Sep102013

"What do termites look like?"

  

Think you may have termites?

Think you may have a termite problem in your home but you’re unsure because you’ve never seen a termite?  So…What does a termite look like?

termite_swarm_640Winged Termites – usually swarm when the weather changes and all of a sudden you have an exceptionally warm sunny day in an otherwise dreary week. Termites are relatively poor fliers and are readily blown downwind in wind speeds of less than 2 km/h, shedding their wings soon after landing at an acceptable site, where they mate and attempt to form a nest in damp timber or earth.

 

Termite_596Soldier Termite – protects the colony from predators such as ants. The wide range of jaw types and pragmatic heads provides methods that effectively block narrow termite tunnels against ant entry. A tunnel-blocking soldier can rebuff attacks from many ants. Usually more soldiers stand by behind the initial soldier so once the first one falls another soldier will take the place.

 

termites_250Worker Termite – undertake the labors of foraging, food storage, brood and nest maintenance, and some defense duties in certain species. Workers are the main caste in the colony for the digestion of cellulose in food and are the most likely to be found in infested wood.

 

 

Termite_Queen_768Queen Termite – A female that has flown, mated, and is producing eggs is called a “queen.” At maturity, a primary queen has a great capacity to lay eggs, often reported to reach a production of more than 2,000 eggs a day. The distended abdomen increases the queen’s body length to several times more than before mating and reduces her ability to move freely, though attendant workers provide assistance. The queen is widely believed to be a primary source of pheromones useful in colony integration, and these are thought to be spread through shared feeding (trophallaxis).

Tips for termite control:

  • Do not store or stack firewood directly against your foundation wall

  • Mulch should remain 1 ft from foundation wall

  • Shrubs or young trees showing signs of termites should be removed immediately

Termites are small insects that can cause major damage over a long period of time if left undetected. Homes in the United States should b inspected annually by a qualified, certified inspector. Many pest management companies offer free, no obligation inspections.  If you are not under a termite warranty and your home is over a year old you should consider contacting a pest management professional.