Termites

termites-and-swarmer

Termites are social insects which reside in large colonies. There are three casts: the reproductive, the workers, and the soldiers. The winged reproductive termites each have a pair of equally-sized long wings that are attached to the last two thoracic segments. The winged reproductive termites are dark brown to almost black and about 3/8 inch long.  The soldiers are wingless with white bodies and rectangular yellow-brown heads which are two times longer than their width.

Order/Family

Isoptera/Rhinotermitidae

Scientific Name

Reticulitermes flavipes Kollar

Biology

Subterranean termite colonies are usually located in the soil, from which the workers build mud tubes to structural wood where they then feed. Subterranean termite colonies are always connected to the soil and/or close to a moisture source.

A mature queen produces 5,000 to 10,000 eggs per year. A termite queen may live for up to 30 years, and workers as long as five years.

Behaviour

Subterranean termite colonies are established by winged reproductive termites, which usually appear in the spring. Both the male and female reproductive termites feed on wood, tend to the eggs, and build the initial nest. The presence of swarmers is a good sign and insinuation that a well-established colony is in the structure and/or its immediate vicinity.

Control

For effective termite control, it is important to begin with a thorough inspection to determine the extent of the infestation, the points of entry into the structure, moisture problems and other contributing factors. The next step is to be presented with the development of a plan for control.  Since termite control is extremely difficult, it is necessary to contact a pest control company to eliminate this problem.

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