Just hearing the word termite gives you an uncomfortable feeling. These tiny insects cause approximately 5 billion dollars in property damage in the United States each year. Termites get into your home and chow down on any wood source available as food to build colonies and survive. They particularly enjoy moist wood to chew through. The hardest part about a termite infestation is that they are hard to spot. They usually chew through the interior of your walls, out of your sight. You may only notice them after the structural damage has already occurred. This is why it is important to arm yourself with knowledge of these tiny pests to help keep them away from your home.
There are three major types of termites in the United States; dampwood, drywood and subterranean. Subterranean termites are the most destructive of all three species. These termites live in colonies with nearly two MILLION members. That is a lot of termites. They typically live underground, but will break off into colonies in moist areas above ground.
Here is a breakdown of the subterranean termite colony:
Queen: The queen’s role in a termite colony is to mate and start the colony. Her role from then on is to continue to mate and grow the colony larger. They can produce up to 30,000 eggs per day.
Solider: Soldier termites are used to defend the colony against an attack. Ants are the biggest threat to a termite colony. Ants have better eye sight and will attack in an organized manner. Solider termites have enlarged jaws and head to help them protect the colony.
Worker: Worker termites take on the tasks of foraging for food, colony maintenance and some defense rolls. They are most likely to be found in infested wood. Termites will use their scissor like jaws to chew through wood, 24 hours a day.
Swarmer: These termites have wings and are a dark brown to black color. During the spring, these termites leave the colony to start new colonies. They will mate in a new area and start building their own colonies.
If you find that you have a termite infestation in your home or you think you might, it is best to call a professional pest exterminator as soon as possible to assess the damage and work with you to eliminate termites in your home before the damage gets significant.