TermitesCommon Termite Pest SpeciesSubterranean and mound-building termitesSigns Of InfestationTermites Management


  • Termites are social insects living in colonies comprised of a king and a queen (wingless adults or nymphs, depending on the species), and soldiers
  • The king and queen perform the reproductive functions of the colony, while the workers carry on all aspects of colony maintenance
  • The soldiers defend the colony
  • These individuals, separated by divisions of labour, are referred to as castes
  • Termites feed on wood or wood products, and their digestive tracts contain microorganisms which enable them to convert the cellulose in wood into usable food

Termites VS Ants

  • Termites are often confused with ants
  • The termite has straight beadlike antennae, while those of ants are elbowed
  • The abdomen of the termite is broadly joined to the thorax (no waist), while the ant’s thorax and abdomen are joined by a narrow pedicel (wasp waist)
  • Termite wings, both the front and the hindwings, are of equal size. The anterior wings of the ant are considerably larger than the posterior wings

Drywood Termites

  • Drywood termites are social insects that live in colonies in sound, dry wood
  • In comparison to other termites, drywood colonies are rather small (a few thousand individuals), and the colony develops slowly
  • They neither live in the ground nor maintain contact with the soil, and they do not build mud tubes
  • Drywood termites produce dry fecal pellets compared to subterranean termites that produce liquid feces
  • Drywood termites tend to feed across wood grain impacting both the soft spring wood and the harder summer growth
  • Dead trees, branches, brush and firewood from residential areas are the primary habitat of drywood termites

Dampwood Termites

  • Dampwood termites are found only in wood with high moisture content
  • Dampwood termites do not usually infest structures because of the low moisture content of wood in structures
  • Dampwoods are considered a minor structural pest, but they can do substantial damage if left unchecked
  • Dampwood termites produce distinctive fecal pellets that are rounded at both ends, elongate, and lack the clear longitudinal ridges common to drywood termite pellets
  • Dampwood fecal pellets are often stuck together along the bottom or sides of the tunnels or may dissolve into a muddy paste
  • Infested wood usually shows no external damage because openings in the wood are plugged with fecal material
  • They nest in wood buried in the ground, although contact with the ground is not necessary when infested wood is high in moisture
Coptotermes spp.
  • Coptotermes species is one of the most destructive termites in Asia
  • In Malaysia and Singapore, Coptotermes spesies alone is responsible for at least 80-90% of damage to human built structures, based on past statistics, and it is the most common termite species in all urban areas
  • They have a voracious appetite for anything wood or paper, and may even attack fabric
  • Their nests are located deep underground
  • They have a large and conspicuous fontanella
  • They secrete a white, sticky liquid upon biting, through the fontanelle

Macrotermes spp.
  • The Macrotermes genus are the largest termite species of all
  • Most species of Macrotermes build mounds, although there are a few subterranean species
  • Macrotermes species are noted for having two sizes of workers and two sizes of solders (major and minor workers and soldiers).
  • The unique thing about Macrotermes termites is their fungus cultivation habit

Globitermes sulphureus
  • Globitermes sulphureus is a species of termite that is very common in present in other areas of South East Asia, including Malaysia
  • They live in nests made of earth that can be up to 1.5m tall and can contain tens of thousands of individuals
  • Between 5% and 10% of the population are soldier termites which can be recognised by their yellow abdomen and two large, curved mandibles
  • When the nest is damaged, the soldier termites defend the nest and workers rapidly repair any damage to the nest walls
  • In some cases, the contractions are so violent that the termites rupture themselves. This form of suicidal altruism is known as autothysis

Microcerotermes spp.
  • This species is 3.15-7.75mm long
  • They have long rectangular heads and long fine mandibles that are finely serrated when viewed with a microscope
  • Some species may build small mounds nest underground and some may make arboreal nests and nest on top of posts
  • Their nesting habits (mounds, arboreal nests) often betray their presence and facilitate their control

Schedorhinotermes spp.
  • The average length of this species of termite is 3-7mm long
  • The major soldiers have bulbous heads
  • The minor soldiers are usually about two-thirds of the length of the major soldiers
  • They have narrower heads and more slender mandibles with their labrums extend and almost to the tip of the mandibles
  • This species of termite nest in root crown and lower trunk of living and dead trees
Mub Tubes

Termite Swarmers

Wood Damage

Termites Frass

Live Termites

Termite Mound

Residual Spraying
  • Residual spraying with termiticide which act as a stomach and contact poison is apply with a liquid dilution of Premise along the foundation walls of your home to create a continuous treatment zone

  • Termite mound is destroyed by pouring solution of termiticide into the mound after breaking open the structure
  • To facilitate good penetration, holes are made using crowbars

Pre-Construction Treatment (Soil Treatment)
  • A traditional method for preventing subterranean termites from entering buildings within the first 5 to 10 years following construction
  • The objective of applying a termiticide to soil is to provide an unbroken chemical barrier between the wood in the structure and termite colonies in the soil
  • Thus, the insecticide must be applied thoroughly and uniformly to block all routes of termite entry
  • Effective termite control usually requires specialized equipment and often 150 or more gallons of prepared termiticide solution per house,depending on size, basement, etc
  • The most recent termiticides to be marketed are non-repellent to termites, but show delayed toxicity as termites forage through treated soil, which they do not avoid
  • As termites penetrate the treated zone, they contact the active ingredient, which causes delayed mortality and also possibly allows the termites to be overcome by lethal microbes
  • Furthermore, the toxicant is thought to be passed to nestmates through grooming activities and social food exchange (trophallaxis)

Post-Construction Treatment (Corrective Slab Treatment)
  • Holes are drilled along the perimeter of the building and termiticide will be pumped inThe objective of this is to establish a termiticide barrier to prevent termites from entering the structures
  • The distance between two holes is an extremely crucial factor to ensure a continuous chemical barrier beneath the house upon application
  • If the distance between the holes is too wide apart, a gap will be present and this will allow termites to move up into the house
  • Distance between two holes varies between 30 -65cm
  • Distance between hole to wall perimeter varies between 5-20cm

  • A termite bait is usually a paper-, cardboard-, or sawdust-like material containing the active ingredient (or AI) that kills termites
  • The bait is kept inside a plastic bait station. As termites feed on the bait, the termite-killing AI gets into their bodies
  • The AI is spread through the colony as the termites feed each other. As more workers feed on the bait, more AI gets into the colony
  • Eventually the amount of AI in each termite increases until it kills them and the colony dies or is reduced
  • There are two types of bait stations: above-ground and in-ground
  • Above-ground stations are installed directly over shelter tubes or infested wood so that termites can begin to feed immediately on the bait
  • In-ground stations are placed in the soil
  • Most stations are cylindrical tubes with disk tops. The disks makes the stations easier to find and keeps them from sinking into the ground
  • The tubes have numerous holes or slits through which termites enter to get to the wood and bait inside
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