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Termites are easily known as one of the most destructive insects out there. Everyone knows the damage a termite can do. Despite this, these pests are responsible for billions on top of billions of dollars worth of damage each year. This is likely because people just don’t know enough about these pests. Sure, you might know they are destructive and burrow into wood, but do you know how to detect an infestation early? Do you know where the pests like to build their nests? Do you even know what they look like? These and more are the things that you’ll need to know to attack and successfully remove a termite infestation.
- To start, termites are extremely social creatures, meaning where you see one, you will see many. This is because they work together towards a common goal. They all serve the queen and the main purpose of each termite is to make that queen happy and safe. While this is the case, there will be times when specific members of the colony venture off to start separate colonies. You’ll learn more about this later.
- Termites eat wood, but it is the cellulose in the wood that they are attracted to. They only eat wood because of the cellulose in it. Cellulose can also be found in a wide range of products like cotton fibers, paper, cardboard, and furniture.
- People oftentimes see termite mounds and mistaken them for colonies. A mound is a product of the original colony growing too large. Termites usually tend to build their primary colonies underground at least 300 feet away from the property. Some species will build nests in wooden structures. When this is the case, you’ll usually see mud tubes. These tubes are built to provide the termites with access to the wood material.
- There are a variety of termites, but it is the Subterranean termite that you only have to worry about. They are solely responsible for 95% of the estimated $2 billion damage the US faces each year.
Interrupting And Understanding The Termite Colony Structure
Termites are social creatures and work extremely well together. They all work in conjunction towards the common goals of bettering and growing the colony. While termites work together, there will be specific members that serve specific tasks. Understanding each member and his or her job within the colony can help with detection and elimination.
The Queen Termite (Primary Reproductive)
- The queen is the primary reproductive member of the colony and without a doubt the largest of the colony.
- She can measure to be as large as 4 inches long.
- If the queen needs to be moved it will usually take hundreds of members working together at the same time to move her.
- The queen lays eggs until there are enough workers and nymphs to produce and care for the colony.
- A queen can live for more than 10 years, producing 30,000 eggs in a single day throughout that lifetime.
The King Termite (Primary Reproductive)
- The king is the second-largest member of the colony and also a member of the primary reproductive class.
- His specific task is to assist the queen in creating and forming the colony during its initial formation
- The king will be responsible for continued mating to increase the size of the colony.
The Worker Termite
- With soft bodies and light colors, the worker termite doesn’t grow wings and measures about 10 millimeters. In theory, this is about the same size as a grain of rice.
- These guys are called workers for a reason. They work 24/7 rarely leaving the tunnel.
- The workers are responsible for caring for the eggs, constructing and maintaining tunnels, foraging for food, feeding, and grooming other members of the colony.
The Soldier Termite
- These guys might be white, wingless, and soft-bodied, but they are anything from soft. This is why they are chosen for the responsibility of defending the colony.
- They have long heads with two large powerful jaws that can be used as a primary weapon against oncoming invaders.
- They are solely responsible for defending the colony against ants.
The Winged Reproductive
- Winged reproductive members can be both male and female, and believe it or not, both can produce offspring for the colony.
- These members are the ones that are responsible for venturing off and starting new colonies when the primary ones reach maximum size.
- Each colony has only 1 king and 1 queen, but a single colony will contain hundreds of secondary reproductive members.
- They help with laying eggs and growing the colony.
Exploring The Most Common Type Of Termite
As you learned earlier, there are thousands of different termite species. However, it is only the Subterranean species that you have to worry about in your area. And, unfortunately, this is not good because they are the most destructive species. The characteristics of these species will depend on their specific role within the colony. The workers usually grow to be anywhere from 1/8 to 3/8 inches long. The soldier termites are similar in body length, but can easily be distinguished because of their powerful mandibles and large brown heads. The reproductive members of this species grow to be about ½ inch long.
The Subterranean termite prefers to live in underground colonies, but they are not opposed to living above ground. If they do have to live above ground, however, they will choose moist, secluded areas to do so. They usually build mud tubes to gain access to food sources and provide protection.
Know The Differences Between The Flying Ant And The Flying Termite
There aren’t many insects that people confuse for the termite. However, there is one, and that would be the flying ant. Learning to distinguish between the flying ant and flying termite will be crucial, as the termite can do immense amounts of structural damage. Here’s what you need to know about the two and how they differ:
- Both have two sets of wings, but it is the flying ant’s wings that will not easily be broken. The termite’s wings can easily be snapped or pinched off.
- The flying ant’s front set of wings are longer than the back, whereas they will be of equal size on the flying termite.
- The flying ant has a narrow and pinched waist, while the flying termites are thicker and much less defined.
