Maintaining your home is a year-round endeavor. There’s so many things that need to be done from yard work to tree trimming to home repairs. In the midst of all this there is a silent killer. Deep underground an insect works its way towards your home in an effort to find food in a place it shouldn’t. The termite is a dangerous insect that can cause structural damage to your home. In this article let’s take a look at the termite, its life cycle and ways to defend your home from it.
THE EASTERN SUBTERRANEAN TERMITE
In Oklahoma, the most predominant terminate is the eastern subterranean termite. This insect is a eusocial insect that builds a colony underground. These insects require high moisture air to surround them in order for them to survive. Underground, they can find this with ease. But if you go above ground, the air becomes too dry for these insects to survive. Because of this, most termites in Oklahoma will build mud tubes up the side of the walls of your home. These mud tubes carry not only the termites up to the wood in your building, but also the high moisture air that’s found underground. They can feed on the structural wood of the building, or the drywall.
THE TERMITE CASTE SYSTEM
As a eusocial insect, they have a caste system. This caste system consists of the workers, the soldiers and reproductives. At the top of the list are the reproductives. The queen lays all the eggs for the colony. Her job does not end and she lays eggs day and night. Many of these colonies have individuals numbering into the millions, so laying eggs is a 24 hour job. In addition to the queen, alates are part of the reproductive section of the colony. Your Tulsa pest control company can help.
These are commonly called swarmers. The swarming termites actually can survive in the dry outside air. Once a year usually between April and May, the Swarmers will emerge from the colony and look for a mate. They’ll find a mate from another swarmer from another colony, then find an adequate place to start a new colony. Once they do that the wings will fall off and they will go in the ground and work towards making a new colony. The king will work as a worker until the first few eggs have hatched in come to maturity. At this point those termites will become the new workers and the king will die off. From here the colony will grow until it matches the size of the previous one.
SOLDIERS AND WORKERS
The next caste in line would be the soldiers. Soldiers are tasked with protecting the termite colony. There are many predators to termites including ants. These predators seek to take not only live termites, but the precious young and eggs that the queen has spent so long to develop. Soldier termites usually have much larger heads and mandibles in order to protect the colony. If a colony is overrun by ants, the soldiers come to life and race to the tunnels that have been attacked. They will race down there and engage with the ants while the workers will shut off the tunnel behind them. The large heads of the termites clog up the tunnel and make it impossible for the ants to continue on. In the process, the soldier will give its life for the sake of the colony.
Lastly the worker termites are the largest caste in number. When you talk about a colony numbering in the millions most of those are worker termites. These termites are tasked with all the menial jobs of supporting the colony. This means they will forage for food, build tunnels, tend to the young, feed the soldiers and reproductive’s, remove waste and many other tasks that are required. If you ever break a mud tube, worker termites are what you will find. Call your Broken Arrow exterminator for more information.
PROTECTING YOUR HOME FROM TERMITES
The most often used method against termites is a liquid treatment. A liquid treatment is a treatment that consists of building a barrier of termiticide treated dirt all the way around your house. When termites forage for food they travel through the top 6 inches of the soil moving outward, looking for wood that they can feed upon. So by building a barrier of treated dirt all the way around your house, they’ll be forced to go through that treated dirt before they can get to your home. In many cases, this is a non repellent pesticide that they don’t even realize is there. They will go through it and then go back to the colony taking the termiticide with them. As the termiticide spreads through the colony, it will kill off all of the other insects in the colony.
The second way that we treat for termites is a termite bait station system. This bait station system uses bait stations buried in the ground every 20 to 30 feet all the way around your house. This creates a barrier as well. As the termites forage for food in the top 6 inches of soil, they come across these bait stations. Inside the bait stations are termiticide treated cellulose tablets. Cellulose is the major component of wood that the termites love the most. So they remove the cellulose and take it back to the nest, feeding their entire colony. This in turn wipes out the colony. If you’re interested in any of these solutions, call your favorite Broken Arrow pest control company today.
If you’re dealing with termites or just want to protect your home from ever having to have termites, then the best way to do that is to contact the best Tulsa exterminator that you can find. TermMax Pest Control is the best in the business when it comes to termites, rodents or any other pests that you might be dealing with. We service the greater Tulsa area including Coweta, Catoosa, Jenks, Owasso, Prattville, Broken Arrow, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Turley, Wagner and much more. Call today for a free estimate. We’re here to help!