Due to the destruction they cause and the challenge it is to effectively eliminate them, termites are notorious around the world. In damages, they cost homeowners and businesses billions of dollars a year. With hollowed galleries, or tunnels, they create, the integrity of the wood is weakened as they chew and consume the wood throughout your home. Throughout Kentucky the most common termite is subterranean termites, though there are many types of termites. With this in mind, we at All-Rite Pest Control would like to take the opportunity to share the fundamentals of subterranean termites.
How Do Termites Spread from House to House?
Swarmer termites, also known as reproductives leave their nest in the springtime in large groups. The female termites release mating pheromones and once they have attracted a male termite, they both break off their wings and select a new nest location to become king and queen of a new colony. These termites prefer soft wood over hard. However, if necessary, they devour and tunnel through hard wood as well. The infested timber that is left behind after their foraging resembles a thin shell with honeycomb like layers of hollow sections that subterranean termites will line with compacted damp soil. They do this since they require moist environments and live in dark, damp soil. Through the soil, subterranean termites often make their way inside to the home or business’s foundations.
Subterranean Termite Colony Caste; Soldiers, Workers & Swarmers
Living inside their nest, subterranean termites are social insects. There are 3 castes, soldiers, workers, and swarmers, or the reproducers. The queen, who mates with her king to produce the 2,000 fertile eggs she lays a day, grows the colony. After they hatch, the nymph termites are taken care of by the workers and will evolve into adulthood, becoming workers, soldiers, or swarmers. When they find a new nest to start their own colonies, the young king and queens, the only winged termites, discard their wings to start their own colonies. During the late spring and midsummer is when the swarmers are generally the most active. The worker termites are creamy-translucent colored termites that are soft-bodied, and they maintain an efficiently operating colony. They ensure the royals and soldiers are fed, care for the nymphs until maturity, as well as excavate the tunnels, harvest and forage food. Workers wills also make repairs on damaged tunnels, and even groom each other. Soldier termites are the defenders of the colony and are usually fighting the 250-million-year-old feuds with ants. They are armed with mandible pinchers they use in combat and soldiers develop a hard-shell helmet around their heads and are more of an orange color. To ensnare their victims, these fighters first secrete a sticky latex resin and then use their pinchers to crush their enemies. In rare instances when a breech was made and they we will stay on guard while the workers make the repairs, people may catch a glimpse of the soldier termites.
Termite Inspections & Treatment
Being closely connected to nearby damaged wood subterranean termites is the mud tubes they construct to reach higher levels, which is a primary red flag you have a termite problem in your Kentucky home or business. The results could be costly should the infestation grow as they termites continue to multiply. Call All-Rite Pest Control as soon as possible and let our skilled professionals inspect your home or business in the event you believe you have termites or hear a neighbor has had an infestation.