down cellulose-containing materials, such as dead trees. They live in the soil and must maintain contact with the ground or some other moisture source to survive. Unfortunately they also attack wooden structures, and if left uncontrolled, will cause weakening and collapse of the structures due to their feeding activity.
Termites build earthen shelter tubes from the ground into the structure for protection from predators and to help maintain a moist environment. Many times these tubes are built on inside walls, porches or chimneys where they cannot be seen.
Here in Gauteng we get mostly 2 types of termites. Subterranean termites and harvester termites. Harvester termites mostly attack your lawn. They make nests inside the soil and then make small holes coming out of the soil. They normally come out during mid day to chop off pieces of your grass and take it into the nests. Harvesters can also be found in your foundation but is less common than subterranean termites.
You will see clumps of mud or mud tunnels in areas where they are feeding. If you break up the mud you may see the termites walking through the tunnels.
If you inspect your skirtings and cupboards by tapping the wood with your knuckle it might sound hollow or in bad cases only the paint could be left over and you may break right through it in areas where there has been termite activity.
If you find bare round patches stripped of grass that is another sign. Note that dying grass is different because the grass will be losing its color and the grass where termites have eaten is generally green.
The presence of termites in buildings is cause for concern not only from the standpoint of safety but also the cost of preventing further structural damage and replacing damaged wood.
Harvester termites will eat your lawn resulting in the cost to repair it.
Insurance does not normally cover termites so it can be costly to repair.
If you have termites inside your house we have to drill into the foundation of your house along your outside wall and then inject the foundation with chemical to eliminate the nest and to prevent further infestation inside the house.
If you have termites in your lawn we use a high pressure pump to inject the nests with chemical.
Also depending on the situation we can use baits to kill the termites in nests.