Termite FAQs


  • What do Termites Look Like?

    Subterranean termites (those most commonly seen in homes) are a similar size to a black ant except they are pale in colour. That’s why they are often called “white ants”. If you look closely, termites have two sections to their body while ants have three. Soldier termites have a slightly darkened, or brown, head. You will also see termites with wings, called alates. Sometimes confused for moths, the alates fly out from the colony in search of a new environment in which to reproduce and develop a new colony. Subterranean termites are only one of the termite families found in South Africa. See our guide to termite species for more facts and information about other species.


  • Are white ants and termites the same?

    Yes, termites are sometimes known as white ants, although the term “termites” is more accurate. Our white ant treatment services are therefore exactly the same as our termite treatments. Take a look at our termite species guide for more information about termites.


  • Do termites eat treated pine?

    No, they do not, but they can use treated logs and footings as a bridge into your house.


  • Are termites covered under home insurance?

    No. Most home insurance policies do not cover damage done by termites. As many homes are affected by termites in their lifetime, it pays for you to be vigilant. Our professional termite treatments for your home or business can control an existing problem and prevent future infestations.


  • How can I prevent termites?

    There are simple and very practical steps you can take to greatly reduce the risk of an infestation. Changes can be put in place easily, with possibly no cost to you. See our prevention tips.


  • How do I get rid of termites?

    If you discover termites in your home, you should not attempt to get rid of them yourself. If termites are disturbed, they will simply re-route their activity to another area of the house. Give our termite specialists a call immediately on 0861 117 851 or take a look at our termite treatments.


  • Is ‘Do It Yourself’ termite control an option?

    DIY termite control or DIY termite treatment is a bad idea, as identifying the termites is a very important step towards successfully treating termites. DIY termite traps are not effective, as disrupting termites could mean that they re-route to attack another area of your home. Our Rentokil specialists have the experience and expertise to advise whether the termites are a threat or not and recommend the optimum treatment for your individual situation.


  • How should I choose a termite and pest control company?

    Look for a well-established company which has the ability to support you and your home for years to come, continuously researches the latest technology, and has experienced and regularly-trained termite control technicians who know your local area.


  • Are your treatments safe for my family?

    All of our termite bait is non-toxic and not harmful to children, pets or adults. For more information about our termite treatments, please see the treatments section.


  • When is the best time to have a Termite Treatment?

    A treatment for termites can be proactive or reactive. Treatments are generally indicated whenever you notice termite activity; however our termite treatment is a two-pronged approach to termite control.


  • How quickly can termites infest a house?

    Termites are always looking for new sources of food, so if they discover a large amount of wood in or around your house which isn’t properly treated, they could move in the same day. Termites can even infest a house structure before it’s completed so if you’re moving into a new home, check out our pre-purchase inspections.


  • How do termites enter my home?

    Termites can squeeze through very small cracks and holes. They do however need a very controlled environment: the nest and all pathways to it are usually at a much higher temperature than the surrounding air. This means that termites will either enter your home using timber in contact with the ground or via “mud tunnels” from the ground through cracks in concrete or pipe penetrations through the slab or foundation walls. See Rentokil’s Termite Prevention pages to see the barrier which can be deployed to help to prevent termite entry.


  • How do you know if you have termites?

    Termites aren’t easy to spot. There are sometimes tell-tale signs like mud tunnels, but termites can be very clever at hiding their tracks. If you suspect that you have termites, you should invest in a termite inspection as soon as possible by one of our Termite Control Technicians.