Termites are little creatures that are generally found infesting buildings and homes, creating major headaches for homeowners. They feed on timber structures like trees, telephone poles, buildings, homes, and just about anything made of wood.
Just like human society, a colony of termites has multiple social classes, each with a specific task to perform. The classes rely on each other in order for the entire colony to survive. The different classes include the royal family (king and queen), the soldiers, the workers, and the winged reproductive.
Soldier On, Young Termite
Homeowners who suspect termites should be on the lookout for the soldiers. Because the soldiers come in large numbers, a homeowner is most likely to see them first. The soldiers’ only purpose is to protect the colony from intruders. If their habitat is disturbed, the soldiers leave the nest first and guard the nest’s opening.
A soldier’s head is fat and dark with strong mandibles that are used to bite a predator that threatens the colony. The soldiers in some species are two times the size of the workers, and noxious chemicals are sometimes sprayed from a snout on the front of their head.
The Queen and Her Workers
The queen termite has the responsibility of helping her colony grow. She can typically lay over 2,000 eggs per day and can live up to 25 years. That’s a lot of damage waiting to be done. Pest control is aimed at eliminating the queen along with her colony.
The worker termites build the nest and repair it when necessary. They are the ones to blame when it comes to damage to a home or building. They spend their entire life inside the nest chewing and eating over and over, as if the home is an all-you-can-eat buffet. The workers are identified by a translucent, creamy color with a soft body.
The Need for Pest Control
Because the queen has the ability to lay millions of eggs during her lifetime, homeowners who suspect any type of termite problem should seek to rectify the problem as soon as possible to prevent further reproduction by the queen. Termites can cause more damage to homes than storms and fires combined, but homeowner insurance policies don’t cover this type of destruction. It’s best to consult with an experienced pest control service that can provide the homeowner with an inspection, determine the damage, and discuss the options involved with eliminating this big and potentially expensive problem once and for all.
It’s also necessary to call in professionals if homeowners suspect they have infestations anywhere on the property, even if the termites are not yet inside the home. When homeowners are able to act quickly, they increase their chances of avoiding any more damage to their property and could potentially prevent damage to the home. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t catch this problem until significant damage has already been done.