Any building or facility is prone to termite damage, there are numerous ways to control termite infestation. It can start prior to building your home (Pre-construction Anti-Termite Control) and when your house/building is already built (Post-Construction). There are also varied choices for the materials you wish to use for the control, be it chemical (liquid or bait matrix) or physical barriers (wire mesh). Below are some more information for anti – termite control.

Termites are soil or wood inhabiting insects which generally have soft, white bodies and highly practice random feeding. They are small in size (4-11 mm) and are sometimes called “white ants” due to some similarities. Mostly they could be found in damp and rotting wood.

These insects are classified under the order Isoptera (iso = equal and pteron = wing), wherein they have equally-sized wings. Shedding of wings usually occurs after a short nuptial flight, which males and females pair up to start a new colony.

All termites are cellulose eaters – meaning they consume fibers of various plant and trees. They are able to extract cellulose due to protozoa in their system that comes from the queen. These creatures are highly considered destructive by nature.

What is a Termite Colony?Termites are social insects that live in a nest or colony. This colony is typically located underground, wherein often near a tree or stump. Each colony contains four forms or castes namely: workers, soldiers, secondary reproductives, and primary reproductives (queen and king). Each member of the colony performs a specific role as defined by their hierarchy. This job specialization is what makes termites so productive and destructive.

The Castle Classification Worker termites lack eyes and wings. They are white to grayish-white with a round, yellow-brown head and about 1/4 to 3/8 inch long. Workers can comprise as much as 80% of a colony. Their main function is to maintain the nest and forage for cellulose-based foods that they provide to the rest of the colony. The foraging and feeding activities are the damage result to structural wood.

Soldier termites: If the colony is disturbed, the very first termites that will be present are the soldiers. Termites belonging on this class are wingless and somehow resemble worker termites except for a very large yellowish-brown head with dark-colored mandibles (jaw). The sole purpose of the soldiers is to defend the colony at any cost against any invader such as ants.
If a human goes poking around a termite colony, the very first termites to be encountered
are the soldier termites. Soldier termites are wingless and resemble workers except
that they have large, rectangular, yellowish and brown heads with large mandibles (jaws). The sole purpose of the soldier is to defend the colony against enemies such as ants.

Secondary Reproductive Termites:  They are being produced in mature colonies. They are winged termites (commonly called “swarmers” or technically termed as “alates”) that are usually brown-black to reddish-brown color and about 1/4 to 3/8 inch long. Their wings can extend up to twice their body size during the maturity period. If the queen of the colony dies, one of the secondary reproductives will immediately take over. All of the matured reproductives leave the colony at the same time, habitually in spring or sometimes in fall. After landing on the ground, the initiative of each male is to find a compatible mate to start a new colony. Swarmers have a small percentage of surviving due to many factors. But once detected, this is considered a serious sign of infestation.

Secondary reproductives are also commonly confused with winged ants. However, being mistaken by looking from a distance, they have several distinct visible differences between them. The representation below will give clarification on how to detect reproductive termite from a winged ant.

Primary Reproductive (Queen and King): A typical termite colony will have a single pair of primary reproductives, which is the queen and king. The main purpose of the Queen termite is to reproduce and to constantly supply “protozoa” needed by the workers to enable them to extract cellulose from wood. The King’s responsibility, on the other hand, is to continuously mate with the queen for life. A mature Queen can lay thousands of eggs each day and some of the workers take care of these during their two-week incubation period. The approximate life span of a queen is known to be 15-25 years.

Physical Termite Barriers – This approach is designed to protect the foundation of a structure and help homeowners detect termite activity without the use of liquid-based termiticide. These are typically made out of foam, stainless steel mesh, and other materials intended to prevent termites from having access to the property. Appropriate placement and installation of barriers can provide termite protection for houses with little to no risk of pesticide exposure to the people.

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