When people talk about termites the conversation is usually filled with drastic stories about termites ruining homes and office buildings. Knowing that termites eat their way through buildings and cause complete havoc is just about all many of us know about this insect. So what else is there to learn about termites? Once we see them can we stop in their tracks before too much damage is caused? Is there a way to get rid of them without moving out of your house? Today we will answer all of these questions.
Termites are Eusocial Insects
Wikipedia defines eusociality as the highest level of organization of animal sociality and is defined by the following characteristics: cooperative brood care, overlapping generations within a colony of adults, and a division of labor into reproductive and non-reproductive groups. Ants, bees, and wasps are other insects that are classified as eusocial. There are over 3,000 species of termites. They can be found all over the world with the exception of Antarctica. They divide themselves into casts of sterile male and female workers and soldiers; fertile males called kings, and one or more fertile females called queens. Having the longest life span of any insect known to man, termite queens can live up to 30 to 50 years. Termites feed on wood, leaf litter, soil, or animal dung. In subtropical and tropical regions, they are of considerable ecological importance due to their recycling of wood and plant matter.
Formosan Subterranean Termite Invasive Species
The most common species of termite in Austin, Texas and surrounding areas is the Formosan subterranean termite. The Formosan termites have been described as the Common Eastern Subterranean termite on steroids due to their ability to chew up your home in record time. While many termite colonies will have several hundred thousand termites, the Formosan termite may have several million termites in their colonies. Formosan termites consume wood at a faster rate than other termites. Formosan termite colonies can consume 13 ounces of wood a day. While that may not sound like that much if they continue daily at this rate they can cause severe structural damage in as little as three months.
Signs of Termites in Walls, Floors, Ceilings, etc
In an effort to prevent severe termite damage in your home or business, you need to be aware of what signs to look for. In the springtime, swarmers start invading homes. Swarmers are young, female, winged termites that fly out to look for buildings that may have sustained water damage during the harsh winter weather or have other desirable qualities to make their new home. Swarmers frequently discard their wings. If you see discarded wings near your windowsills and doors, this can be the first and only visible sign of a termite problem. Once the termites are inside your home they will begin to eat the wood from the inside out. Rotting wood or wood that sounds hollow when tapped are both signs of termites. As termites eat through the wood they leave wood-colored droppings that look like pellets. If you see these pellets inside or outside your home, termites may have infested your home. Another sign you will want to watch for is the appearance of mud tubes. Termites build mud tubes to travel through from their colony and the food source. They are most often found near the foundation of the buildings. If you see any of these signs of termite infestation you need to act immediately!
Termite Insect Inspections, Control & More in Austin, Round Rock, Leander, Pflugerville & Cedar Park, Texas
Acting immediately if you suspect your home has termites is extremely important. As mentioned above, the Formosan termite can cause significant structural damage in as little as three months. Each day that a termite infestation continues in your home or business, more damage is caused. Please give A-Tex Pest Management a call today so that we can design a specialized treatment plan for your home!