There are many things in this world that demand our time, effort and money. Each thing is an investment in and of it’s own right. The largest investment that we will make it to most cases will be our home. The home we live in is easily the most expensive purchase, with the time that we spending in it and the effort we spend on maintaining this investment. Because of this, we need to protect our home from pests that could possibly attack. Termites are the number one structural damaging pest that we find. In this article let’s explore termites, their lifecycle and how we can protect our homes and businesses from them.
TERMITES THE EUSOCIAL INSECT
Termites are eusocial insects. This means that they live in a colony and separate their work using a caste system. Termites have three castes in their caste system. The largest caste are the workers. These termites are given the life goal of doing all of the menial jobs that are required to keep the colony going. This includes, but is not limited to, taking out the trash, foraging for food, bringing food back to the colony, feeding the other castes, taking care of the young, building mud tubes and so much more. Your Tulsa exterminator has more information.
Mud tubes are required to go above ground for these termites. These insects are actually quite fragile in the open air. They dry out easily and cannot last but a few minutes in the dry open air. To survive, they need the humid air from underground. The way they do this is they build mud tubes up the side of buildings, trees and other structures in order to carry that humid air above the surface of the ground. This allows them to operate without drying out.
THE SOLDIER CASTE OF TERMITES
The second caste in the termites eusocial system are the soldiers. These termites are larger than the average termite. Their heads and mandibles are very strong and large. They normally lie dormant for most of their life, until danger arises. If the colony is attacked by a predator, these Insects come to life. They run right into the fray. Their large heads will block off the entirety of the tubes and galleys that make up the colony. As they fight against the enemy, the worker termites behind them will close off the path sealing their fate. They will give her life for the colony to protect the larger numbers behind them. Call a Broken Arrow exterminator for more information.
Lastly we have the reproductives. This caste is led by the queen. She will spend her entire life laying eggs to maintain the vast population of the colony. The average colony can have individuals numbering up into the millions. In addition to the queen, she will also produce aelates. These winged termites are often called Swarmers. They’re much more hardy in nature and can survive above the surface without the humid air from down below. Every April and May, these Swarmers will leave the colony and fly away. They will search for a swarm of other flying termites. Here they will pair up male and female with other termites from other colonies. They will mate in mid air and then find a suitable place to start a colony. Then they will land there, lose their wings and begin to dig the beginnings of the new colony.
The room that they dig out will be known as the Royal chamber. Here the female will begin to lay eggs and start her journey as the queen of the new colony. The new king will work as a worker termite foraging for food, tending to the new eggs and doing all the things necessary to keep this infantile colony going. Once the eggs laid here hatch and become full grown adults, they will act as the new workers of the colony. Once this happens, the king will no longer have a purpose and he will die. The new colony will continue to grow until it reaches a point where you can now produce its own Swarmers.
SIGNS OF INFESTATION
If you’re in a situation where you believe you may have termites in your home, it’s important to know the signs. One of those signs are the Swarmers. If a colony is underneath the house, often the Swarmers will come up inside the house. Now this only happens in April and May, but when they do they’ll get trapped in the house. Usually they will find a window and attempt to escape through the window. Because they never get outside, they often will die here. So if you’re seeing the winged termites dead inside your window, this is a telltale sign that you may have a termite problem.
At the same time, ant colonies are also producing their own Swarmers. So it may be that you have an ant situation your house as opposed to a termite. The way to tell the difference is it take a good hard look at the bodies of these insects. Ants have three distinct body sections. They have a head, a thorax and an abdomen. Between these body sections there will be a waste. This narrow section connects the body parts to each other. The termite, on the other hand, does not have three distinct body sections. You can also tell the difference between swarmers by the length of their wings. A termites wings will be much longer than its body. The ants wings will be the same length as its body. If you’re seeing Swarmers, it may be time to call a Tulsa pest control company.
If you believe you’re having a problem with termites or any other pests, then its time to call in a Broken Arrow pest control company that you can trust. TermMax Pest Control is the best of the business when it comes to dealing with termites or any other pests. We service the greater Tulsa area including Owasso, Prattville, Coweta, Catoosa, Claremore, Broken Arrow, Sapulpa, Turley, Sand Springs, Bixby and much more. Call today for a free estimate. We’re here to help!