There are four main termite genera we call serious pests of buildings because they all eat (prefer) solid timber —the seasoned stuff used in houses.
- Nasutitermes or Nasutes
- Mastotermes or Mastos
- Coptotermes or Coptos
- Schedorhinotermes or Schedos (pronounced Shed-o)
The Nasutes are easily identified by the pointy heads of their soldier. If these are the ones you’ve found, look around for a mound nest and physically destroy it with a pick, mattock or crowbar. Not many people enthuse about a termite mound as a feature in their backyard so Nastutes suffer the consequences of being obvious —and they don’t rate in the serious pest category.
The Mastos rate very highly as serious —but only if you live north of the Tropic of Capricorn (Rockhampton to Exmouth). Identification is also easy: if you live in this region and the termite you’ve found is about 13-15mm long (half an inch or so) and it is eating solid wood —it is a Masto.
Coptos and Schedos soldiers have brownish heads and two fang-like jaws sticking out in front. They measure 5-7mm. They also have a fontanelle or hole at the top front of their heads to emit a white droplet of defensive goo.
This is the main point: if you live anywhere on continental Australia; if you’ve found termites eating solid wood; if they are about 5-7mm long with two black jaws— they are most likely to be either Coptos or Schedos. Both termites are susceptible to the Tuckerbag Termite Bait and attracted to the TermiteTraps. (There are a few species of each of Coptos and Schedos found in different regions, some with slightly different nesting habits).
We won’t suggest
Background info on the not-so-serious termites?
We don’t recommend using our Bait or Traps for any other termite.
The Nasutes (brown pointy heads, no black jaws) always build mounds. There are other mound builders that have black-jawed soldiers (often smaller than 5mm) so if you’ve found some like these in garden mulch, fences or retaining walls, check for mounds to a radius of about 30-50
The Hetero (left) doesn’t normally build a mound.
Here is a chart that may help you ID the termite you’ve found
(If you’d prefer to use our Free ID Service, you can take a photo and send it by email or SMS. You could get a same-day answer. Or you could catch some soldiers and post them and we’ll phone you)
Microcerotermes (Micros): Represented by at least one species over all Australia, some of which build
Drywoods (Cryptos): Mostly found along the more tropical coast although Cryptotermes