Subterranean Termites are social insects that live in colonies consisting of many individuals. The colonies are composed of workers, soldiers, and reproductives. The workers are very small, 1/8th of an inch, have no wings, are white to cream colored and very numerous. Soldiers defend the colony against insects, like ants, that can attack the colony. Soldiers are wingless and white in color with large brown heads. King and Queen Termites perform the reproductive functions of the colony. They are dark brown to black in color.
Subterranean Termites, as the name suggests, live in the soil, in most cases. Subterranean Termites are an important part of our environment. In a natural setting, this type of termite recycles dead trees back into the soil. Without the termite, our forests would be littered with dead trees as wood “rot” cannot break the dead trees down fast enough. The termite sees the wood in your home as just another food source. If the wood of your home does not contact the soil, they can build mud tunnels or tubes to reach the wood several feet above the ground. These mud tunnels can extend for 50-60 feet to reach wood and often enter a structure through expansion joints in concrete slabs or where utilities enter the home. The main portion of the termite colony stays in the ground and the foraging worker termites come into a home through cracks in the concrete, as small as 1/64th of an inch, a dimes width. Once inside, they will eat the wood and bring it back to the nest in the ground as food to the termites remaining in the colony.
Subterranean termites feed on wood or other items that contain cellulose, such as paper, fiberboard, and some fabrics derived from cotton or plant fibers. Subterranean Termites are often difficult to detect. Detection can be from the presence of winged reproductives, mud tubes on the sides of your home, or seeing wood damage.
The control of subterranean termites is often a major expense and like any other household expense should be carefully considered. An important point to remember is that Subterranean Termites work SLOWLY! There are many variables when considering how fast or slow a termite colony will damage a home. A small colony can typically eat six inches of a wooden 2X4 board in one year. You do not need to rush into an agreement with a firm before you thoroughly investigate all your alternatives.
Collier Pest Control can control all types of termites for you economically. Let our experienced termite inspector come and evaluate if you have a termite problem or some other form of damage. If it is termites, we can offer to you different types of service to correct the infestation. Collier Pest Control offers long term protection with our in ground termite baiting systems if you plan to keep you home, or traditional liquid treatments for a 5 or 7 year protection.
Swarming Subterranean Termites
During the spring of each year, the Subterranean Termites produce winged Swarmers. The purpose of these swarmers is to fly up onto the air, find a mate and start a new colony. After mating, both the male and the female land on a suitable nesting area, and lose their wings. When they swarm into your home, in most cases, they cannot do any damage to your home. To start a nest, Subterranean Termites need a moist, wet, or rotten wood. Unless you have one of those conditions the swarmer termites cannot hurt you. Swarmer termites are attracted to light when they emerge from the colony. They may be found in window sills or around your TV or ceiling lights. Try not to spray these termite swarmers. They will die within a few hours if no moist wooden nesting area is found. You can use a vacuum to rid yourself of these nuisance pests.
We live in a sea of Subterranean Termites here in Florida. It’s not if you will get a termite problem, it is when will you get a termite problem. The University of Florida states that, 2/3’s of all new homes in Florida will have a termite problem within 5 years. To protect your home have a FREE TERMITE INSPECTION performed yearly by Collier Pest Control. Then consider one of our economical protective Subterranean Termite services to protect your valuable home from unwanted damage and stress.
Call Collier Pest Control today for a FREE TERMITE INSPECTION and a complete explanation and free estimate for any of our services. Don’t let unwanted guests spoil your beautiful Southwest Florida lifestyle. Remember, Florida does not have to be shared with insects!