Signs Of Termites
Termites are a big part of the ecosystem and their job is to turn dead wood into dirt. Unfortunately, they have a tendency to turn the dead wood our homes are built of into dirt. Following are 5 termite indicators that all homeowners should be on the lookout for:
1. Damaged Wood
Termites eat wood from the inside out and leave a distinct pattern on the wood upon feeding. The wood becomes hallow and weak and if they’re chomping on your home, they could leave you with costly structural damage.
2. Termite Tubes
Subterranean Termites create mud tubes across surfaces to protect themselves from predators and the environment. Termites aren’t only known for building tubes, but mounds as well. Termite mounds can be found in tropical and subtropical environments.
Every year, swarmers emerge from termite colonies in search of starting a new colony. Swarmers are winged adult termites, considered to be the future kings and queens of a new colony. Swarmers are commonly mistaken for flying ants, though the main differences are the antennae, body type, and wing length.
4. Presence of Discarded Wings
One of the most obvious indicators of termites is the shedding of swarmer wings. Once they are one swarming, they will shed their wings just before finding a new nesting site. If you see piles of discarded wings around your home, then there’s a good chance you have active termites.
Termite feces, also know as Frass, are left behind after wood consumption. These droppings are typically wood colored and can be found around infested wood.
Don't risk your family's safety and home to termite infestations, contact us for a comprehensive professional termite inspection today!
Termite control is a two-part process: preventing termites from accessing your home and treating known termite colonies.
Methods to help prevent termites from damaging your home include:
- Receiving regular, typically annual, termite inspections from a qualified expert.
- Working with your pest control professional to address conditions around your home, such as excess moisture and wood-to-ground contact, which can be conducive to termite activity.
- Determining what preventative termite treatments, direct wood treatment, bait and monitoring systems, etc. will be most effective based on your home's construction and signs of activity around your home and neighborhood.
If you notice some of termite indicators, don't hesitate to contact us online.
Chemical-Free Termite Control:
Consistent monitoring will be necessary if you are in an area with known termite issues.
- Boric Acid can be applied directly to the tubes or around building foundations as a preventative treatment. Diatomaceous Earth can be used in a similar fashion as it will create small cuts that eventually dehydrate pest insects.
- Soak active termite nests thoroughly with Orange Guard, an OMRI-certified citrus peel extract-based organic insecticide.
- Apply S. riobrave beneficial nematodes to the soil along the foundation of the infested structure and surrounding areas. Thorough treatment of the full area of the suspected infestation should be made. Apply using a Hose End Sprayer or watering can. Use as much water as necessary to carry them down into the soil.
- Remove or relocate wood piles in direct contact with structures. If there are water sources near the foundation, ensure they are working properly and are not leaking. The surplus moisture serves as an additional attractant for termites.
LIFE CYCLE & REPRODUCTION
Workers and soldiers live approximately one to two years. Queen termites may survive for over a decade under optimal climate conditions.
Workers are responsible for gathering and feeding the colony members, maintaining the nest, and caring for young. Soldiers protect the termite colony using their large mandibles to fend off predators. Reproductives are the only sexually mature members of the colony, aside from queens and kings.
The life cycle of the termite begins with a mating flight, wherein swarming winged reproductive males and females leave established colonies and procreate. After fertilization, winged termites land and shed their wings, going on to form new colonies. These insects then become the king or queen termites of their newly established colonies. The queen and king termites are at the center of the termite life cycle and are responsible for reproduction.
After the fertilized queen lays her eggs, they hatch into pale white larvae.
Eggs hatch into larvae and molt (shed their exoskeletons) to develop into workers, soldiers, primary reproductives and secondary reproductives. A nymph is a young termite that is going through molts to become a reproductive.
The termite growth process begins with a process called molting. First, a termite develops a soft exoskeleton under its current, hard exoskeleton. Then, once the termite has reached maturity, its outermost skeleton splits open, and the new exoskeleton enlarges and hardens. This molting process continues throughout a termite’s life cycle based on the colony’s needs.
Over the course of several molts, these larvae grow to assume a role in one of the three termite colony castes: workers, soldiers and reproductive termites, also known as alates.