Though they may be tiny, termites are beasts that can give you a huge headache. Imagine the cost of having to fix your home’s foundation, ceiling, walls or floors after these insects have had their fill of your precious residence. You’ll probably be consumed with irritation and frustration to the point that you just want to crush those pesky critters one by one. But before you do anything, you first need to know about termite behavior. If you know more about the enemy, you’ll be in a better position to track and eliminate them.
Termite Types and Characteristics
Each creature in this world, minute or gargantuan, has a purpose; and, of course, this includes the termite. The termite plays a vital role in local ecosystems. These insects help in breaking down decaying matter, specifically cellulose, which is often found in wood and other vegetation. Their job aids in enriching the earth. But it’s hard to appreciate this when what they are eating is your house.
There are several kinds of termites, such as subterranean termites, dampwood termites, Formosan termites and drywood termites. Each of these classes of insects has its own unique characteristics. For instance, dampwood termites only consume damp or moist wood; Formosan termites only munch on dead wood and textile made from plants; while drywood and subterranean termites can devour wallpaper, textile and plastic apart from wood. Because of this, it’s vital to call a pest control expert who can immediately identify what sort of termite is infesting your property. Through proper identification, you can employ the right measures to address the pest problem.
Her Royal Highness – The Termite Queen
So, what is so special about the termite queen? For us, being hailed as the queen of anything is a privilege with many wonderful perks. Though being a queen is a job, it’s a position that many envy. It is different for a termite queen, however. Once she is hailed as the queen of the colony, she begins her job as an egg-laying machine. Yes, a machine. Why? It’s because a queen lays eggs every 3 seconds; while some say that other termite queens lay an egg each second. Imagine that. That’s 20 to 60 termites every minute. The termite queen’s job is surely grueling, to say the least.
Because of her egg-laying talent, the queen can easily replenish the number of soldier and worker termites in a day. So, it won’t really matter if you kill hundreds of termites with your insecticide. If the queen is alive and well, her colony will continue to prosper. Hence, it’s vital to kill the queen if you want to make sure that the termite colony dies completely.
Finding the Queen
Naturally, because she is a colony’s most valued member, she is well-hidden. You won’t find a queen termite by overturning dead wood or looking under flower pots. She is likely to be deep within the nest, which could be about 15 to 20 feet below the ground as in the case of subterranean termites with an established colony. Some species of termites hide their queen deeper than 20 feet, while other queens can be found in the center of a huge tree stump, inside walls, and other areas that are not easily accessible.
Since the queen is hard to find, call a pest control expert who can help you in putting up bait for all the termites plaguing your property, including the queen. You cannot just hack away at your walls or floors in your attempt to locate the queen. You’ll just cause damage to your home or grounds. Plus, you might get bitten or swarmed by termites that are defending their queen.
Claire Brent is an experienced freelance blogger who specializes in pest control. She provides material for http://www.preventivepestcontrol.com/ where you can get more information about termite and ant control.