If you believe you have an issue with termites, then it’s time to call in a professional Tulsa pest control company. In many of the cartoons that we grew up on, termites are a constant gag, used for a quick laugh. Our hero will swing a wooden bat in an effort to thwart termites, but they’ll just eat it, and turn into sawdust in a matter of seconds. Well, this is entertaining for us as children, but it’s just not the way things work. But that doesn’t mean the termites are not a danger to our homes and businesses. These insects will eat the wood that makes up the buildings that we live in. In this article, let’s take a good hard look at termites, their life cycle and what you and your Tulsa pest control company can do to protect yourself from them.


It’s well-known of these insects feed on wood. Wood is actually made up of two different parts. The cell of the wood has lignin in it and it has cellulose. The majority of the cells are made up of cellulose. Termites have a special enzyme in their gut that can break down the cellulose and create energy from it. The lignin doesn’t do much for the insect, but the cellulose is very nutritious. There are very few organisms in the animal and insect kingdoms that can break down wood in their gut. Termites act as a cleanup crew for fallen branches and dead trees in nature. The problem lies, of course, when they start to find our homes full of tasty wood.

These insects live into in a huge social colony. This means that they split up the work amongst themselves by a caste system. This colony is a large group of individuals that all work together for the life and survival of the colony. It’s a hive mind that is very effective at survival. In order to maintain their numbers, they must have a large amount of wood. Call your Tulsa pest control company for help.  


The average termite colony is much larger than an ant colony. Usually these will number anywhere from hundred thousands to millions of individuals. Because of this, they require a lot of wood. Any given year, a termite colony can eat about 2 feet of a 2 x 4. The truth is these insects don’t eat wood from one end to the other. They will create paths going down the outside surface of the piece of wood. These paths will be chewed away at by the workers as they walk down the wood. This is how they will gather wood to bring back to the colony.

In Oklahoma, we have the eastern subterranean termite. This is the most prominent termite in our area. While we do have dry wood and wet wood termites, these are very uncommon in the north eastern part of Oklahoma. Subterranean termites require a certain amount of humidity in the air that’s around them. If they get into the dry air, they will dry out and die in a matter of minutes. The outside air is exactly the kind of dry air that kills termites quickly. But underground, the subterranean termites thrive with a damp, humid air that we find there. Your Tulsa pest control company will have more information. 


So in order for these bugs to come above ground to forage for food, they must build mud tubes up the side of trees and buildings in order to feed on them. This gives us homeowners a definite sign of termites, and where they’re attacking. If you’re seeing mud tubes going up the side of your building, even up things that they don’t actually eat such as a concrete foundations or metal or plastic siding, this still denotes that these insects are foraging for food above ground and they’re looking in your house. 

Sometimes termites will come up inside a wall. If they do, the mud tubes will not be visible to us because most people never look behind their wall. You would have to destroy the wall to get in there and access it. But as they come up the inside of a wall, they will feed on the paper and gypsum in the drywall. As they eat away at the soft material, they will eventually get to the point where they find the other piece of paper on the outside of the wall. Usually they stop somewhere closer but sometimes they go too far, creating holes. If you can see pinholes in your drywall or soft spots where you can push and there’s no gypsum behind it, then this is another telltale sign that you may have a problem with termites.


Termite colonies reproduce using aelates. These aelates are a special kind of termite known as swarmers. They’re very hearty termite. They can survive in the outside air for long periods of time. They also have wings. During the month of April and May, these swarmers will exit the colony and fly in search of a mate. They will swarm in large numbers looking for the perfect mate. When they find someone, they will pair off male and female and mate in mid air. Once they do this, They will search for a location to start their new colony. They will land, lose their wings and dig out a royal chamber. Here the queen will start laying eggs and the king will begin his work, tending to the queen and the eggs. The colony has begun.

If you’re having an issue with termites or any other insects, then it’s time to call a Tulsa pest control company that you can trust. Here at TermMax Pest Control, we are the best in the business when it comes to dealing with termites or any other pests. We service agree to Tulsa area including Broken Arrow, Coweta, Claremore, Catoosa, Owasso, Turley, Prattville, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Bixby, Jenks, and much more. Call today for free estimate. We’re here to help!

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