Subterranean Termites: Termites nest in the soil to obtain moisture, but they also nest in wood that is often wet. They easily attack any wood in contact with the ground. If the wood does not contact the soil, they can build mud tunnels or shelter tubes to reach the wood several feet above the ground. These tunnels can reach many feet to reach wood and often enter a structure through expansion joints in concrete or where utilities enter the house.
Termite Biology: Termites are small ant-like insects. They differ from ants in that they feed on cellulose in wood. Working largely unseen under the surface of the wood or soil. They can tunnel through wooden structural members in buildings and severely damage them. Wood that comes in contact with the soil, such as exterior trim or siding on your home or garage can provide a perfect entry for a termite colony.
Termites are a social insect that lives in colonies that have a caste system. They have reproductive and soldier castes. In many termites societies there is also a distinct worker caste, but the typical duties of workers (nest building and food gathering and feeding the reproductives and soldiers) are handled by the nymphs as well. Workers and nymphs do all the work, soldiers sole job is to defend the colony.
Winged adults are often called swarmers, they are primary reproductives. They emerge from the colonies on colonizing flights during certain seasons of the year. After the flights, the male(King) and female (Queen) will pair up, lose their wings and construct a small cell in the soil. They will mate, lay eggs, and rear the first group of workers. In colonies where the primary reproductives are not present, secondary reproductives (without color or functional wings) often occur in large numbers.
Prevention: Avoid moisture accumulation near the foundation. Divert water away from the building. Termites and ants are attracted to moisture.
Sanitation: Do not bury any wood or waste lumber in crawl spaces, under porches, or leave old form boards near the foundation of the home. Never stack or store firewood or any other lumber against the foundation. Prevent trellises and vines from touching the house.
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