Termite Information Information Every Atlanta Homeowner and Commercial Property Manager Should Know
Termites are a very devastating social insect. There are two categories of termites:
- subterranean termites
- drywood termites
Within these two categories are several types of termites, which exist in a colony, these include; workers, soldiers, winged reproducers, a king and a queen. These different types of termites form a strict caste society within the termite realm. Each type is described here briefly;
The worker – is a soft bellied, white termite. His responsibilities include gathering food, caring for the eggs, maintenance and construction of tunnels or “mud tubes” as they are called, also feeding and grooming of other members of their caste.
Soldier termites – are just what the name implies, protector of the caste group or colony. They are large, have a white soft body with a large hardened head. The head contains two large jaws the act as pincers to defend against predators.
Winged reproducers – as the name implies, these are responsible for colony offspring production. These swarm at various times during the year. These “fly” and “mate” and when in proximity to a queen, become a king. They continue to mate for life. The queen is thought to produce around 2000 eggs per day and grows quite large. She gets assistance moving around from the assigned worker termites.
The King – “flies” and mates with another of the caste to become a king and expand the colony.
The Queen – lays the eggs for the colony, sometimes up to 2000 per day. She gets assistance from the assigned worker termites.
Drywood and Subterranean Termites
Both types feed on cellulose. Cellulose is found mostly in wood and wood products. Thus, these are the structure destroying types of termites. As the names imply, drywood types of termites feed on dry wood such as wall studs and other wood products in or around the home or office structures. Subterranean termites stay underground in “tubes” or tunnels that they construct with feces, earth and cellulose. These are constructed mostly for concealment and protection from other enemies. They usually make their way through wood type products as well, in moist areas.
Flying Ants or Winged Termites
Flying ants are commonly mistaken for winged reproducing termites. It is important to know the differences between the two. The winged reproducer has a two part body (head and abdomen), the ant has three (head, abdomen and thorax). The other differences include the following:
- Winged reproducer – straight antennae, even wings (when folded back)
- Flying ant – bent antennae, uneven wings (when folded back)
Atlanta Termite Exterminators and Treatments
It is important to hire a professional, licensed Atlanta termite exterminator if you find you have a termite infestation. It will have to be handled with the utmost urgency as termites can consume up to 15 lbs. of wood products in a weeks time.
First is to treat with insecticides to try to destroy the colony. There are many methods by which to control or destroy termite colonies and this is why a professional company is required. The chemicals and expertise involved in locating and destroying are quite complex. From bait stations to direct injecting dust compounds, a trained professional is required and highly recommended.