- Both insects have antennae, but it is the flying ants that are elbowed. The flying termite is straight.
Other Things That Need To Be Known About Termites
- Termite colonies will eat non-stop, 24 hours a day.
- A termite colony can survive for as long as 50 to 70 years.
- A typical colony usually consists of 500,000 insects before they move onto secondary colonies.
- Subterranean termites must have access to water.
- The main predator for the termite is the ant.
- It is possible to eliminate termites from a piece of property. (Although hard, it is possible).
- While there are 2,000 species of termites, most of them prefer tropical and subtropical climates.
- There are around 40 species of termites within the United States.
- There are no Subterranean termites in Alaska.
- Only the worker termite can digest cellulose. This is why they have to digest it and regurgitate it for the other members, similar to that of a mother bird feeding her chicks.
- A queen can live for 20 years and lay thousands of eggs a day.
Are Termites Dangerous?
Termites do not pose you a direct physical threat, as they do not bite or sting. They don’t even transmit diseases, but that doesn’t mean they can’t cause you harm. They can damage a structure to the point where it is ready to collapse, and then when you walk in, it collapses on you.
How To Get Rid Of Termites
Eliminating termites is a much harder task than one would imagine. Part of this is because they build their colonies away from the home, usually 300 feet or more. They also usually use underground tunnels leading in and out of the structure, adding to the difficulty of the elimination. One must not only locate every pathway and exit, but one must block them off while also killing the entire colony. If the while colony is not successfully eliminated, the infestation can easily return. This is why it is best to let the pros handle the termite infestations.
Can I Eliminate Termites Myself?
Given the immense structural damage that termites can do, it would not be recommended for anyone to tackle a removal. While these buys are not directly dangerous and the bugs are fragile, elimination is a complex process. Combine this with the fact that most of the over-the-counter products aren’t as effective, and it just makes everything all that more difficult. Not to mention that they are dangerous, especially in the wrong hands. Simply put, termite infestation and elimination are best left to the pros.
When Can You Get Here?
Our pest management professionals have been dealing with termites for years and years. Over the years, we have developed unique techniques and combine them with today’s cutting-edge technology to offer the most diverse and comprehensive termite pest management possible. Whether you have questions, concerns, or just want to talk about termites, you can give us a call. Set up an appointment and we’ll get someone out to the property with the next 24 to 48 hours. If you do find yourself in need of emergency services, we can get someone out to the property immediately.
What Keeps Houston Residents Coming Back For Our Local Termite Services
The luckiest Houston residents will never have to deal with termites and the potential damage that they stand to do to their homes and businesses. However, this won’t be the case for the biggest portion of the community. Most of the community will end up dealing with termites and the potential damage that they stand to make. This is because there has been a recent resurgence of the troublesome insect in the area. For some reason, termites have flocked to Houston and they don’t show any signs of leaving any time soon. Not to fear because we are here to help with our local extermination services.
Hitting The Problem Head-On
We don’t just want to be your exterminator, but we strive to be the best extermination and pest management company in the area. This is why we are willing to head the problem head-on for every one of our customers. You’ve likely heard the say – the best defense is usually a good offense. This is immensely true when it comes to termites, and that’s why we offer preventive measures. If you fear that you might be at risk of termites or just aren’t sure, now is the time to start.
Give us a call and we’ll send out an inspector to make sure that you aren’t infected. If your home or office isn’t currently infected, we can help implement tools and techniques that will keep you termite-free for even potentially longer.
Ever-Safe And Effective
There is simply no denying that there are some good pest control companies in Houston. Some of them might even be capable of handling your problem with professionalism, might being the keyword here! We are fully capable of handling your problem or problems. There will be no questions about it. Our techs are highly skilled and have worked with termites for many years now. Over those years, they encountered just about everything you could imagine when it comes to termites. Not only this but over these years, we’ve truly learned what works and doesn’t work.
There is no trial and error with our company, no second-guessing. We offer the most effective and safest services possible to the local community. Our teams care about providing a safe and effective service and that’s what they strive to offer every time.
Other Reasons We Are Preferred
If you just look at the reasons above, this puts us miles ahead of the competition. However, there are tons of more reasons that you should take advantage of our services. Some of those reasons are:
- We listen to what our customers say so we can improve our services
- We make our customer’s satisfaction a top priority
- It is our number one goal to keep our customers and employees safe
- We not only remove termites, but we offer preventive measures
- We offer the most affordable rates possible
We Are Standing By
We have agents standing by right now. All you have to do is give us a call. Termites can turn your life upside and they oftentimes do when they infest your home and business. Combine this with all the potential damage that they stand to make and it makes the whole situation all that direr. Don’t let them ruin your life with our quality termite removal and preventive services.