Why harvester termites on the rise in the W Cape (and what do do about them)

The South African Pest Control Association has confirmed the rise of harvester termites in the Western Cape.

The association chairperson Johan Fourie says the problem started in 2015.

Due to the drought that hit the province in recent years, the termites are moving closer to houses.

About 95% of all the damage done to vegetation and wood structures is caused by the harvester termite.

Read: How plant retailers reinvented themselves to survive the W Cape drought

They need to be in constant contact with moist soil and when you have a leaking gutter, a downpipe or an aircon pipe dripping it will certainly attract them.

Johan Fourie, Chairperson - South African Pest Control Association

They are grass eaters so they have no business moving closer to homes but they are moving closer to houses in search for moist.

Johan Fourie, Chairperson - South African Pest Control Association

Fourie advises that homeowners should be on the lookout for these insects when doing a beetle or termite inspection because they cause structural damage to homes.

Although they are not wood eaters, they do destroy it if they find it to be an obstacle.

Johan Fourie, Chairperson - South African Pest Control Association

Tips on preventing Harvester termites from entering your house:

  • Fix leaking pipes
  • Remove vegetation and wood that is close to your wall
  • Limit the use of moles in the garden

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Why harvester termites on the rise in the W Cape (and what do do about them)


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