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When it comes to household pests, termites are worse than others. The problems associated with these pests overshadow that of others. With that being said, it is wise to learn more about termites. These social pests always work as a team. Worker termites work as a team to obtain food, build tunnels, and build new colonies elsewhere. Unfortunately, their willingness to work together makes them difficult to eliminate. Another thing to note is that termites consume cellulose which can be found in plants. However, the material is also found in cotton fibers, paper, furniture, cardboard, and lumber. They often invade properties so they can consume the lumber around the home.
Once termites invade a property, they will leave telltale signs. For instance, you’re going to find termite mounds. They’re used to expand the nests when the colony outgrows its nest. They can also burrow into wood surfaces, such as siding and decks. They’ll eventually build mud tubes so they can reach nearby wood materials without being attacked by predators. Dayton, Ohio is home to several termites species, but you primarily have to worry about Subterranean termites.
In North America, termites cause roughly $2 billion in damage to structures annually. 95% of the damage is caused by Subterranean termites.
Termites Live In Colonies With Classes And Unique Responsibilities
Every termite colony has a queen termite. The colony can only have one queen. She is the largest and more important member of the colony during its early transformation. During the initial formation of the colony, the queen reproduces and adds more members. She works with the king to produce worker termites, soldier termites, and swarmer termites.
Again, the queen termite is the biggest member. She is so large that she cannot move through the tunnels without assistance. Thousands of worker termites will have to push her through the tunnels so she can reach her destination.
Next, you have the termite king. He has a lot in common with the queen since the colony can only have one king. In addition to this, he is responsible for reproducing. He works with the queen to build more members for the colony. Both termites are very important during the colony’s early formation. The pair will continue mating for the rest of their days.
Worker termites are one of the colony’s most important members. A termite colony can have hundreds or thousands of worker termites, and the colony will need them. Worker termites are responsible for many, many responsibilities. They do almost everything around the colony, including caring for eggs, feeding other termites, building tunnels, and maintaining tubes. If something needs to be done, there is a good chance that the worker termites will take care of it.
These termites work day and night without taking breaks. Workers reach 10mm in length and do not develop wings.
Termites rely heavily on the soldier termites living in the colony. Termites are often attacked by ants and other predators. When this happens, the termites have to defend themselves. However, most termites can’t defend themselves so they rely on soldier termites to do it. Soldiers have long, brown heads and stronger jaws. Thanks to this combination, these termites can fight off ants and other predators. Soldiers are roughly 10mm in length.
The last member of the colony is the winged reproductive or swarmer. Each spring, the colony will work together to produce swarmer termites. Swarmers will develop wings so they can fly away from the colony and build new ones elsewhere. There are male and female swarmer termites, and they can reproduce. Swarmers, kings, and queens are the only termites that can reproduce and create more termites.
A termite colony can have many swarmers, but it will only have one king and one queen.
Which Termites Are Found In Dayton, Ohio?
Residents of Dayton may encounter a handful of termites, but some are more common than others. The most common termite in our area is the Subterranean termite. They’re often found in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, and nearby areas. They’ll be explored in greater depth below.
Subterranean Termite Overview
Subterranean termites are commonly found in Dayton, Ohio. Although there are a few differences, Subterranean termites have a lot in common with other species. For instance, these termites tend to live in organized colonies with specific members such as soldier termites, worker termites, and swarmer termites. The appearance of the Subterranean termite depends heavily on its class and responsibilities. Worker termites and soldier termites are similar in many ways. For instance, they tend to grow up to 3/8ths of an inch. Both are white and neither develop wings. As mentioned above, soldier termites have long, brown heads and powerful jaws.
Thanks to these characteristics, they can defend the colony from ants and other predators. Reproductive termites or swarmers can reach half an inch in length.
Like other termites, Subterranean termites tend to build underground colonies and live there. They’ll also live in moist locations above ground. These termites are going to develop unique mud tubes that they’ll use to access wood materials nearby. The mud tubes allow them to defend themselves from predators and open air. Most termites consume cellulose. Subterranean termites do so they’re going to devour your lumber to ensure their survival. Swarmers are produced in spring so they can build new colonies in other locations.
Subterranean Termite Risks
Unfortunately, Subterranean termites are immensely problematic for homeowners. These pests are one of the most destructive species in the world. These pests aren’t physically dangerous since they’re not going to bite humans or transmit illnesses. The biggest worry is that they’re going to destroy your home. Workers have jaws that work like saws. They’ll use them to chew off small pieces of wood and damage your home slowly but surely. If they’re not removed from the property, they’ll severely damage the structure.
Comparing Flying Termites & Flying Ants
Dayton, Ohio is home to flying ants and flying termites. Before jumping to conclusions, it is pertinent to know what you’re dealing with. Is it a flying ant or a flying termite? Flying ants have a pair of wings of unequal size. The front wings are longer than the back wings. Their wings are durable so they can’t be broken easily. Flying termites have wings of equal size, but they’re fragile. It is common for flying termites to lose their wings. Check the waists and antennas. Doing so can help you determine what you’re dealing with.
