Termite (order Isoptera) is a cellulose-eating insect with a social organization strikingly similar to that of ants and bees, although having developed separately. Termites are frequently referred to as white ants, even though they are not closely related to ants. The cockroach is the closest relative of the termite, according to phylogenetic analyses; as a result, termites are frequently classified in the order Dictyoptera, which also includes the mantids.
How do termites look?
Termites are all members of the Arthropoda phylum, the Insecta class, and the Isoptera order. Termites come in over 2,000 distinct species, with over 40 found in the United States alone. Although they have different qualities, the majority of them appear to be the same. They have soft bodies with straight antennae and measure between 1/4 and 1/2 inches in length. The queens and kings are bigger, reaching heights of nearly one inch. Worker termites are lighter in color than swarming termites, which range from white to light brown. The reproductive, or flying termites, have two pairs of conspicuous wings.
Importance of Termites
Termites are significant for two reasons. When they eat on and frequently destroy timber buildings or precious vegetative materials, they are destructive. Because introduced species are not as well equipped as native species to adapt to changes in their new environments, they seek refuge in protected, man-made environments such as buildings. They are more likely to become the most severe pests, causing significant damage to homes and wooden furnishings. Termites that feed on live plant matter can be important agricultural pests.
Termites are also advantageous because they assist in the conversion of plant cellulose into compounds that may be recycled back into the environment to stimulate new development.
How Serious Are They?
Termite infestations and damage to your house or property can be disastrous. Termites are known as the “silent destroyer” because they may live and thrive in your home or yard without causing any visible harm. Termites eat cellulose-based plant components in their entirety. Unfortunately, regardless of the kind of construction, all dwellings may supply cellulose food for termites.
How can I handle Termite Infestation?
Carefully select a pest control provider.
Your city must have licensed termite control companies. Inquire about the company’s license.
The termite’s life cycle begins with a mating flight, in which swarms of flying reproductive male and females leave established colonies to reproduce. Winged termites land and shed their wings after fertilization, then continue to create new settlements. These insects subsequently rise to the position of king or queen termite in their freshly formed colonies. The queen and king termites are responsible for reproduction and are at the heart of the termite life cycle.
LIFE CYCLE OF TERMITES
The fertilized queen’s eggs develop into pale white larvae after she lays them. Workers, soldiers, and primary or secondary reproductives develop from eggs that hatch into larvae and molt.
A nymph is a juvenile termite that is molting (losing its exoskeleton) to become reproductive. A termite first develops a soft exoskeleton beneath its hard exoskeleton. The termite’s exterior skeleton rips open when it reaches maturity, and the new exoskeleton expands and hardens. This molting process occurs throughout a termite’s life cycle, depending on the demands of the colony.
These larvae mature into one of three termite colony castes: workers, soldiers, and reproductive termites, also known as alates, throughout several moults.
Each caste has a particular physical appearance. Construction of tunnels and chambers and feeding and grooming of other termite castes are the responsibilities of workers. Soldier termites are yellow-brown in appearance and have disproportionately big heads and mandibles. These are effective in fighting, but they make soldiers unable to eat themselves. The reproductive alates are deeper in color and have two pairs of wings when they are hatched.
Although it is unclear how larvae are assigned to a caste, some research suggests that age and the colony’s overall needs may determine caste assignment.
Swarming is a part of the termite life cycle. When reproductives reach full maturity and are capable of reproducing, they gain wings and eyes. Now known as alates, their bodies become more challenging and darker to assist the swarming termites in enduring exposure to light and less humid air.
How to get rid of Termites?
Get Rid of Moisture
Moisture is one of the significant reasons that pests, including termites, are attracted to your house. Termites can be kept at bay by removing excess water from your property. A dehumidifier might benefit you if you live in a humid area. During the summer, you may turn on the air conditioner frequently throughout the day to keep the house cool and remove extra moisture from the air.
Be aware of any leaks or deterioration in your home. Termites love termite-infested roofs and moisture-soaked walls. Repair and seal the leak as soon as possible, and examine your home regularly, especially in basements and dark areas. These areas are frequently ignored, yet they are the first to attract pests. A leak in the basement is particularly appealing since it is closer to the ground, making it more straightforward for termites to attack.
Keep a Safe Gap Between Soil and Wood
If you have a garden, keep a safe distance between the soil and the wood. Most experts agree that a gap of at least eighteen inches is necessary. Termites will be less likely to damage your home’s foundation and furniture if you do this. To establish a physical barrier for termites, use stones or cement to divide soil from the wooden area, especially in patios, gardens, and other regions.
De-clutter Your Home
Whether you have hired specialists to cure your home for termites or bed bugs, it is critical to declutter your home. Empty papers, cardboard, old magazines, and newspapers should be given extra attention since they create an ideal environment for pests like termites to grow. If termites have infested one of your rooms, don’t move anything from that room, including furniture, to other sections of your house that aren’t infested with termites.
Since termites can cause severe damage to your property, it is recommended not to try DIY methods, contact a local pest control service in your area.