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Termites

Hover or click each Termite to view it's name and/open a link for more information.

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General Information

Termites are very small invasive insects that can invade an area without showing any signs of instant destruction. Termites survive on cellulose, which is a plant-based material that is found throughout most homes and other structures. The abundance of this material in most types of construction leaves homes and other buildings vulnerable to termite infestation.

There are three major categories of termites that invade man-made structures: the drywood termite (Incisitermes snyderi), dampwood (Zootermopsis angusticollis) termite and the subterranean termite (Reticulitermes flavipes). There are more than 2000 species of termites across the globe.

Termites may grow between 1/4 -1/2 an inch in length, while the kings and queens within a nest may grow larger than 1 inch. Termites live in colonies and have a social hierarchy which sees different types assuming specific roles. Kings and Queens are the ruling members of a colony, and are also one of two groups that are responsible for sexual reproduction.

Worker termites are usually paler in colour with softer bodies and do most of the nest building and food gathering. Winged termites or as they are also commonly called reproductives, are the only other members of a colony that are sexually mature. Soldier termites are the protectors fo the colonies and are pronouncedly stronger in appearance with larger heads and prominent mandibles.

Termite Workers

Termite workers have soft bodies, hard heads and strong mouth parts. They require a lot of moisture and do not venture in dry areas for long periods. They may vary in size depending on their function. Smaller/younger workers are responsible for nest maintenance and caring for eggs. Older worker termites forage for food in areas outside the nest. Where there are no soldier termites in a nest, older termites also assume the role of defence from invaders.

More About Termites

Exopest Soldier Termites
Solider Termites - Solider termites are the first line of defence for any colony. Their large heads and hard mandibles make them particularly competent at battling ants (their main predators) who often invade colonies. Once a pheromone is released by other termites soldiers will come to the rescue and defend vulnerable areas. While these termites can be effective, their relatively small numbers within any given colony (about 2%) makes them prone to being killed by larger ant attacks. Solider termites are unable to feed themselves and rely on worker termites to breakdown cellulose for their consumption.
Exopest Flying Termites
Flying Termites - Flying termites are a sign that a mature colony of termites is within or very close by your living environment. They can be mistaken for winged ants, however upon close inspection their more streamlined bodies as opposed to the cinched waist of an ant will become more apparent. They have antennae that are straight and four equal sized wings. Typically they begin flight during heavy rain fall or when it is humid. As they reach peak maturity they leave the nest in swarms to mate and form their own colonies, eventually losing their wings becoming Kings and Queens.
Exopest Trained and Certified
Subterranean - Subterranean termites are typically darker in colour than other types. While worker termites share similar characteristics to other species, light and soft bodied, their solider termites tend to be dark brown to black in colour with more elongated heads. They are found more abundantly in the United States than the dampwood and drywood species and usually inhabit underground areas beneath the soils. They build large networks of interconnected tunnels/mud tubes that are used to travel along moist areas into homes and other structures.
Exopest Detailed Service Reports
Dietary Preference - Termites are detritivores, that is they feed on plant materials and trees. Their main source of nutrients is cellulose which makes up all plant and wood matter. Most termites prefer dead wood, while others may prefer to feed on living trees. Each species has a specific preference. Subterranean termites typically consume softwoods, Dampwood termites prefer decayed wood and Drywood termites tend to eat dryer types of wood, like those found in attics.

Signs of Termite Infestation

Termites will at first, leave little to no indication of their presence until the nest has grown substantially and damage has already become visible. Once you identify any swarms of winged termites in or around your home, you can assume that they have already infested some areas. Cracked or bubbling paint beneath wood, termite droppings (frass), mud tubes along exterior walls, crawl spaces or wooden beams and discarded wings from swarms are all sure fire signs that termites are within your home or place of business.

Reduce Your Risk of an Infestation

  • Clean rain gutters and keep them free of debris
  • Trim plants and remove excess mulch
  • Minimize leaks in the home.
  • Ensure the foundation is not water logged
  • Ensure your roof drains well.
  • Treat all wood within your home
  • Check all wooden surfaces for damage
  • Ensure that wood structures do not make contact with soil
  • Seal water pipes and utility lines along entry points
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