• Termites Life Cycle

    13 September 2018
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    termites in the mound

    Life Span of Termites

    Termites are one of the most destructive pests you can encounter. Understanding the life cycle of termites will inform you as to why they are so troublesome.

    Termites are dangerous wood-eating pests, and their infestation is a real threat to wooden foundations. Their ability to eat away the entire structure of a house or building is a testament to how destructive they are.

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    It is estimated that termites cause property damage of $5 Billion every year!

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    These decomposers have been munching on wood for centuries with more than 2500 termite species in existence. Each has unique characteristics, appearance, behavior, and habitat. But despite their distinct features, the life cycle of termites is similar in all species.

    Mating Flight

    The life cycle of termites starts when swarming winged reproductive males, and females make a mating flight. They leave the established colonies in large groups. 

    Female swarmers then release perfume like ‘mating pheromone’ chemicals. This lures the male swarmers, and once they find an attractive female, they shed their wings together. Shedding wings is an indication they are a couple now, and then they procreate.

    They land in a new place to establish a new colony there. They finish mating there and then fertilize the female termite. Those respective male and female termites will become the king and queen of the newly established colony.

    Eggs

    The fertilized queen lays eggs that eventually hatch into larvae which are pale-white in color.

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    A termite queen can lay up to 30,000 eggs every single day!

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    Molting

    Once the larvae hatch out of their eggs, they start molting. Molting is a growth process for termites in which they shed their exoskeletons to develop into worker and soldier termites. The termite which is going through the molting process is known as a nymph.

    Initially, a soft exoskeleton is developed under the existing hard exoskeleton. Once they reach maturity, the outer skeleton splits, and the inner skeleton hardens.

    Larvae

    Eggs hatch into larvae after 30 days. The termite king is responsible for feeding the immature termites. Larvae will molt several times over time.

    Environmental factors and pheromone cues by the king and queen determine which caste larvae will assume after growing. The termites’ castes which larvae can develop into include workers, soldiers, and alates (reproductive termites).

    termites in a trap

    Termites in a trap

    Castes

    Molting is required to achieve maturity, and enter the caste system of termites. Usually, larvae molt up to 3 times to reach full maturity. Afterward, larvae pick up castes and develop structures according to their caste. There are three possible castes larvae can be placed in to. Each has specific functions to perform for the survival of the colony.

    • Worker Termites

    Workers are an essential component of any termite colony. Their roles include:

    • repairing nests
    • feeding other castes
    • grooming other castes
    • maintaining the colony
    • constructing tunnels and chambers
    • forage food for other castes

    Most of the termites that you’ll see eating are generally are worker termites. They are sterile and don’t grow any further. Also, they are blind, lack wings, and have a lifespan of 1 – 2 years.

    • Soldier Termites

    These termites are yellow-brown. They have large mandibles and enlarged red heads. Their primary purpose is to defend the colonies from any intruders. Even though they are warriors, they are unable to eat on their own. 

    Soldiers are dependent on workers to feed them. Just like the worker stage, the soldier stage is as far as soldiers will go in the caste system. They are also sterile and don’t live longer than 2 years.

    • Reproductive Termites (alates)

    Reproductive termites are dark in color and possess functioning eyes with two pairs of wings which aid them during their mating flight. Those larvae who assume the role of reproductive alates (kings and queens) leave their colony during colonizing flight. They search for a suitable site for nesting, mate there, reproduce, and then become the king and queen of their colonies.

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    Termite Queens have a long lifespan and can live up to decades in favorable climate conditions.

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    In the life cycle of termites, there is no hard and fast rule for assuming the respective caste role. If the colony demands it, termites from one caste can develop into another caste. For example; a worker termite can become a soldier or alate if required.

    Life Cycle of Termites infographic

    Infographic (Life Cycle of Termites)

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  • Termite Infestation in the House

    15 December 2017
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    a termite scurrying on the soil

    Termite Infestation:

    9 Warning Signs If You Have Termites in the House

    Termites can be quite sneaky because most people don’t even notice the signs of termites infestation till quite a substantial amount of damage is already done.

    If you look at their tiny white bodies, you would never be able to guess what a menace they can be. We’re talking about termites. These wood-feeding insects cause damages worth $5 billion in America every year. Here we’ll show you how to tell if you have termites.

    While dry wood termites feed on wood that is dry, the subterranean termites live underground and can cause a lot of damage. At Control Exterminating, we specialize in dealing with all kinds of termite infestation in NYC. The first step to controlling a termite infestation is to be able to identify the signs of termites infestation early.

    Here are 9 signs to tell if you have termites in the house:

    #1. Termite shelter tubes

    These structures are clay like and are brown in color. These tubes protect termites from predators and also provide them with the dark and humid environment to store their food. These tubes are between 10 mm to 50 mm in width. We must look out for these tubes as they are a tell-tale sign of termites.

    #2. Subterranean tunnels

    The subterranean termites make subterranean tunnels where they store their food. These tunnels can be almost 20 meters deep in the earth.

    #3. Blowholes in trees

    Both the species make blowholes in trees. The subterranean termites make the more visible holes. When the alates (winged termites) want to come out of the trunk to form a new colony, they cut longitudinal slits in the tree trunk. After the exit is complete, the worker termites seal this hole.

    #4. Termite droppings

    If you find termite feces (also known as frass) in your home, it is a sure sign of infestation. These look like tiny wood colored pellets.

