Some information about Termites
Now... isn't this little guy cute?
We co-habitate with the
little varmints... we, the humans, live on top of the earth,
Subterranean Termites live below... It is estimated that 3 out of 10
homes are or have been infested with subterranean termites.
It is said... "There are two types of homes in Arizona... Those that are infested with Subterranean Termites and those that will become infested with Subterranean Termites".
This termite is known to have major swarms occurring in April, but small flights can occur at any time of the year. Swarming is the primary way the termite naturally spreads after it has been transported to a new area. Three elements are needed for swarming to be effective: 1) Proper food resources (cellulose and wood), 2) moisture, and 3) a physical niche.
As the colony grows, specialized castes are produced for the different tasks required. The first caste produced is the workers. The second caste produced are the soldiers. The third caste to appear are the reproductives. Two types, primary and supplementary, are produced in a Formosan subterranean termite colony. The two types have different functions. Primary reproductives swarm and start new colonies. They are called alates or swarmers. Although thousands of primary reproductives are produced each year, they all leave the nest. Primaries cannot become reproductive if they remain in their colony of origin. In a Formosan colony, the only primaries that reproduce are the original king and queen that started the colony. Supplementary reproductives, on the other hand, can become reproductive only in the colonies in which they were born. They take over reproduction when the primary king or queen dies or becomes separated from the main colony.
Subterranean termites are
ground-dwelling social insects living in colonies. These termites have the
ability to adjust the depth of their colony (nest) in soil depending on
temperature and moisture requirements. The colony
may be 18-20 feet deep in the ground. The ground serves as
a protection against extreme temperatures and provides a moisture
reservoir. Termites reach wood or cellulose
materials above ground by constructing and traveling through earthen (mud)
tubes. The mature colony consists of three castes: a) reproductives
(king and queen), b) soldiers, and c) workers. It
takes about 4 to 5 years for a colony to reach its maximum size and it may
consist of 60,000 to 200,000 workers.
Termite colonies consist of specialized forms, such as the reproductive queen (top) and king (right), worker (left), and soldier (center). Although they are superficially similar to ants, termites have a closer relationship to the cockroach than to any other living insect.
Subterranean and drywood termites require completely different management methods; therefore, the termites must be correctly identified. Soldiers, winged specimens or wings can be identified at your county extension office. Workers and immatures are virtually impossible to identify. If you decide that the services of an experienced pest control operator are needed, contact at least two or three reputable firms in your area for inspections and estimates for treatment.
Termite Inspections are ESSENTIAL if you wish to protect your investment. Who is going to look out for your interests and perhaps the most important investment of your life.
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