For most people today, their largest investment will be their home. This structure will be lived in for many years for a high number of people. And in the lifetime of the average person, they may only own one, two or possibly three homes. Because of this, this structure is one of the most important Investments in our day-to-day lives. We need to protect these investments from things that would damage our homes. Termites are pests that feed upon the wood that we find in our homes. We have to protect these buildings from termites. In this article, let’s take a good hard look at what termites are, their lifecycle and how we can protect our homes and businesses from them.


Termites are an eusocial insect that feeds upon wood. They have a special enzyme inside their stomach that is specially designed to break down wood and create energy out of it. This makes them a unique insect. The enzyme breaks down the cellulose found in wood. Wood is basically made of two substances. Those two substances are cellulose and lignin. Cellulose makes up the majority of the wood. This enzyme breaks that down and allows the insect to gain energy from consuming wood. This gives termites a special place in the natural order of things. Your Tulsa exterminator can help.  

Because of their unique dietary considerations, termites are especially designed to be able to eliminate dead plant material. Unfortunately, we also build our homes out of wood which is technically dead plant material. Because of this, termites will consume the wood in our homes. This enzyme that is found in their gut is not naturally found there. It must be passed from adult termite to their young. The way this is done is your process known as Coprophagia. This is the process by which the young termites will consume droppings of adult termites. The gut flora from the adult termite will be transmitted to the young termite so that it has what it needs to be able to break down wood and create energy from the cellulose.


Termites use an incomplete metamorphosis. They are begin life as an egg laid by a queen. The queen is tasked with laying all the eggs in the colony. Once the egg hatches, a nymph will emerge. This nymph is a smaller version of the adult termite. This nymph will be fed by work termites and eventually grow to the point where it outgrows its exoskeleton. Once this happens, the young termite must molt. Much like a snake, it will shed its outer layer in an effort to create a new exoskeleton they can grow with it. It will molt multiple times before it becomes an adult termite. Once it becomes an adult it will take its place in the colony. Call your Broken Arrow pest control company for more information. 

This colony is made up of three separate castes. Many colonies number their populations into the millions. The largest caste in the entire colony are the workers. These are female termites that are tasked with all the menial jobs of maintaining the colony. They will feed the young, tend to the eggs, forage for food, build mud tubes, eliminate trash and many other menial tasks. Building mud tubes is a very important part of what these termites do. Termites are very susceptible to drying out in the outside air. They need the humid air that they find underground to survive. So in order to go above ground and forge for food, they will build mud tubes ups the side of structures and trees in order to carry the humid air up. This is very labor-intensive work but it’s done often by these worker termites


The next caste of termites are the soldiers. These termites are tasked with protecting the colony from invaders. They’re usually larger than the average termite and have very large heads and mandibles. These termites jump to action when danger appears. Ants are a common predator of the termite. When they attack a colony, the soldiers will come to life and go directly into the fray. Their large heads will block off the tunnel to the rest of the colony. Workers will close the tunnel behind the soldier termite. This termite will fight to the death taking many ants with it, but in the end it will lose and be carried off of the ants. By the time it happens, the worker termites will have closed off the rest of the tunnel system and protected the rest of the colony. Contact your Broken Arrow exterminator for more information.  

The final cast in the colony are the reproductive. The queen is the main part of this caste. She’s tasked with laying all the eggs to maintain the millions of individuals required to run the colony. She will lay eggs for pretty much her entire life without rest. In addition to the queen, we will also have aelates. These flying termites are winged termites that can withstand the dry areas above ground. The Swarmers will exit the colony during the month of April and May searching for other reproductive from other colonies. When they pair up, they will mate in the air, find a suitable place to start a new colony, land there and begin the process of building new colony. 


They start this by digging out what’s known as the royal chamber. This will be the first room inside the underground colony. Once the room is built, the new queen will start laying eggs and the king will tend to the eggs, forage for food and whatever else is needed to be done to start the colony. Once those initial eggs grow to full adulthood, they will become workers and the king will no longer be needed. He will die. The colony will continue to grow until it reaches full maturity.

If you’re having trouble termites or any other pests then its time to call in 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. We service agree to Tulsa area including Coweta, Claremore, Catoosa, Broken Arrow, Sand Springs, Prattville, Sapulpa, Bixby, Owasso, Jenks, Turley and much more. Call today for a free estimate. We’re here to help!

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