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Household pests can turn your life upside down and create immense problems for you and your loved ones. Although termites aren’t dangerous, they bring a whole set of problems to the table. These social creatures work together to damage residential and commercial structures. They always work in a team to find food, build shelter, and access water. Furthermore, they’ll work as a team when reproducing and starting new colonies. Termites destroy structures because they consume cellulose. Although this material is found in plants, it can also be found in lumber, cardboard, furniture, paper, and cotton fibers. Once they’ve invaded your property, they’ll have access to plenty of food.
Your home contains wood so it offers plenty of cellulose for these pests. As the termite colony grows, the termites will need to build termite mounds to ensure they have more room to move around. Mounds and underground nests grow with the colony. Some of the termites in the colony will burrow into wood surfaces and create nests there. When a residence is infested, the owner will find mud tubes around the property. Termites use these tubes to access wood safely. Although the United States is home to other termites species, Americans primarily have to worry about Subterranean termites.
Research shows that these termites cause 95% of the damage done to American structures each year. It is estimated that termites cause $2 billion in damage to American buildings annually.
Termites Live In Structured Colonies
Termites are sophisticated because they live in structured colonies. Each colony has specific classes with each have responsibilities. More about this will be provided below.
Queens Are Reproductive Termites
A termite colony would not thrive without queen termites. Each colony has one queen. She is the largest member of the colony and can typically grow up to 4 inches in length. The queen is too large to move through the tunnels and cannot move on her own. If she needs to move, she’ll need help from hundreds of worker termites. They’ll push the queen wherever she needs to go. The queen is responsible for reproducing and expanding the colony. She’ll work with the king to produce and lay eggs. If not dealt with, a queen termite can live for more than ten years.
During this time, she is going to lay as many as 30,000 eggs every 24 hours.
Kings Work With Queens
King termites are vital to the colony since they help it grow. The king will work with the queen every day to reproduce and create more worker and soldier termites. The king and queen will continue mating for the rest of their days to build the colony.
Worker Termites Perform Many Tasks
As the name implies, worker termites perform most of the work. These termites are soft-bodied and light-colored. They are approximately 10mm in length and do not have wings. They are roughly the size of a piece of rice. Worker termites are going to work hard every day. They do not take vacations since they work 24 hours a day every day. Plus, they perform a wide assortment of tasks, including caring for other termites, feeding other termites, and searching for food. The colony would never thrive without assistance from worker termites.
Soldier Termites Protect The Colony
Soldier termites protect other termites and the colony. They’re similar to worker termites since they’re white and soft-bodied. Again, they do not have wings. Soldiers are different because they have strong jaws and long heads. They use their attributes to defend themselves from predators. Although they can attack other insects, they primarily fight ants.
Winged swarmers or reproductives are produced each spring. There are female and male swarmers, and they have wings. Swarmers are produced so they can leave the colony and build new colonies elsewhere. Besides kings and queens, they are the only members that can reproduce. One thing to note is that termite colonies can have many swarmers. There is only one king and queen but there can be hundreds of winged reproductives.
Termites Found In Our Area
The world is home to many termites. However, not all of them are common in our area. Instead, you’re likely going to encounter Subterranean termites. These termites are frequent pests in our area so you’re likely going to deal with them. Below, you will learn more about Subterranean termites and the risks associated with them.
It is wise to learn as much as you can about Subterranean termites. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have a better idea of how to identify and deal with the problem. Subterranean termites live in colonies with specific classes, including workers, soldiers, and swarmers. Each member is responsible for certain activities. Furthermore, the termite’s appearance will depend on its class. Workers and soldiers have a lot in common. They’re roughly an eighth of an inch to 3/8ths of an inch in length. They’re white with soft bodies. The primary difference is that soldier termites have long brown heads and powerful jaws. Swarmer termites grow up to half an inch and help spread the colony to new locations.
Subterranean termites have a lot in common with other species of termites. For instance, they prefer living underground so they’ll build underground nests. Some termites can live above ground but they only live in moist locations. When they need to access nearby food sources, they’re going to do so by building and using mud tubes. They use mud tubes to access food sources so they can defend themselves from predators. Subterranean termites feed on cellulose which can be found in lumber. Get rid of them or they’re going to destroy your home. Swarmer termites are produced in spring so they can build new colonies elsewhere.
You cannot afford to ignore a termite infestation. These pests are incredibly destructive, but not dangerous. Once termites have set their sights on your dwelling, you need to work quickly to fix this problem. Otherwise, they’re going to destroy your home by chewing off a small piece of wood one at a time. They won’t make you sick. However, they can cause extreme property damage. There are numerous ways to deal with termites, but it is best to hire a professional exterminator in your area. Doing so will help ensure that you can fix the problem without overspending or putting your loved ones at risk.
