Australia has the most destructive termites in the world. A recent CSIRO survey revealed more than one in every five homes had termite damage, with an estimated damage bill of more than $100 million every year.
Termites have a 200 million year evolutionary history closely related to cockroaches. Termites can be found right throughout Australia.
Termites forage for food over a large area (approximately 100 metres) in search of timber and operate and live in a central nest or colony. The worker termites partially digest the timber before returning to the termite nest to feed the termite colony. This can cause considerable damage to our homes and bank accounts, as many Australians will attest, and can happen in a matter of months.
The difference between Termites and Ants
It is not uncommon for people to think of termites as members of the ant family. However, ants, of the Hymenoptera order, and termites, of the Isoptera order, are in fact unrelated. Visually in a picture of a termite, you can distinguish between them, ants have a slender waist. The waists of termites are about the same thickness as the rest of the body.