Termites are one of the most destructive pests found in the United States. They are estimated to be over 250 million years old. Termites are social insects and live in colonies which are usually located in tunnels they build underground, or in wood in which they eat. Their colonies are organized with a caste system, each termite with a specific task, much like a colony of ants of hive of bees. In a termite colony you will find workers, soldiers, and reproductives. Most termites feed on cellulose from wood and wood by-products such as paper.
Types of Termites
There are 50 different species of termites found in the United States. They are divided into three separate categories: dampwood termites, drywood termites, and subterranean termites. Termites are divided into these categories based on the area in which they live. Each species of termite is biologically different, so it’s important to figure out what termite you are dealing with to best eliminate them.
A single colony of termites may contain as few as a thousand individuals, up to several million depending on the species. Larger colonies can forage up to 300 feet into soil; making them difficult to eliminate. Because of the termites’ ability to consume wood at a rapid rate, these pests are responsible for a tremendous amount of damage to property; which often results in extensive pest control treatments and costly home repairs. Termites cause more damage to homes in the United States than fires and storms combined.
When dealing with termite control, it is very important to make sure that the company you’re dealing with has been around for awhile. It’s wise to choose a national company that has adequate general liability insurance. Selecting an exterminator to cover your termites is a long term commitment. A commitment of this nature is only as strong as the company making it.
Notable Termite Species
- Cryptotermes Drywood termite
- Formosan Subterranean termite