What is a termite infestation?
Termites are social insects, meaning that they live in colonies. When termites from a colony or part of a colony are present in a structure, the structure is said to be infested. To survive, subterranean termites will need a moisture source, which they obtain by going back to the ground, bringing moisture with them, or by using moisture found in the structure due to leaks, condensation or lack of ventilation. Drywood termites do not need additional moisture and will attack sound wood. Drywood termites are found mostly in southern Florida, southern California and Hawaii. Subterranean termites are found in virtually all states except Alaska.
How does an infestation occur?
Termites, as with all living creatures, need food. Cellulose found in wood is the food source for most termites found in North America. They feed on cellulose-based material like wood, books, boxes, furniture and drywall coverings. Termites are constantly foraging and have been found over 150 feet from a colony. Infestations can occur two ways. First, healthy colonies send out winged reproductives to start new colonies. When termites find a suitable area, they will start a new colony. The second way that infestations occur is if subterranean termites are foraging for food and they find their way into a structure. Subterranean termites can do this by building mud tunnels over foundations to provide themselves access to the wood of the structure.
What are the telltale signs of infestation?
Telltale signs of infestation will vary by type of termite. For drywood termites, found generally in subtropical areas, homeowners might notice pellets or termite droppings. These are small, ridged, wood-colored pellets. They might fall from the ceiling or from furniture. For subterranean termites, a swarm of winged termites emerging within a structure is a sign that an infestation is nearby. As subterranean termites build mud tubes to enter a building, these straw-like tubes from the structure to the ground indicate an infestation, past or present. For the imported Formosan termite, “carton” or mud structures within a wall indicate an infestation. It is best to have a professional pest control inspector look at a potential infestation to determine if it is a termite issue and whether it is active.
Why are termites a threat to my home?
Termite colonies work 24 hours a day, and signs of termite infestations can go undiscovered until serious damage is done. Because homeowners insurance typically does not cover termite damage, termite detection and continued termite treatment are the best ways to help protect your property.
According to industry statistics, termites cause over $5 billion in documented damage each year. It is likely that the number is actually higher than that. However, homeowners insurance routinely excludes termite damage, so insurance will not pay for treatment or repairs. Most people list their homes as their single largest investment, and termite infestation and damage can be devastating. Termites in a commercial building have the same effect; it is an uninsured event which must be addressed
Unless there are signs of active termite infestation, you probably won’t detect termites because they forage and hang out hidden from view. The most obvious sign is discarded wings. Not-so-obvious signs include wood that sounds hollow when tapped, cracked or bubbling paint and termite droppings that look like sawdust (frass). You may also see mud tubes that look like the image pictured above.
Pre-construction anti-Termite Treatment
Termite Control is the first step to take if you are planning to build a house or commercial building. We use highly advanced techniques for treating the termite infestation.
Creating a treated zone before the construction even begins, safeguards the building from future termite infestations.
A direct injection of liquid pesticide is applied to eradicate termites completely from your premises. The different stages of our treatment include:
The sides and bottom surface of the foundation trenches and pits are treated with chemicals to an appropriate height.Sides of all built-up walls that are in direct contact with the foundation, are also treated with chemicals. The chemicals are directed towards the masonry surfaces so that earth in contact with these surfaces is well treated with the chemical.Before laying the floor, the top surface is also treated with chemicalsWe also advise builders to take appropriate care during constructionto avoid creating untreated gaps later.
Life cycle :
The life cycle of the termite begins with a mating flight, wherein swarming winged reproductive males and females leave established colonies and procreate. After fertilization, winged termites land and shed their wings, going on to form new colonies. These insects then become the king or queen termites of their newly established colonies. The queen and king termites are at the center of the termite life cycle and are responsible for reproduction.
After the fertilized queen lays her eggs, they hatch into pale white larvae. Over the course of several molts, these larvae grow to assume a role in one of the three termite colony castes: workers, soldiers and reproductive termites, also known as alates.
Each caste has a distinctly different physical appearance. Workers are responsible for constructing tunnels and chambers as well as feeding and grooming other termite castes. Soldier termites are yellow-brown in color, with dramatically enlarged heads and often large mandibles. These are useful in combat but render warriors incapable of feeding themselves. The reproductive alates are darker in color and are born with two pairs of wings.
Although it is not clear how larvae are relegated to a certain caste, some research has indicated that maturity and the overall needs of the colony may dictate caste assignment. In fact, research has indicated that castes in the termite life cycle are not rigidly set, as termites belonging to one caste may develop into another caste if the colony requires it. Thus, a soldier termite may become a worker or a reproductive termite if the colony experiences a shortage of one or the other.
Workers and soldiers live approximately one to two years. Queen termites may survive for over a decade under optimal climate conditio
Home remedy :
There are a few good home remedies that can be used to get rid of termites that exist in the home. A good home remedy to start with is to seal any gaps, cracks, or holes. These are known to a great way for termites to enter the home and begin their feast. A person may also place boric acid around the perimeter of their home, which will effectively kill the termites upon contact. It is also important to reduce moisture around the home, remove dirt and debris, and to destroy any mud holes found around the home.
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