Termites

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WORKERS

  • Make up the largest number of individuals within a colony.
  • They are wingless
  • White to creamy white in color
  • 1/4 to 3/8 inch in length
  • They feed the other castes, groom the queen, excavate the nest and make tunnels

SOLDIERS

  • Body white to creamy white in color.
  • Have dark, large, well-developed head
  • Strong mandibles
  • They defend the colony against invaders.

SWARMERS/ALATES

  • Color varies from black to pale yellow-brown
  • Wings may be pale or smokey gray to brown
  • Wings have few distinct veins
  • They are 1/4 to 3/8 inch in length
  • Wings are equal in length

BIOLOGY

Termites are social insects that live in colonies that may consist of more than one million termites. A colony consists of different forms of termites. This includes reproductive, soldiers, and workers. Each of these makes up different castes in the colony and has different responsibilities within their social system. Most termites are spotted by their mud tubes.  Termites are dependent on moisture and at risk of drying out. This is why they must have constant contact with the soil. Soil has the ability to hold water for a long period of time and provide the necessary moisture for the colony to survive.  The mud tubes provide the termites with this soil connection. If a tube becomes damaged, the worker termites will immediately start to repair it.  However, on some occasion’s subterranean termite colonies do become established above ground.

TERMITE PREVENTION

Reduce moisture underneath house with proper ventilation

  • Never bury wood scraps or lumber around the yard.
  • Keep all wood materials away from house.  Including fire wood and mulch products
  • Keep soil level low around foundation of the house. This includes vegetation and mulch. There should be at least 4 inches of slab showing.
  • Avoid all wood to soil contact.
  • Avoid buying non labeled mulch products and railroad ties.  Termites are often spread this way.

DAMAGE

  • Termites are the most destructive wood destroying insect in the Nation, causing over 2 billion dollars worth of damage every year.
  • Termites can enter buildings through wood in direct contact with the soil, by mud tubes over or through foundations. They can also enter directly through cracks or joints in and under foundations.
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