Over 2,000 species of termites exist around the world. Lucky for us, we only have to worry about ONE type of termite – the Eastern Reticulating Subterranean Termite.
Termites are known as the ‘silent killers’ because they are able to chew through wood undetected. As the ground warms, termites spring into action with the scout crew (a.k.a. Swarmers) the first to emerge from their winters nap, in search of new territory to harvest.
Swarmers have wings, and they fly, and are often mistaken for winged ants. But make no mistake about it, you need to know the difference between a flying ant and a termite before it is too late.
Each year, termites cause roughly $5 billion in property damage. To help you identify these pests, we’ve created the following handy-dandy field guide.
Should you find that YOU DO have termites, call Sigma Pest Control for a free inspection and consultation.
the Eastern Reticulating
Subterranean termites often form large colonies and eat rapidly through wood, making them the most destructive termites. These pests live in the soil beneath and around homes and often enter through wood that touches the ground or by constructing mud tubes from the ground to the wood they infest. Cracks in concrete walls and foundations made of hollow blocks are also paths these insects could take to infest a house.
What do they look like?
Termites live according to a caste system. There are three main types of termites in the subterranean termite caste: workers, soldiers, and swarmers. Each has a specific job in support of the colony, and each is uniquely equipped with the tools they need to get the job done.
Workers are the smallest of the three types, measuring one-eighth to three-eighths of an inch in length. They are opaque, almost translucent, and they separate wood from it’s source. They live their entire lives in dark tunnels, both above and below ground. Because they are in the dark their entire lives they do not have eyes. Despite not having eyes, workers can sense the difference between light and dark. They know they are in danger of predators if exposed to light.
Soldiers are as long as workers, but have larger heads with powerful mandibles. The role of the soldier is to protect the colony from predators.
Swarmers have wings and can fly. they are coal black to pale yellow, flattened, and about 3/8th inch long. They leave a mature colony to mate and establish new colonies. They eventually become the king and queen in new colonies. Unlike soldiers and workers, swarmers have eyes which allows them to leave the dark tunnels of the nest.
Facts about subterranean termites
- The king and queen can produce 3600 eggs per day.
- The main portion of their nest underground and can have upwards of 2 million residents.
- They make mud tubes to access structures and avoid daylight.
- Termite colonies eat 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- The need contact with soil to survive.
- Avoid water accumulation near your home’s foundation. Divert water away from the home or property by using downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. Be sure these devices are working properly and not blocked or clogged.
- Reduce humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation.
- Remove wood and waste lumber from the yard, and never bury wood.
- Eliminate wood contact with the soil.
What to do if you have Termites?
Out of sight doesn’t always mean out of mind, especially when it comes to termites. Termites will cause serious damage to your property if you allow them to go unchecked. The cost of repairing this damage can expensive, and the longer the termites have access to your home or business the more damage they’ll do.
That is why it is important to explore your termite treatment options as soon as possible in order to reduce the risk of damage to your home. Contact Sigma Pest Control for a FREE estimate, professional service, and THE best solution to your termite control needs.