Termites are a constant fear for homeowners and building owners of all shapes and types. These insects prey upon our wooden built structures. They’re uniquely designed by their creator to consume wood and plant materials. Because of this, we have to be on alert when it comes to termites near our home. In order to keep them away from there, it’s important that you have a good Tulsa exterminator that can help you keep your home termite and pest free. Let’s talk about termites, how they function and what we can do to keep them away from our homes and businesses.
There are three different kinds of termites that we find. There are subterranean termites, dry wood termites and wet wood termites. In Oklahoma, the biggest termite enemy that we have are the eastern subterranean termites. As a name implies, they are constantly underground. These termites are very susceptible to desiccation or drying out. Because of this they stay underground where the air is more damp. When they need to go above ground to forage for food, they will use mud tubes in order to travel around the surface. These mud tubes are built by the workers. They take mud and moisture from the ground and mix it with some of their feces and create a tube like structure up the side of trees and buildings.
Once they find the food that they need, they will start to dig into the floor of the mud tube. The floor of the tube is the bare wood that they have found. Mud tubes come in four different varieties. Foraging tubes are mud tubes that are used to find food. Traveling tubes, are used to connect commonly used tubes. Return tubes will create a path back to the ground and into the colony. And lastly, swarming tubes are tubes that allow swarmers to exit out into the open air.
SOCIAL NATURE OF TERMITES
Dry wood termites, as their name implies consume dry wood. Their colonies are very small and not often seen in Oklahoma. Wet wood termites prefer wood that is either in water or still living. They also are not found very much in Oklahoma. So let’s set our discussion on the eastern subterranean termite. These insects are social in nature. They have a queen that lays all the eggs for the society. These queens live 10 to 20 years in many cases. Most of the eggs they lay will become worker termites. Worker termites are all sterile females. These termites will do all the work of the colony including foraging for food, building my tub of tunnels, getting rid of waste and caring for the yard. Your Broken Arrow pest control company can get you back on track.
Soldier termites are tasked with protecting the termite colony. These termites usually have a large heads with large jaws. In some cases, they will have glands that they can spray poison or sticky substances that they can use this to protect the colony. The soldiers are dormant for most of their living time. But when an attack happens, the workers in the area will release a pheromone that the soldier will sense. They will immediately jump into action and go straight into the fray. They will attack whatever is attacking the colony. As they fight off the attackers, the workers will close off the mud tube behind them. They will sacrifice themselves for the good of the colony. The large heads are usually big enough to clog up The entirety of the mud too. In many cases the attackers to termite colonies are ants.
Ants are a common predator to the termite. If ants can get inside the colony, they will often carry away the eggs and young termites to use them for food. Termite colonies can also reproduce themselves. The way in which termite colonies reproduce themselves is through the use of reproductives. These reproductives, or alates, as they’re called, are the only individuals in the colony with wings. They are born in male and female, and usually don’t become active until late spring early summer. A colony must be fairly well established before it will produce reproductives. These reproductives will use the swarm tubes to fly out of the colony. They are usually darker in color, and much heartier than the average termite. The reason for this is because they will have to survive out in the open air without drying out. But even the reproductive termites, will dry out with enough time in the open air.
Once they leave the swarming tubes, they will fly in search of a larger swarm. The swarm includes reproductives from all the colonies in the area. These colonies release their swarmers in synch with one another, and yet scientists are unsure how they do this. Once in the swarm, these reproductives will pair up male and female with swarmers from different colonies. They will mate mid air and then find a suitable place to start a new colony. When they land here, they will lose their wings and dig underground. Call your Broken Arrow exterminator today.
A NEW START
The new king and queen will create a chamber known as the royal chamber where the queen will start to lay her eggs. The king will continue to forage for food and tend to the eggs until workers are born, and then the workers will take over. At this point the king will die off. The queen will continue to lay eggs in the colony grow until it gets to the point where the colony can release swarmers. Colonies can number anywhere from 1000 to the millions of individuals. They can be very large.
ELIMINATING TERMITES FOR GOOD
If you’re having issues with termites or any other pests, it’s time to call in a Tulsa pest control professional. TermMax Pest Control is the best out there if you need help with termites or any other issues. We service the greater Tulsa area including Coweta, Claremore, Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Turley, Sapulpa, Sand Springs, Prattville, Jenks, Bixby and much more. Call today for a free estimate. We’re here to help!