Every year, millions of dollars worth of damage is done to buildings and property by wood destroying insects. These insects are silent killers. They can take a beautiful brand new home, and reduce it to ruble, making it dangerous to live in. But understanding these insects, how to protect your home from them, and how to remove them if you have them are all key points of information that you can use to protect yourself against these insects.
KINDS OF TERMITES
There are multiple kinds of wood destroying insects, but the most prolific is the termite. In Oklahoma, the number one termite that we see in our business is the Eastern Subterranean Termite. This termite lives underground. Its bodies are frail and require high moisture content in the air. The humidity requirements for these insects require them to stay underground. Of course, the food that they search for is above ground. Wood is found in buildings and in trees where the air is nowhere near humid enough to support the survival of these insects. In order to combat this, termites will build mud tubes from the ground up and use them to travel above ground. This carries the humid air from underneath the ground up above the surface where the food can be found.
Termites are a social creature that lives in colonies. These colonies can be numbered into the millions of individuals. The work is spread out amongst multiple different castes within the colony. The worker caste is the largest of the colony. These workers will forage for food, build mud tubes, take care of the young, and do any other menial tasks that are necessary for the survival of the colony. They can be male or female, but reproductively inactive. Your local Broken Arrow Exterminator will have more information.
The second caste that you will find in a termite colony are the soldiers. These insects have much larger heads and strong mandibles. They are responsible for the protection of the colony. If the colony is invaded by a predator, these insects go into action. Soldier termites will rush to wherever the invasion is taking place in an attempt to fend off the intruders. In most cases, they will lose their life in the process. One of the biggest predators of termites are ants. Ants will try to over take the colony with huge numbers.
When the soldier gets to the area of the invasion, its huge head will usually clog up the tube enough that the ants can’t get past it. It will fight as long as it can, slowing these ants down long enough for workers to close off the path behind the soldier. This suicide mission ensures the safety of the rest of the colony. Soldiers are the second highest number of individuals in the colonies, because of their large food requirements. They have to maintain larger muscle mass and large heads, and therefore need more food than most of the other members of the colony. Worker termites will feed them until they need to go into action. Contact your Tulsa Exterminator for help dealing with termites.
The reproductive’s are the final caste in the colony. At the top of this caste is the queen. She will be physically the largest individual in the entire colony. Her job is simple, she must lay all the eggs for the colony. Again these colonies number in the millions so this is a full-time job. Also within the reproductive’s you will find alates. These are winged termites, that are specially adapted to be able to leave the colony. The outside exoskeletons of these insects are much tougher and can handle the low humidity air above ground. Many people call these insects swarmers. Each spring, the colony will build special tubes that will go out in the open air. These tubes will release these swarmers once a year to go find other swarmers of the same species.
These insects will swarm in large groups attempting to pair up in male and female pairs. Unfortunately, large swarms are easy pickings for birds and other predators. Very few reproductive‘s actually make it to the point of creating a new colony. Once the two have paired up, they will mate and find a place on the ground near some wood to create a new nest. This is known as a royal chamber. The male and female will dig under the ground until they can create this chamber. The female will immediately begin to lay eggs in the chamber, and the mail will take care of the eggs. Once the young hatch the male will continue to take care of them until they become full grown workers. Once they become workers, the male will die off and the colony will begin. Workers will continue to meet the needs of the queen and grow to a large colony, capable of producing its own swarmers.
DEALING WITH TERMITES
The best protection against termites is to prevent them from ever attacking your home to begin with. In order to do this, the treatment best suited for preventative measures are termite bait stations. These bait stations are buried into the ground all the way around your home. They have a small lid that lays flush to the top of the ground. Inside you’ll find canisters with cellulose bait in them. The termites will forage through the top six inches of the soil. Once they come upon one of these termite bait stations, they’ll find the cellulose bait and carry it back to their colony. They will continue to do this, providing food for their colony over and over again until all of the insects within the colony have eaten the bait, and died. This protects your home from termites. Contact your local Broken Arrow Pest Control company for more details.
If you’re in a situation where you already have termites, then the best option is a liquid treatment. This treatment again uses the foraging of termites to protect your home from these insects. A trenches dug around the outside of your home six inches wide and six inches deep. The trench and the dirt that is refilled back into the trench is treated with pesticide. As termites come in and out of your home, they’ll go through the pesticide treated dirt bringing it back to the colony and wiping out the colony. If you have cement around your home, it may be required that you will have to drill through the cement in order to inject this pesticide underneath the cement. In the end, the goal is to have a barrier all the way around your home regardless of whether it’s through trenching or drilling. This is a very effective method of removing pests from your home when it comes to termites.
If you’re having issues with termites or any other wood destroying insects, it’s time to call in a professional exterminator. Here at TermMax Pest Control, we provide the best customer experience out of any other Tulsa Pest Control company. We service the greater Tulsa area including Broken Arrow, Coweta, Sapulpa, Sand Springs, Catoosa, Claremore, Owasso, Bixby, Prattville, Turley and much more. Call us today. We are here to help!