Ants have elbowed antennas while flying ants have straight antennas. Finally, flying ants have pinched waists but flying termites do not. Once you’ve confirmed that you have flying termites on your property, call a professional to get rid of them.
Facts About Termites
Be sure to learn as much as you can about termites. Read the facts below so you’ll know what to expect.
- A termite colony will never stop consuming wood. Once they’ve invaded your property, they’ll consume your wood 24 hours a day. They do not take vacations.
- Termite colonies do not go away quickly. It is common for termites to survive for as long as 50 to 70 years.
- In the United States, a termite colony may have as many as half a million termites.
- Termites are destructive for homeowners, but they’re helpful for the environment. They dispose of deadwood so they should be left alone when they’re not damaging your home.
- Most termite species need access to water. If Subterranean termites cannot access water, they’re going to dry out and pass away.
- Although most live underground, some termites will live above ground. They can live in mud tubes as long as the tubes remain moist.
- Ants frequently attack termites and termite colonies. Soldier termites have to defend the colony from these predators.
- As long as you work with a reputable exterminator, you can likely remove the infestation from your property.
- Around the world, researchers have identified more than 2,000 termite species. Most of them live in tropical and subtropical locations.
- In the United States, you may encounter 40 termite species. Most of them are found in the southeast portion of the country.
- In America, Alaska is the only state that doesn’t have Subterranean termites.
- Subterranean termites are responsible for more than 90% of the damage done to American structures each year.
- These pests will not chew through concrete. They can’t. However, they can move through the cracks and gaps found in concrete. Therefore, concrete won’t stop them from reaching the wood around your home.
- The weight of all people around the world is less than the weight of the world’s termites.
- Worker termites are the only termites that can chew cellulose. Worker termites have to consume cellulose and feed it to other members.
- The average lifespan of a queen termite is more than 20 years. During this time, she can lay thousands of eggs every day.
Are termites physically dangerous? No. These pests are not physically dangerous since they don’t attack people or spread illnesses. However, they are going to create a handful of other issues. They can create indirect risks to humans. Once they’ve invaded your property, they’re going to start consuming the wood in and around your home. There is always a risk that they’re going to severely damage your wood beams and columns. If this happens, your might will be unsafe. It is pertinent to get rid of them before they damage your home to the point that you can no longer repair it.
Eradicating Termites On Your Property
Once you’ve found termites on your property, it is time to get rid of them. Unfortunately, this won’t be easy. These pests can travel a long distance from their underground tunnels. Then, they’re going to move around using underground tunnels. Sadly, this combination makes them difficult to deal with. Despite this, it is important to understand that termites are fragile, weak, and easy to overpower. These pests are often killed by ants. Before an exterminator can eliminate termites, the exterminator needs to find out where the nest is located. The entire colony has to be treated. If this doesn’t happen, termites will survive and the problem will worsen again. You need to team up with an exterminator who can get rid of the termites and prevent them from returning.
Doing It On Your Own
You’ve likely considered tackling this problem on your own. Although this is one option, it might not be your best option. If you try to fix it without professional assistance, you’re going to run into serious problems. You likely won’t have a lot of success when using do-it-yourself termite methods. With that being said, it is generally best to work with a qualified professional. Otherwise, you’re going to expose yourself to potentially dangerous chemicals. Our termite pest program will take care of it for you.
When Can The Exterminator Arrive?
Contact us so we can take care of the problem for you swiftly. After you’ve called our office, we’ll get back to you within 24 to 48 hours.
We Offer Safe Termite Treatments
We will never use dangerous chemicals to fix the infestation. Instead, we always go to great lengths to keep our clients safe. We use products that have been tested extensively by the Environmental Protection Agency. We know that these products are safe. Plus, they’re reliable. Since we’re using EPA-registered products, we know you’re going to be protected every step of the way. Work with us and we’ll take care of you and your loved ones from start to finish.
Preventing A Future Termite Infestation
Use the tips below to keep termites out of your home and away from your property.
- Never let water collect near your home’s foundation. Check your gutters, downspouts, and splash blocks. They need to be working correctly to prevent water from accumulating around the foundation. Also, make sure your faucets, pipes, and air conditioning units aren’t leaking or creating problems.
- Take care of humidity problems before it worsens. Check for humidity problems in your attic, crawlspace, and basement. Adding more ventilation will make a big difference.
- Make sure that your firewood is kept at a good distance from your home. 20 feet should be okay. Also, store it five inches from the ground’s surface.
- Wood mulch needs to be kept 15 inches away from the home’s foundation. Using rubber mulch can help you avoid problems.
- Check for termites and termite signs around your home several times each week. Look for cracked paint and hollow-sounding wood.
Contact us when you find termites around your property. We’ll deal with the infestation for you.
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