SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES and TREATMENT OPTIONS
FORMOSAN SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES
PREVENTION AND CONTROL
The advent of centrally heated homes has made it possible for termites
to become a threat in virtually every region and state in the U.S. On
the average, there could be as many as 13 to 14 subterranean termite colonies
per acre, which means that a typical home may easily have three to four
colonies situated under or around it. And because there can be as many
as 1,000,000 subterranean termites per colony, the threat of infestation
becomes a very real one indeed.
Cause more damage to homes in U.S. than storms and fire combined; colonies
can contain up to 1,000,000 members.
Subterranean termites nest in the soil to obtain moisture, but they
also nest in wood that is often wet. They easily attack any wood in contact
with the ground. If the wood does not contact the soil, they can build
mud tunnels or tubes to reach wood several feet above the ground. These
tunnels can extend for 50-60 feet to reach wood and often enter a structure
through expansion joints in concrete slabs or where utilities enter the
Winged termites emerging from the ground out-of-doors near the house
does not necessarily mean the house is infested, but it is a good reason
to check further. Termites in the wood of homes or other buildings usually
come from colonies already established in the soil.
Subterrean Bio Chart
Termites are small, ant-like insects. However, they differ from ants
in that they feed off the cellulose in wood. Working largely unseen under
the surface, they can tunnel through the wooden structural members in
buildings and completely destroy them. Wood that comes in contact with
the soil, such as the exterior trim or cladding on your home, provides
a perfect point of entry for a termite colony.
Termites are social insects that live in colonies where labor is divided
caste system. They have reproductive and soldier castes. In many termite
societies there is also a distinct worker caste, but the typical duties
of workers( nest building and food gathering and feeding the reproductives
and soldiers) are handled by nymphs as well. Workers and nymphs do all
the work, soldiers sole job is to defend the colony.
Winged adults are often called swarmers, they are primary reproductives.
They emerge from the colonies on colonizing flights during certain seasons
in the year. After the flights, the male(king) and female(queen) will
pair up, lose their wings and construct a small cell in the soil. They
will mate,lay eggs, and rear the first group of workers. In colonies where
the primary reproductives are not present, secondary reproductives (without
color or functional wings)often occur in large numbers.
Live in colonies underground, from which they build tunnels in search
of food; able to reach food above the level of the ground by building
mud tubes; dependent on moisture for survival.
Subterranean termite feeding follows the grain of the wood . Unlike drywood termites or other wood-boring insects, subterranean termites do not push wood particles or pellets (fecal material) to the outside, but rather use it in the construction of their tunnels. This debris, along with sand and soil particles, is used as a form of plaster.
They can form "secondary nests" above the ground called "aeria colonies". These independent nests may survive independent of the ground if there is a moisture source available. Such sources of moisture would be from a leaky roof, or plumbing leaks.
Wood and other cellulose material.
Subterranean termites feed on wood or other items that contain cellulose, such as paper, fiberboard, and some fabrics derived from cotton or plant fibers. Termites have protozoa in their digestive tracts that can convert cellulose into usable food.
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