Sometimes, all is not what it seems when it comes to seeing evidence of termite activity. 

Termites leading you on?

Leads are one of the key indicators of termite activity. A good physical termite barrier is designed to prevent concealed termite attack and any termite activity should be easy to spot. Michael McDonald from Permakil in Central Queensland sent in this great shot of a concrete slab doing its job.

A good concrete slab doing its job

However, all is not always as it seems. When is a termite lead not a termite lead? When coastal brown ants (big-headed ants) try to trick you! (Jay Turner, Laguna Pest Control). Coastal brown ants can build their own protective tubes, but many ant species will also use existing termite tunnels and mud leads – always be careful when picking open a mud lead to see what’s going on.

Coastal brown ants have formed a ‘termite lead’

Baits are designed to be attractive to termites, but a backpack sprayer? Gavin Stoter from Pest Off Solutions in Cairns spotted these Scheorhinotermes leads. “I came across this recently in a lawn locker, I have no idea what drew the termites to this backpack sprayer, but as you can see they are tracking up the strap and then going up under the lid. I’ve never seen anything like it in my time as a pest technician.”

Schedorhinotermes getting moisture from a backpack sprayer?

Termites in hot water

Termites are always on the look out for water and bit of warmth (on those cold winter nights). Jay Turner also found an Nasutitermes nest around a water heater in a roof void. Close, but not as close as the termite activity found inside a hot water heater control panel, by Justin Herbert from Pestige Solutions in Sydney.

Termites inside a water heater control panel