A poll by Australia’s PRDnationwide revealed at the start of this month that one of the most important things for Australians on the lookout for real estate is termite prevention. The poll reported that 43% of respondents to the poll selected termite damage or infestation as their number-one deterrent when it came to purchasing real estate.

The results of the poll are perhaps no surprise, especially when you consider how necessary termite prevention is in Australia. The species of termites—or “white ants”, as they are often called in the Land Down Under—the Australian continent harbours are some of the most destructive in the world, famed for both their resilience and the destruction they perpetrate.

One example of Australia’s termites is the Mastotermes darwiniensis, which has devastated Queensland several times already. Often found north of the Tropic of Capricorn, this termite is not exactly one of the species devoted to founding super-colonies, although it can reach peaks of about 100,000 individuals per nest—still something that pales before the numbers of other termite species, though, which go far above this. The danger this termite holds lies in the voracity of its appetite.

Mastotermes darwiniensis is known for destroying buildings and other human structures, including bridges and even electric and telephone poles, causing them to topple over. Beyond that, the termite has been known to attack farms, destroying not only crops and fruit but also shrubs and living trees. Some reports have alleged that this monster of an eater also takes on the rubber from tires every now and then, ruining tractor tires and causing damage to all sorts of tools and implements. The termite also attacks leather, plastic, glass, and even some metals.

The Mastotermes darwiniensis or Giant Northern Termite is clearly a termite to be feared, and the agricultural organisations of any nation would be in uproar were the termite to suddenly be detected in their locale by some chance of migration or transport. But this termite is only one of the many that haunt Australians. Australia is rich with termite species—a kind of wealth not too appreciated by the locals, of course. In the Land Down Under, reminders to get termite control and termite prevention are all too regular.

So the results of the PRDnationwide poll are only to be expected, just as the conclusion that the research company’s marketing director, Tony Brasier, drew is one that most Australians already know: termite prevention is a very serious issue that all house-hunters should look into before they invest their money in some promising real estate—otherwise, far more money could be spent later on in fixing the damage that the little critters leave in their destructive wake.