All You Need to Know to Keep Termites Out of Your Property

Ways to spot, eliminate, and prevent termite infestation

Updated on June 29, 2017 10:06 am

Samantha Echavez


"Except for a fire alarm or a natural catastrophe, nothing strikes more fear into the heart of a homeowner than the sudden discovery of a termite infestation," says Michael Haverty, author of You Can Protect Your Home from Termites.

What are termites anyway? Even though they're mistaken for as ants (they're even called white ants!), termites are related to cockroaches, and are the most destructive and most financially damaging insect pests in the world. They're likely to attack our houses, causing physical damage to electrical wiring, ceilings, windows, door frames, and wall panels. They're powerful enough to cause roofs of houses to collapse.

Damaged door frame caused by termites

Learn more about termite infestation, the signs it's happening within your landed property, and ways to keep them off your home:

Of the 200 species of termites in the world, subterranean termites (Coptotermes species) are the most common in Singapore. They live in colonies below the soil, have broad, white bodies with brown heads, and feed on wood and other cellulose matters. A subterranean termite queen can lay thousands of eggs a day.

Signs your landed home has termites:

1. Mud shelter tubes. Built by subterranean termites, they're made of mud and termites' fecal matter and saliva. Inside these protuberances are termites hunting for food.


2. Alates. They're winged male or female adult termites coming out from wooden furniture and hollow wood. Your home has termites if you see them around.

Dr. Chan, the in-house Medical Entomologist of Rentokil who trained and majored in biology, management of vectors and parasites, shares another sign that there are termites in your landed home. "[When you] detect a hollow sound in wood and a 'crickling' sound coming out when wood is knocked onto, which is a response of soldier termites."

How to prevent termite infestation

Haven't spotted the warning signs? Good. Your house is safe from termites. However, you still need to be vigilant to keep them from ever invading your landed home. What to do:

  1. Fix any leaking pipes and taps and keep structures dry. Termites depend on moisture to survive.
  2. Seal cracks around utility and water pipes to keep them from crawling through to search for food.
  3. Termites’ sources of food include unused timber, stumps or debris from your premises. Remove all of them.

Source: Rentokil

How to eliminate termites

If you're positive that termites have conquered your home, the first thing you need to do is call a professional. "Termites are a lot more challenging to manage and you should refrain from handling termite problem on your own. If mishandled, the termites could disperse and set up new colonies in other parts of your premises," says Dr. Chan.

Contact Rentokil Singapore today for a free survey. Founded in 1964 in Singapore and 1927 in the UK, Rentokil is Singapore’s leading pest management specialist. You may also send them pest questions here.

Rentokil Singapore
+65 6347 8138

What other pest issues do you have at home? Email us at so we could help you.

Photos courtesy of Rentokil Singapore


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