- Termites never need sleep. They build their colonies 24 hours a day, every day, until they die.
- Termites are extremely hygienic insects. Colonies spend a great deal of time grooming one another to prevent disease.
- Some varieties of termite species have existed on earth for over 250 million years.
- Some termite queens can lay 15 to 25 eggs per minute–and over 40,000 per day.
- Termite queens have the longest lifespan of any insect in the world. Some termite queens may live between 30 and 50 years, reproducing annually and founding numerous colonies.
Termites of Fredericksburg
There is only one type of termite to be concerned with in Fredericksburg:
- Eastern Subterranean Termite
Termites are among the most productive insects on Earth, colonizing every landmass except Antarctica. Their colonies range in size from a few hundred individuals to several million.
There are over 3,100 species of termites, but only 183 species cause damage. Like ants, termites work in a cast society with kings, queens, workers, and soldiers. Most worker and soldier termites are completely blind. As a result, termites communicate through chemical, mechanical and pheromonal cues. They use their antennae for sensing of touch, taste, odors, heat and vibration.
Consistent with all insects, the anatomy of the termite thorax consists of three segments: the prothorax, the mesothorax and the metathorax. To build their nests, termites primarily use feces. Other building materials include partly digested plant material and soil, used in subterranean nest and mound construction.
Termites mostly feed on dead plant material and cellulose, generally in the form of wood, leaf litter, soil, or animal dung. Worker termites bare the brunt of the responsibility for foraging, food storage, and nest maintenance. They also play a vital role in the ecosystem by recycling waste material such as dead wood, feces and plants. Each type of termite has its own dietary preferences. Subterranean termites prefer softwoods, but may invade most species of wood.
Effects / Impact
Termites are considered to be a major source (11%) of atmospheric methane, one of the prime greenhouse gases, produced from the breakdown of cellulose. Termite populations are easily impacted by environmental changes including those caused by human intervention. Many termite species can do great damage to unprotected buildings and other wooden structures.
They are often concealed within the walls of our homes, and go undetected until the wooden timbers of your home are severely damaged. In addition to causing damage to buildings, termites can also damage food crops. The damage caused by termites costs approximately $5 billion each year in wood structure damage, but the true cost of damage worldwide cannot be determined.
Termites are found on all continents except Antarctica. Termites invade homes by crossing from their colonies in yards to home foundations. Cracks or gaps around pipes and wires give the pests access inside. Homeowners can also get termites from:
- Wooden structures, like porches and decks, in direct contact with the ground.
- Stacks of firewood that lean against the house.
- Damp soil near foundations from leaking faucets, gutters, or downspouts.
- Trees and shrubs planted close to the building.
Small steps make a big difference in termite prevention and sustaining an effective termite treatment plan. Start by eliminating moisture conditions and termite food around your home. These simple steps make your home a less attractive target, helping deter termites.
Termites are more active when and where it’s warm. Termites tend to be more active in warmer temperatures as they work to store food for the winter months. However, in warmer parts of the country, they are a year-round threat. In southern states and warmer climates, you’ll also find more species of termites.
Termites do leave warning signs. Indicators of a termite infestation include wood that sounds hollow when tapped, cracked or bubbling paint, mud tubes on exterior walls or crawl spaces, and a temporary swarm of winged insects in or around your home.
Simple steps can help prevent an infestation. Keep gutters and downspouts free of debris, install screens on exterior vents, store firewood and lumber away from your home, and eliminate moisture by fixing pipes and other home fixtures prone to leaking.
Additional Preventive Measures:
- Repair leaking faucets, water pipes, and A/C units
- Divert water from foundation
- Keep gutters and downspouts clean
- Remove excessive plant cover and wood mulch
- Get rid of standing water on roof
- Keep all vents clear and open
- Seal entry points around water and utility lines or pipes
- Remove Termite Food Sources
- Keep firewood, lumber or paper away from foundation or crawl space
- Get rid of stumps and debris near house
- Place screens on outside vents
- Check decks and wooden fences for damage
- Wood on your home shouldn’t contact the soil
Sigma Termite Solutions (STS) allows you to have the peace of mind that your home is protected from termites for good.
With Sigma Termite Solutions, your home receives a long-lasting barrier against termites, and a thorough inspection of your home is administered every year. If termites are ever found we will, as always, honor our satisfaction guaranty and take care of the problem.
Sigma offers a 5-year plan that provides an additional barrier service performed at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE on the fifth year of the agreement.
Hire a professional
Termites are often called the silent destroyer because they may be secretly hiding and flourishing in your basement or attic without any immediate signs of damage. To help protect your home, contact a qualified termite expert to provide annual inspections and treatment, when necessary. Trained experts know all about termites, and Termite Control, including their biology, behavior, signs of activity and prevention and control techniques. In between service visits, make sure to monitor any unusual signs of pest activity around your home, including common warning signs for a termite infestation like swarms, mud tubes, and discarded wings.