All About Termite Colonies
Termites live in colonies which consists of nests. These nests are elaborately built by worker termites who also maintain them. Each colony houses hundreds of thousands of individual termites with the Formosan termites housing 500,000 insects in one colony. Being underground, these nests are hard to locate.
The primary queen termite, who can live up to even 45 years, can lay up to 3000 eggs in a single day. Bearing close resemblance to cockroaches, the worker termites forage for food. The workers take the food to the nests and then return for more food. The main source of food is from dead plant material like wood, soil and leaf litter.
Usually a colony of termites is difficult to detect but, a trained eye can spot the evidence quickly.
- Mud outside, for instance, on wood or timber fences
- Termite mudding on door frames, inside cupboards or on the molded frames around doors or windows
- Timber damage while renovating
- Termite infestation is also evident when winged adult termites swarm either in spring or fall and are found inside your house, which indicates a nest nearby. These swarming termites are dark brown in color and are weak flyers.
Why We Need to get Rid of Termites
The two main termites which are most likely to infest homes both inside and outside are the subterranean termites that make colonies underground, usually in the soil, and drywood termites that live in wood and are likely to be found in wooden furniture, framing and floorings of homes. Termites can cause massive destruction and can damage property in less than three months’ time.
- Subterranean Termite Damage
Since the subterranean termites make their nests underground and need protection when they attack your home, they build mud tubes from their nests to your wooden structure through these tubes.
Damage from these termites is not evident and may remain undetected till the infestation blows out of proportion. Infestations appear similar to damage from water, and visible signs of infestation include swollen floors and ceilings, areas looking like they have been slightly damaged by water and buckling wood. Infestations exude a scent which resembles that of mildew or mold. Once infestation has reached this point, professional pest control is required.
- Drywood Termite Damage
These termites build their nests within wooden structures. They also feed on these structures including walls, floors and furniture with wooden antique furniture being infested more. The infestations remain undetected for a long time and are only apparent when the colony has burrowed deep inside the furniture producing cracks in the veneer and exposing the maze-like tunnels. This indicates that the infestation has gone deep and requires a pest control expert.
Since, termites can remain undetected for long, the damage caused by them becomes considerable by the time they are noticed.