Termites are notorious with the destruction they cause. They cost homeowners and businesses billions of dollars a year in damages. As they chew through and consume the wood throughout your home, the integrity of the wood is weakened with hollowed galleries, or tunnels, they correct. Where there are many different types of termites, throughout Kentucky, the most common termite is subterranean termites. Today, we at All-Rite Pest Control would like to briefly elaborate on subterranean termites.
Subterranean Termite Wood Damage
The softer areas of wood are the favored spots, and these termites will often leave the hard wood in lieu of the softer wood; but keep in mind they will devour and tunnel through the harder wood if necessary. Brought in by the subterranean termites is damp soil that they compacted in the infested timber that is left behind resembling a thin shell with honeycomb like layers of hollow sections. Being that they require moist environments and live in dark, damp soil, only makes sense they require the soil in wood galleries. Subterranean termites often make their way inside through the soil next to the home or business’s foundations.
Termite Castes & Colony Structure
Subterranean termites are social insects living in a colony inside their nest. There are three castes which are subject to a queen, who mates with her king to produce the 2,000 fertile eggs she lays a day. Once the eggs hatch, they become nymph termites and once they reach adulthood, they become workers, soldiers, or swarmers (future kings and queens). The young king and queens drop their wings when they find a new nest to start their own colonies, as the swarmers are the only termites that have wings, which they then shed after they have established a new location to start a separate colony. The swarmers are generally active through the spring and early summer. Keeping the colony operating, the worker termites are the soft bodied, and creamy-translucent colored termites. The excavate the tunnels, harvest and forage food, they make repairs on damaged tunnels, groom each other, ensure the royals and soldiers are fed and care for the nymphs until maturity. Generally fighting their 250-million-year-old feuds with ants, soldier termites are the defenders of the colony. Soldiers are orange in color and have developed a hard-shell helmet around their heads and are armed with mandible pincers they use in combat. These fighters first secrete a sticky latex resin to ensnare their victims and then use their pincers to crush them. People may catch a glimpse of the soldier termites in rare instances when a breech was made and they we will stay on guard while the workers make the repairs.
Termite Inspections & Treatment
A sign your Kentucky home has subterranean termites is the mud tubes they construct to reach higher levels; where they are closely connected to or nearby damaged wood. Should the infestation grow and the colony multiple, the results could be costly. If you believe you have termites or hear a neighbor has had an infestation, call All-Rite Pest Control and let our skilled professionals inspect your home or business.