Termites otherwise known as “White Ants” live in colonies, a colony consists of many castes. The size of the colony can vary from hundreds to hundreds of thousands, depending on the species of termite. Their nest can be ground moulds or arboreal structures on the side of a tree. The CSIRO claims one in every 3 houses has had termites or have termites at any time.
Termites can cause many of thousands of dollars damage to your home from treating the infestation to repairing the damage.
The main function of the queen of the colony is reproduction. A queen can lay more than 1000 eggs a day and sometimes live for up to 20 years. Some termites have the ability to give the queen help in the reproduction process. This is done by selecting some other termites to become secondary queens.
The worker caste termite performs all the main duties of the colony except defence and reproduction. It is the worker termite that does all the damage to your home. The worker termite is wingless, blind and sterile.
The Soldier caste termite is the caste that helps pest controllers to identify the termites. They defend the colony when they are in trouble. Any breaches in the termite's workings and they send the soldiers to investigate.
The reproductive termites or alates are the future king and queens. Each November and December they go on a colonizing flight in search of new nesting spots. Once the perfect place is found a couple must mate to start the colonizing process. Depending on the size of the colony depends on how many alates are released. Some can be in the thousands.
Termites feed on timber, but more specific is cellulose. It’s what’s in cardboard, paper and of course timber. Termites get their protein from decayed wood, such as decaying stumps or loose wood around the house. Termites also need moisture to survive. Their soft bodies make them vulnerable, so most termites need to stay inside their tunnels (mud trails) to survive. Termites can forage for 50 or so meters from their nests. But this depends on the species of termite.
Household tips to reduce the chance of infestation
Remove all loose wood on the ground from outside and from under the house.
Remove all stumps and dead trees from around the property.
Fix any leaking taps, downpipes, overflow for hotwater and air conditioner systems.
Have a six-monthly to yearly termite inspection by a qualified pest controller.
Make sure full access is possible to your subfloor (cut access traps if needed).
Call Greenleaf pest control today for more information on termites, termite inspections or treatments.