Termites belong to the insect order Isoptera. In Nature, termites are considered beneficial insects because they break down dead and dying plant material. In your home, termites are considered pests because they infest structures and cause billions of dollars worth of damage every year. Many types of termites exist in the United States with the main four types being: Subterranean, Drywood, Rottenwood, and Agricultural termites. Subterranean Termites are the most common form of termite that creates panic here in the Tyler area.
Subterranean Termites nest in the soil and feed on any wood in contact with the soil. In some cases these termites can build a mud tunnel from the surface of the ground, up to a piece of wood on a structure. Due to termites’ dependency on moisture, they are affected by soil types. Sandy soils have more moisture and consequently harbor more termites. Tyler is considered to be a “very heavy” area of infestation due to humidity, soil type, and food source for the Subterranean Termite.
Termites live in very organized colonies with multiple castes: workers (pseudergrates), soldiers, and reproductive. Each one of these castes has a different objective in support of the colony.
Worker Termites are the majority in a termite colony and can be recognized by their opaque white bodies. The worker termite has no eyes, however, it is tasked with the responsibilities of building and repairing the nest, foraging for food, feeding, and grooming all other members of the colony.
Soldier termites have a distinct head which is greatly enlarged, dark reddish-brown, and mandibles like swords that can cut its assailants with ease. The soldier termite lives a long life (in the insect world) of approximately two to three years.
Reproductive members of the termite colony can be grouped into three types; primary, secondary, and tertiary. The primary reproductive termites (alate) are winged and are produced in colonies matured to at least three years of age. These reproductive termites are produced in large numbers every year and leave the colony in flight with the objective of creating a new colony. Alates can be recognized by black, flattened, and un-segmented bodies. After a short flight by these reproductive termites, they will shed their wings and begin excavating a new nest.
Termite infestations usually come to a homeowner’s attention in the spring (March-July) when the reproductive termites “swarm” and is most commonly confused with “flying ants”. To distinguish the difference between a termite alate and a “flying ant,” inspect the physiology of both insects; Termite alates have straight antennae, thick waists, and four long, fragile wings of equal size and shape. Ants have a wasp-like body shape, narrow waist, and two forewings that are larger than the two rear wings.
If you think you may have identified a termite swarm in or around your home please don’t hesitate to give Green Bug a call for a free consultation, also be sure to check out this third party information on choosing a termite control company. If you found this page to be of help please refer our information to other friends and family.