Termites are found throughout the world with a wide variety of species. Termites have three classes that each species will fit into. There are Dampwood, Drywood, and Subterranean termites. When identifying which type of species is invading your home, one of the signs professional inspectors look for are the soldiers and alates which are winged termites that will eventually mate and spread their colonies. Workers often tend to look very similar. Another tool that is used to identify termites is the particular wood they choose to feed on. A Five Star Termite & Pest Control would like to place the spot light on the Eastern Subterranean Termites that are common here in Texas. When first identifying what kind of termite colony you may have you must first know the three castes of every termite colony. The three castes are the workers, soldiers, and the alates or swarmers. Each has their own unique appearance and traits.
Reproductive Termite Swarmers AKA Alates
The alates or more commonly known as the swarmers are dark brown or black in color. They can be as big as ¼ to ½ inch long with two pairs of functioning wings that are as long as their body. The swarmers are both male and female. As the spring season begins, the increase in temperatures along with the rains will trigger the instinct for them to leave the colony in order to mate. The female will then look for a new spot to raise her future colony. One sign of swarmers that means they found your home suitable for their future colony is the presence of discarded wings. After the alates have mated and the female has settled into the new location for her future colony, they will twist off their own wings. Seeing a number of wings all the same size around windowsills or doorways could mean termites have moved in.
Worker & Soldier Termites
The workers, which are one of the most visible members of a termite colony, have no wings and are creamy in color. They grow up to ¼ inch or less in length. The soldiers don’t have any wings either and are light cream color as well. However what make the soldiers stand out is the larger mandibles or jaws that they use to defend the colony. The soldiers also have a large brownish head that also make them easier to identify.
Eastern Subterranean Termite Colonies & Nests
One of the key traits of identifying a Eastern subterranean termite colony are the nesting sites. As their name suggests, subterranean termites nests are located underground and near a food source. Occasionally you may find a nest above the surface, however this takes a warm moist climate and with an older more established colony. The Eastern subterranean termite prefers soft damaged wood where they feed with the grain of the wood. If you see perfectly cut grooves within the grain of the wood where it looks like valleys, there is a good chance you have subterranean termites. You may even see a mud tube like tunneling system that the termites build out of dirt, their own saliva and feces. This tube leads to their food source and back to their nest.
Eastern Subterranean Termite Pest Inspections, Prevention, Control, Treatment & Monitoring in Cibolo, Universal City, New Braunfels, San Antonio, Texas
Eastern subterranean termites can and often do burrow through the ground and make their way into your home through cracks in your home’s foundation. This can pose a serious problem because it is so hard to detect where their nests are located. If you have discovered termites or have seen signs of termite activity around your home or yard, contact A Five Star Termite & Pest Control today. We will come and do a thorough inspection to find the source of the termites nest and help protect your home from these destructive pests.