subterranean termites damage , What You Need To Know About Subterranean Termites
Termites play an important part in our ecosystem but they can be very destructive to humans. Billions of dollars are spent every year for termite infestations and repairs. At the same times, billions are lost from the damage caused by termites on trees, houses, buildings, furniture, and other man-made structures. Termites are not simple insects. Termites are grouped into two types, depending on the moisture content of their habitat. There are termites that dwell in damp woods while the other type prefers dry woods. Approximately 2,500 species of termites are known worldwide and only 45 species are known in the United States which belongs to genus Reticulitermes. One of them is the subterranean termites.
You can easily identify subterranean termites. These termites are creamy brown in color which has long narrow oval-shaped bodies. They also have a straight pair of antennas and six legs. Subterranean termites can also have wings which are the same in length. Some may mistake subterranean termites for ants. Ants have smaller bodies, indifferent length of wings and elbowed antennas.
Subterranean termites are dry wood termites often found living under the grounds, cracks, and crevices, damp woods or in moist areas. They live in colonies with millions of members in the caste system. They build mud tunnels as a means of transportation.
subterranean termites damage , Subterranean termites feed on anything with cellulose: wood, plants, paper, cardboard, and some plastics. Their digestive system contains bacteria and single-celled organisms which help them digest the cellulose they eat. The digested cellulose is converted to simple starches that provide energy and nutrition to these termites.
Subterranean termites live according to a caste system. They have queen and king termites are mainly responsible for reproduction and increasing the members of the colony. They have workers who are responsible for building mud tunnels to search for a possible source of food. They have soldiers who are tasked to defend the colony from any harm. Lastly, swarmers are assigned to travel outside their colony in search of other possible habitats.
Here’s a quick look in at the life of a subterranean termite. First, the king and queen mate and lay up batches of eggs. After around 4 weeks, these eggs will hatch into larvae. After a few feedings, larvae will become either workers, soldiers, nymphs or swarmers. Swarmers are only produced when the colony is big enough. The first batch of larvae will depend mainly on their kings and queens. The second batch of larvae will then depend on the first batch of workers. Workers feed the larvae, soldiers, and their kings and queens which are also responsible for maintaining the humidity of the colony. Workers have the most tasks inside the colony.
You can easily identify the kings and queens because they are the biggest among all of them. On the other hand, eggs are very small and they look like tiny jelly beans. Larvae are identified as smaller than adult termites. Workers are white which have orange heads and sturdy mouthparts. Soldiers have their big heads and biting claws to help protect the colony from predators. Some of the nymphs may eventually develop into swarmers or secondary kings and queens. Soldiers defend their colonies by biting predators.
Subterranean termites in California are very hard to locate because they either dwell under the ground or inside crevices and cracks where they are almost impossible to see. They usually live away from their source of food which is why they build hidden mud tunnels in order to safety travel to and from their food source.
Subterranean termites are mostly found on the edges of stairways, corners of doorways, electrical conduits, small gaps and crevices, cracks on the wall and ceilings, along water pipes, basements and so on. You can usually tell that you have termite infestation when you find live termites, mud tubes and detached wings from swarmers. The presence of soil inside the corners of your house is also another sign of Subterranean termites. Damaged wood would look normal on the outside but may contain networks of tunnels on the inside. You can check for this by using knocking on wood to see if it is still solid and using a screwdriver or an ice pick to test if the wood is damaged or not.
subterranean termites damage
Formosan termites are considered subterranean and are known for its destructive ability. Formosan subterranean termites got their name from Formosan, Taiwan where the species was originally discovered before they spread all over the world. They are often referred to as “super termites” because they can easily destroy wood structures in months. They can consume 400 grams of wood per day. In as fast as 3 months, you will see cracks in your house. It will take these termites only 3 – 5 years to completely destroy an average-sized house.
You can prevent subterranean termites, especially super termites, from infesting your homes by proper sanitation and using termite treatment prior to construction on the soil and materials. To keep termites away, remove any stagnant water or dead trees or barks off your property. A little bit of prevention and maintenance is a small price to pay to keep subterranean termites away.