Breaking Down The Differences Between Flying Ants & Flying Termites
There is a chance that you’re going to encounter flying ants at some point, but it could be flying termites. How can you be positive that you’re looking at a flying ant? Ultimately, it is wise to learn more about these insects. Doing so will guarantee that you won’t overreact for no reason. Flying ants have elbowed antennas and a pinched waist. As for flying termites, their antennas are straight and their waist is thick from top to bottom. You’ll also find that the wings are different. Flying ants have front wings that are larger than their back wings. Flying termites have two wings of equal size.
What To Know About Termites
Before experiencing a termite infestation, you should learn as much as you can about termites. They’re devastating pests that can destroy your dwelling. Below, you’ll learn more about termites, their behaviors, diets, and more.
- Termites never stop consuming wood. Worker termites eat 24 hours each day and seven days each week. They will never stop destroying your home unless you get rid of them.
- Termite colonies aren’t going to disappear quickly. The colony on your property can stick around for 50, 60, or even 70 years. Unless you get rid of them, they’re not going to leave your property.
- Termite colonies can house many, many termites. In some cases, the colony will have half a million insects or more.
- Although they’re going to create problems for you, they’re helpful for the environment. In nature, termites can help dispose of deadwood. They help recycle deadwood.
- Subterranean termites have to have food and water to survive. When they cannot access water, there is a risk that they’ll dry out and pass away.
- Termites can live above ground although they prefer living underground. When living above ground, they’re going to live in moist mud tubes or tunnels. Either way, the surface has to stay wet.
- Termites can get attacked by other insects. However, they primarily have to worry about ants. It is common for ants to attack colonies. They’ll also attack worker termites when they’re searching for food.
- Termite infestations are not permanent. As long as you use the right techniques, the infestation can be eliminated.
- There are roughly 2,000 termite species in the world. Most of these species thrive in tropical and subtropical locations.
- In the United States, you may encounter 40 species of termites. Most termite species are found in the southeast region of the country.
- Americans have to worry about Subterranean termites. Only Alaska is free of these destructive pests.
- Subterranean termites are extremely problematic in the United States. These termites are responsible for roughly 90% of the damage done to American structures annually.
- These pests are not going to chew through concrete. They can’t, but they can move through its cracks and gaps. Suffice to say, concrete isn’t going to stop them.
- The weight of the world’s termites is heavier than that of all humans on the planet.
- Worker termites are the only termites that can eat and digest cellulose. One of its primary responsibilities is to regurgitate food and feed it to other members of the colony.
- Queen termites can live up to 20 years. Each day, she is going to lay thousands of termite eggs.
Dangers Linked To Termites
It is pertinent to deal with a termite infestation as quickly as possible. These pests are destructive so they’re going to damage your home quickly. They chew off small fragments of wood and slowly damage the dwelling. However, it should be noted that termites are not directly dangerous to humans. They’re not going to bite you or make you sick. They cannot transmit illnesses to humans. There is a risk that they’re going to damage your home and make it unsafe. The columns may become unstable. If this happens, you’ll need to move out of your dwelling. Tackle the problem immediately or you’ll regret it.
Dealing With Termites
Unfortunately, removing termites from your property won’t be easy. Nevertheless, you’ll need to fix the problem one way or another. Termites can travel up to 300 feet to access food. When doing so, they’re going to travel through underground tunnels. These pests are fragile so they have to take extra steps to protect themselves from invaders. Ants often attack and kill termites. Before you can eliminate the termites on your property, you’ll need to find out where their nest is located. A professional will help determine where the nest is located before eliminating it with professional solutions.
Doing It Yourself
You may contemplate using DIY remedies to take care of a termite infestation. Although it might work, there is a good chance that it won’t. Plus, you may expose yourself to dangerous methods. You need to be careful to avoid potential risks and to avoid wasting your money. If you don’t know how to properly use these chemicals, you shouldn’t. Instead, you’ll want to team up with our experienced exterminators. Do that and we’ll take care of the termite pest infestation for you.
When Can You Get Started?
Contact our office right now. Once you’ve done that, you can expect to hear from us within 48 hours or sooner.
The Safest Treatments
Although you’ll want to eliminate the infestation quickly, you don’t want to put your loved ones in a dangerous situation. Therefore, you should use our services. We will go out of our way to protect you. One way we do that is by using products registered with the EPA. We prefer these products because they’re safe and reliable. Our technicians know how to use these products without exposing anyone to dangers.
Preventing Termites From Invading our Home
- Make sure that your gutters, downspouts, and splash blocks are working flawlessly. Water cannot accumulate around your home’s foundation because this would attract termites.
- Don’t let humidity problems linger. Reduce humidity in problem areas such as basements and crawlspaces.
- If you have firewood, store it away from the home. Place it 20 feet or further from the home. It should be a few inches off of the ground too.
- Be careful when using wood mulch. Switch to rubber mulch or place wood mulch 15 inches from the home’s foundation.
- Check your home for termites often. Be sure to look for cracked paint and mud tubes.