In Oklahoma, and specifically Tulsa pest control, we have lots of things that can damage our homes. We have tornadoes and earthquakes, torrential downpours and plenty of other natural disasters that can damage our homes and businesses. But one pest that’s very dangerous for the structures that we live in are termites. These insects will consume the very wood that makes up the buildings that we call our homes. it’s important that we understand termites and how to keep them from damaging our homes. In this article lets explore termites, their lifecycle and what we can do to keep them away from our homes.


Termites live in a colony. They are a eusocial insect that divides all of its labor into casts. There are three castes in a termite colony that can be dealt with by your Tulsa pest control company. The three castes are the worker caste, the soldier caste and the reproductive caste. The worker caste is the largest caste in the entire system. Each of these workers is female and will be tasked with doing all of the menial work of maintaining the colony. This means they’re going to tend to the eggs, forage for food, build mud tubes, carry food back to the colony, feed the young, take out the trash and so many other things.

The soldier caste is made up of fewer insects than the worker caste but in physical size they are somewhat larger. Especially their heads and mandibles, these insects are designed to protect their colony. They lie dormant being fed by the workers until a threat arises. One of the major predators of termites are ants. When ants overrun a colony, these insects come to life. Soldiers will run to the fray attacking the ants trying to hold them off. Their large heads and mandibles are formidable and pull double duty by blocking the ants path through the colonies tunnels. As the soldier fights off these ants, the workers will seal the tunnel off behind it. The soldier will give his life for the colony. 


Lastly, we have the reproductive caste. At the top of this chain of command you’ll find the queen. She is also a larger termite because she has the apparatus to lay eggs. She will lay eggs all day without sleep for her entire life. These colonies often number into the millions, so the queen must lay enough eggs to maintain those numbers. In addition to the queen, you’ll have aelates. These insects are commonly called swarmers. They are winged reproductive‘s that are built much tougher than the average termite. These swarmers can be an important sign of infestation to your Tulsa pest control company.  

Each year, in about May or April, these insects will take flight out of the colony. They will seek out a swarm of other reproductive‘s in attempt to find a mate. Once they find a mate, the male and female will mate in midair and then find a suitable place to create their new colony. They land here, lose their wings and begin to dig out what’s known as the royal chamber. This is the beginnings of the new colony. The king will work as a worker, tending to the new eggs the queen layed, until those eggs hatch and become adults. The new workers will replace the king and he will die. An infant colony is born.


Termites are especially fragile insects. They require a high amount of humidity to survive. Underground, they have plenty of humidity to do this. But when they get above ground, they don’t last long because the above grounding is just too dry. In order to come above ground, forage for food and do the things they need to do, they will build mud tubes. These tubes will carry the humid air up above ground so that they can function where they need to. These tubes are a telltale sign that you’re having an issue with termites. If you see these mud tubes coming up from the ground at the side of your foundation or inside a while, you have a problem with termites, and its time to call your Tulsa pest control company.


Another sign that you have termites in your home are the swarmers. In some cases the colonies are built underneath someone’s home, and if they find food in the home, often swarmers will come up inside the house. Every April or May we get calls about people with swarmers in their house. These flying termites will go to the windows trying to get outside. Of course, the windows never open and they die and fall to the bottom of the windowsill. Many people will have multiple swarmers in the bottom of their window sill. Its time to call a reputable Tulsa pest control company.  

In addition to swarming termites, often people can have swarming ants in their windowsills under the same circumstances. It’s important to tell the difference between the two. Ants have three distinct body parts with a waist between them. Termites have a long narrow body that’s the same width all the way down. The termites wings are also longer than the body of the termite. The ant, on the other hand, has wings that extend to the length of the ants body. If you’re seeing either of these signs in your home, its time to contact a Tulsa pest control professional they can help you take care of the situation.

Termites are a terrible problem in Oklahoma. If you’re having issues with termites or any other pests then it’s time to call a reputable Tulsa pest control company. Here at TermMax Pest Control, we are the best in the business when it comes to dealing with termites or any other pests that could be affecting your home or your loved ones. We service the greater Tulsa area including Tulsa, Bixby, Owasso, Broken Arrow, Sand Springs, Prattville, Sapulpa, Coweta, Turley, Claremore, Catoosa and much more. Call today for a free estimate. We’re here to help!

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