Termites are a pest no one wants to contend with. Notoriously known for their destruction of wooden elements in homes and business structures, termites have an insatiable appetite for wood and other cellulose materials. They cost homeowners and commercial property owners billions of dollars a year in damages across the United States. There are thousands of species found all over the world and California has, unfortunately, dampwood, Drywood, and subterranean termites in the area. At this time, we at Animal Pest Management would like to take the opportunity to discuss subterranean termites and their insidious ways today.
Termite Colony Caste; Kings, Queens, Swarmers, Workers & Soldiers
As social insects, subterranean termites are divided into castes that make the colony productive; they include workers, soldiers, swarmers (which are future kings and queens, or reproducers of new colonies) and the king and queen. The swarmers have wings, which when they leave an established colony to create a new one, will shed after selecting a new nest to begin their colony. The king and queen run the colony, soldiers protect the king and queen as well as the nest, and the workers do everything else; from foraging for food, to constructing galleries attached to the nest, and caring for the younglings and the king and queen.
Subterranean Termite Identification
The coloring of subterranean termites is dictated by their castes and it varies from a creamy white color to dark brown and black colored bodies. Like other insects, these termites have six legs and antennae. Subterranean termites average 1/8 of an inch in length and have long narrow-shaped bodies.
Subterranean Termite Infestations
Unlike other termites, subterranean termites construct their nests in the soil, requiring the moisture from it to survive. They will pack the wood they tunnel through with soil and build mud tubes to their edible delights. Subterranean termites can easily have as many as two million members as they live underground and can expand. Termites are active all year long and they seem to be more active in the spring as this is the season the swarmers will move on.
Termites Eat Wood & Cause Damage
Subterranean termites have saw-toothed jaws that operate like shears and are capable of chewing off extremely small fragments of wood, one piece at a time as they forage for wood 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. If left for an extended period of time, they can leave a building in financial ruin even go as far as causing the building to collapse entirely if left unchecked.
There are a few things people can do to minimize the odds of subterranean termites invading their home that include the following:
1) Make certain crawl spaces, attics and basements are properly ventilated to avoid the swarmers and reduce the humidity levels.
2) Avoid placing mulch within 15” from the foundation.
3) Discard any dead tree limbs and stumps immediately.
4) At least 20 feet away from the home, store your firewood.
5) Prevent water from accumulating near the foundation by making any repairs to faucets, sprinklers, hoses, and pipes. Where subterranean termites rely on moist soil they will stay clear of the soil that is too dry and likely bypass your home.
Termite Inspections, Control & Removal in San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside & San Diego Counties, California
If you suspect subterranean termites might be invading your home, do not delay and call in the experts of Animal Pest Management to prevent further damage to your home and to get the termites removed efficiently in a timely manner. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.