    #5. Earthen packing

    This is a mud-like substance produced by termites working on wood. It can mostly be seen near foundation walls and joints. Both the species of termites can cause damage to foundations.

    #6. Termite noise

    Termites often hollow out wood, leaving only a thin upper layer intact. In places of heavy infestation, an audible tapping noise can be heard. This sound comes when the soldier termites tap their mandibles and heads on wood to signal the rest of the colony.

    temites with wings swarming on the ground

    Termite Infestation 

    “If you find termite feces (also known as frass) in your home, it is a sure sign of infestation. These look like tiny wood colored pellets.”

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    #7. Termite wings

    If you see termite with wings around your home, you definitely have an infestation in your home. While subterranean termites swarm during the spring season, this is not the case with dry wood termites. Call a termite control NYC service provider if you see a swarm or discarded wings in your home.

    #8. Sagging floors

    Termites are known to cause extensive damage to wooden floors without showing any signs on the surface. They can completely hollow out wood and make it weak. Squeaky floors or floors that are sagging can also be signs of infestation. If you suspect an infestation, tap on the floor. If you notice a hollow sound, contact Control Exterminating without wasting any more time.

    #9. Tree Nests

    Some termites also make their nests inside tree trunks or in the hollow area of the roots. Initially, these nests are not detectable, but after some time you will notice a large pile of mud near the root of the tree.

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    “Termites are known to cause extensive damage to wooden floors without showing any signs on the surface. They can completely hollow out wood and make it weak.”

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    Quickly Getting Your Termite Problem Under Control!

    termites in soil tunnels

    Termites

    If you are investing in a home or any other type of property you may have to have the home inspected and if termites are present, you might have to rethink the purchase. They are active at night and can go undetected for years.

    Termites eat wood and have also been known to chew on wiring. In both instances, this can be a costly thing to repair. If they are eating on your wood flooring, it will weaken the floor, making it impossible to walk on without harming yourself. If they begin chewing on your wiring, this can cause an electrical fire.

    Both instances can be extremely dangerous and costly. These are some of the most compelling reasons for getting the problem under control quickly. The longer they are allowed to exist, the worse the problem will become.

    Finding a reliable and efficient pest control service in Manhattan, NY, Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island is possible when you rely on a reputable service like Control Exterminating. We respond quickly to every type of service requests to ensure your termite problem doesn’t get any worse.***

     

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  • What Are Termites Role in the Environment

    21 November 2017
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    termites in the mound

    Termites: Pests or Saviors of the Environment?

    What are the first thoughts that come to your mind when you see termites? Is it pests or vermin? Well, think again. According to the researchers at Princeton University termites are saviors, as termites role in the environment is quite significant.

    So, while termites may be a menace if they infest your house, termites role in the world’s ecosystem is significantly important. In fact, only a few of the 3000 known termite species can be considered pests. Be it deserts of Africa, tropical rainforests, temperate woodlands or even your neighborhood garden; they play a crucial role in maintaining the ecosystem.

    Why Are Termites Important to the Environment

    • Termites help prevent desertification of land

    Rain is able to seep through the holes dug into the ground by the termites rather than just evaporate. In fact, termite mounds allow the plants around them to thrive on a small percentage of rain that would typically be needed for any vegetation to survive. This allows the plants surrounding termite mounds to germinate and flourish after a withering drought.

    Even termite feces are good for the soil. Its stickiness helps prevent soil erosion. The bacteria in the gut of termites help extract nitrogen from the air and provide this excellent fertilizer to the soil. This tiny vermin mix organic and inorganic matter to help the soil retain its nutrients.

    • Termites improve the quality of the soil

    Termites play a significant role in our forests as well. They extract the cellulose present in the wood for food and provide a number of essential substances to improve the soil quality in the forest. Thanks to the symbiotic bacteria and protozoa present in their bodies, termites can eat wood, dung, lichen and even dirt. So, not only do they prevent overcrowding of trees in the forest, but they also provide the correct environment for new life to flourish. The tunnels created by them create waterways that help new plants to grow.

    • Nourishment for other animals

    Termites are also an essential part of the food chain. Birds, chimpanzees and even ants are known to feed on termites. Being high in protein and fats, they are a good source of nutrition.

    flying termites swarming

    Flying termites

    Termite Infestation

    Termites are important for the environment but are still a problem in the home. This does not mean that we allow termites to take over our homes, and therefore termite removal remains essential. After all the sandy soil and high moisture levels make our homes the perfect environment for these pests – making pest control NYC very crucial.

    Of course, not, there are some proactive steps that we can take to prevent termite infestation in our homes.

    • It is essential to remove any old rotting stumps and roots in your yard.
    • Always store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.
    • Also, try and eliminate wood-to-ground contact of your foundation. Damp wood can be one of the biggest cause of termite infestation in our homes.
    • Keep a constant check on your wooden floors and doors for infestation.

    Termites have a role in the environment, not in your house.

    However, if in spite of all these efforts, these pesky pests do infest your home you need to control your termite infestation. This should be done in an environmentally friendly manner, using treatments that are effective and non-hazardous to your family and pets.

    Termite Control

    In NYC Control Exterminating is the one-stop answer to all your pest control worries. Not only do they eradicate termites from your home in the most efficient manner, but they also do it in the most environmentally friendly way.

    However, the next time you see a termite mound on your playground, don’t call the pest control immediately. If these tiny vermin are not destroying any public property, you may let them be. After all these tiny termites are actually working hard to maintain the ecosystem of your area.  

    For more termite facts, check out this article on how to tell if you have termites.***

     

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