Our homes and businesses are housed in buildings that are very expensive. Often your home is the most expensive investment that you’ll make in your lifetime. Because of this, it is important that we protect our homes and businesses from anything that would do damage to them. The main pests that attack our homes are termites. Termites are a wood destroying insect that feed upon our homes and can weaken the structure and even cause traumatic damage. This article will explore termites, their lifecycle, where they come from and how to deal with them.
WOOD FEEDING TERMITES
Termites are insects that are uniquely equipped to consume wood. Wood has two components to it. These two components are cellulose and lignin. The majority of wood is made up of cellulose. Termites have a special enzyme inside their stomachs that helps them to break down cellulose into an energy producing food source. This enzyme is unique to termites. In order for termites to keep this enzyme in their system, they must pass this enzyme on down to their young. Call a reputable Tulsa exterminator for help.
Termites use an incomplete metamorphosis to develop into adults. They start as an egg laid by the queen. This egg will hatch and a nymph will emerge. The nymph is a smaller version of the adult termite. This nymph will molt multiple times before it becomes an adult. The process of molting includes shedding the exoskeleton that is currently on the insect and replacing it with a new one. These insects must do this in order to continue to grow as necessary. As their bodies grow, their exoskeleton can only stretch so far. For this reason, they have to molt and start again with a new exoskeleton every once a while. Then after the final molt they’ll be a full grown adult. In order to pass on the stomach enzymes required to break down cellulose, termites will feed their young their droppings. This prepares their gut biome for wood consumption.
THE TERMITE COLONY
Termites are eusocial insects. This means that they have a caste system in which they all work together for the betterment of the colony. This caste system has three distinct castes within it. First of all, we have the reproductive‘s. The queen is the highest level of reproductive. She’s tasked with laying all of the eggs for the colony. She will lay eggs day and night in order to keep the colonies population high enough to do what needs to be done. Most common mature colonies number in the millions of individuals.
Next we have the soldiers. Soldiers are larger termites that protect the colony from would be attackers. Ants are a natural predator to termites. Often ants will attack the entire colony in order to feed upon it. When ants attack, soldiers will come to life and go to wherever the fray is. They’ll plug up the tunnels with their large heads and attack the ants head on. As they do, the worker termites will close up the tunnel behind them. This seals the fate of the soldier termite. He will give us life in order to protect the colony. Your Broken Arrow exterminator will have more information.
Lastly the worker termites number the greatest within the population of termites. These termites are all females and do the menial work of the termite colony. They’ll create tunnels, forage for food, bring the food back, tend to the young and many other things in order to keep the colony moving smoothly. These termites often spend most of their time building tunnels. Tunnels are required for the termites because they require high humidity air in order to survive above ground. If they find themselves out in the dry open air, they will dry out and die. So in order to find food above the surface, they will create mud tubes up the sides of buildings and other structures. This will carry the humid air from underground up above ground allowing them to complete their tasks that are necessary to be above ground.
SIGNS OF INVASION
Usually there are only a few things that you can use to determine if your house is being attacked by termites. One of the main ones are mud tubes. If you see mud tubes coming up the side of your house or anywhere inside your house, then you know that you have an issue with termites. Breaking down these mud tubes is not enough to stop them from coming back. If you break down the mud tube, they would just rebuild the tube and quite quickly. It’s important to contact your Tulsa pest control company in order to eliminate termite pests in that situation.
Another way of determining if you have termite problems is if you see swarmers. When a colony gets to a certain maturity level, it will seek to create a new colony. It does this using winged termites called swarmers. These winged termites will leave the colony in either April or May to go out and try to find a swarm of other flying termites. Here male and female termites will pair up, mate in mid air and then search for a place to start a brand new colony.
DEALING WITH TERMITES
Once they find a place, they will land there, lose their wings and begin digging out what’s known as the royal chamber. Once the royal chamber is dug out the queen will begin laying eggs. The king will work as a worker until the first set of eggs becomes full grown adults. Those full grown adults will be the first generation of workers for the colony. Once they’re at the age where they can actually work for the colony, the king will die off and the colony will continue to thrive.
If you think you’re having a problem with termites or any other issues with pests, then it’s time to call in your Broken Arrow pest control company. TermMax Pest Control is the best in the business when it comes to dealing with termites and other pests. We service the greater Tulsa area code in Coweta, Claremore, Catoosa, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Bixby, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Owasso, Prattville, Turley and much more. Call today for a free estimate. We’re here to help!