Termite Control Services From Mathis Exterminating
Termites Can Cause a Massive Amount of Damage Before You Know It
Although you may not be able to see them or hear them, termites could be unwelcome invaders in your home. Frequently referred to as a “hidden threat,” a termite colony could exist in your yard or in your basement without leaving any visible signs of damage. But that does not mean they are not there, treating your home like their own personal buffet. If you do have termites, you may find that the problem is more serious that having unwelcome guests, as homeowner’s insurance does not cover damage that is inflicted by termites. It has been estimated that termites cause homeowners a staggering $5 billion in property damage annually.
Essentially, termites create damage with their voracious appetites, compounded by the fact that termite colonies operate like miniature cities, intent on getting bigger and expanding wherever they can. Termites do not get full; they continue eating 24 hours a day, and with each colony containing millions of termites, this can make a seemingly small pest into a very large problem. Here’s what you may be dealing with:
King and Queen
At the core of any new termite colony you will find the king and queen, a pair of termites with the capability to reproduce. With a lifespan of up to 30 years and with the sole purpose of laying eggs, the queen’s capacity for reproduction is staggering, adding up to thousands of new eggs being laid each year. The queen’s longevity and continued reproductive capacity is secured by the colony’s “royal tasting system”. All food is tasted and processed by the termite workers before it gets to the queen.
Within the rigid termite colony structure, the workers are the most prolific type of termite. They do not have wings and are blind with wood being their preferred stomping – and chomping – ground. They are frequently found in infested wood such as walls and floors in the home. Without sight, they navigate with their antennae and their main role within the colony is to find food and bring it to the other termites, which they also care for.
When a termite is newly hatched it is fed regurgitated food until it molts and its role within the colony is determined. Nymphs can molt into all three types of termite: soldiers, workers or reproductives, both primary and supplementary.
Although they do not have wings and are also blind, solider termites are the defenders of the colony. They possess larger jaws than the workers and armored heads. One of the main enemies they defend against is ants. Soldier termites, like workers, are sterile.
These termites develop sexual organs and can reproduce. As they are winged, they can fly away from the colony, find a new location where they then shed their wings and then start a new colony by establishing themselves as the king and queen. However, many winged reproductive termites do not survive their migration from the colony. Many fall prey to other insects and birds.
Those “Ants” Might Be Termites
- The shape and placement of the wings will determine whether you have ants or termites: on a winged termite, both pairs of wings are identical in size and shape, whereas the front pair of wings on an ant will be larger than the wings at the back.
- The antennae on ants are longer than a termite’s with distinctive elbows whereas a termite’s is straighter and much shorter with beads.
- The body of an ant has clearly defined constriction of its body parts, clearly demarcating between sections; a termite has a lot less constriction.
- Differentiating between ants and termites based on the size or color of the insect can be misleading, as both species vary greatly in terms of both of these aspects.
When it comes to controlling and treating an infestation of termites, there is a wide-range of effective options. By seeking help from an experienced and professional exterminator, the colony can be identified and controlled before the termites can inflict disastrous and expensive damage. Steps can also be taken to protect your property from further colonies taking up residency.
Prevention measures can include having a professional inspector identify areas of your property that may attract termites. They can also identify vulnerable spots around your home that may be likely entry points for termites.