Over the years you have probably heard at least one horror story of termites invading someone’s house and causing severe damage. There are tons of stories that you can find of people that had to move out of their house for months while termite damage was repaired. You probably know that having termites in your home is dangerous. But do you know anything else about termites? There is more than one type of termite group. Today we are going to talk about subterranean termites.
Identification of Termite Colony Castes
Let’s start by talking about what subterranean termites look like. In order to describe what they look like we have to break them down into smaller groups. Termite colonies are separated into different groups. Each group has their own job and their own unique characteristics.
• Termite Alates AKA Swarmers: Alates are also called the swarmers. They are dark-brown to black in color. They are about ¼ or ½ inch long. Alates have two pairs of wings that are very close in length to each other.
• Termite Workers: Worker termites are cream colored. They have no wings. Worker termites are ¼ inch or smaller in length.
• Termite Soldiers: Soldiers are creamy-white in color. Frequently their head is brown though. They have no wings. Soldier termites have large jaws which help them defend the colony.
Each different type of termite has their own special job that they are in charge of. Workers are in charge of separating wood or other cellulose from its source so that they termites can eat. They live in dark tunnels their entire life. They do not have eyes because they do not need them. If worker termites find their way into the light they quickly find their way back to the dark. Alates, or swarmers, are the only ones that can see. They only develop when the colony is three to five years old. They eventually leave the colony to start a new one of their own. Solider termites help keep the termite colony safe from other bugs and insects.
Termites live in underground colonies. They build tunnels in search of food. Termites eat wood, books, paper products, cellulose-based products, and a variety of other plant-based goods. They will cause serious damage to your home by eating the wood in your walls. They cause billions of dollars each year in structural damage. They are able to cause so much damage because they are hard to detect.
Early Signs of Termites
Normally by the time you see signs of a termite infestation tons of damage has already been done. The most common warning signs of termites is the presence of winged swarmers, mud tubes, and evidence of damaged wood. If you notice any of these things you will want to start treatment immediately.
Termite Inspection & Treatment
Treatment is best left to the professionals over here at Southeast Florida Pest Control. Studies have shown that without professional help homeowners are not typically successful in getting rid of termites on their own. We have all of the expertise and tools to help you get rid of the termites on your property. Contact us today!