Statistically speaking, termites are the third thing people fear the most after rising damp and cracking. To understand what the fuss is all about I did some research about them and found pretty interesting things.
In Australia one in every three houses has them. They like moisture; live and move under ground so that makes them hard to be spotted. When they attack a house, all of the wood gets eaten away with only a thin shell left. In this case nobody notices anything until someone’s leg goes through the paper-thin floor.
There are many “tools” specialists use to discover termites: special device that runs on skirting boards and finds the hollow ones by the difference in the sound, a moisture meter (termites make the moister level go up), termite radar, specially trained dogs, etc.
There is a cure for termite problem (less expensive part), but the structural damage to the house can be significant (more expensive part). The report you get after termite inspection should specify the damage (number and location of damaged timbers), whether or not the termites are still active and information you can use to quote on the most appropriate treatment.
And last but not least, termite attacks can be prevented – there are common-sense precautions like storing firewood away from the house and in a dry place, reducing moisture under suspended floors by improving ventilation, fixing leaking pipes, etc. Those precautions taken in addition to chemical barrier should be enough to keep your house termite-free.