For the destruction they cause and the challenge with eliminating an infestation, termites are notorious around the world. As termites chew and consume the wood throughout your home due to the hollowed galleries, or tunnels they create, the integrity of the wood is weakened. The most common termite in Kentucky is subterranean termites, though there are thousands of different types of termites. We at A Five Star Termite & Pest Control would like to take the opportunity to discuss the basics of subterranean termites today.
What Wood Do Termites Prefer to Eat?
Subterranean termites can cause extensive damage. Their hard, saw-toothed jaws work like shears that bite off small fragments of wood that quickly add up. In lieu of the softer wood, these termites will often leave the hard wood since they prefer the softer areas of wood. However, if necessary, termites will devour and tunnel through the harder wood. Subterranean termites will line layers of hollow sections that resemble a thin shell of honeycomb, with compacted damp soil in the infested timber that is left behind after their foraging. They compact the tunnels with soil because they require moist environments and live in dark, damp soil. Termites travel underground and get into homes through faults in the foundation.
What are the Three Castes of a Subterranean Termite Colony?
Being social insects, subterranean termites all live in their nested colonies. The three castes that are in the colony are made up of workers, soldiers, and swarmers, or the reproducers. The queen mates with her king to produce the 2,000 fertile eggs she lays a day to grow the colony. The workers take care of the hatched nymphs and as they evolve into adulthood, they become workers, soldiers, or swarmers. To start their own colonies when they find a new nest to start their own colonies, the young king and queens are the only winged termites and discard their wings. During the late spring and midsummer is when the swarmers are generally the most active. The worker termites are creamy-translucent colored termites that are soft-bodied, and the worker termites maintain an efficiently operating colony. Workers ensure the royals and soldiers are fed, care for the nymphs until maturity in addition to excavating the tunnels, harvest and forage food. Also, workers will make repairs on damaged tunnels and worker termites will groom each other. Soldier termites are the defenders of the colony from any threats and typically fight the 250-million-year-old feuds with ants. Being more of an orange color and are armed with mandible pinchers, soldiers develop a hard-shell helmet around their heads. Soldiers use their pinchers to crush their enemies to ensnare their victim after secreting a sticky latex resin. When a breech was mad, they we will stay on guard while the workers make the repairs, people may catch a glimpse of the soldier termites in rare instances.
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Being closely connected to nearby damaged wood, subterranean termites use the mud tubes they construct to reach higher levels. This is a major red flag you have a termite problem in your home or business. The results could be costly should the infestation grow as they termites continue to multiply. Contact A Five Star Termite & Pest Control as soon as possible and let our skilled professionals inspect your home or business if you believe you have termites or hear a neighbor has had an infestation.