With over 200 different termite species, it can be extremely frustrating to determine which type of termite species you are dealing with so that you can employ suitable termite control strategies.
Adding in the fact that these little critters look very similar to ants doesn’t help much either. You can’t tell if you’re plagued by termites, the world’s most destructive insect pest, or you’re swarmed by ants, the greatest insect military.
In either case, you might want to consider engaging a pest control company to come in and rid these pests for you.But before we start talking about the available solutions, let’s take a closer look at these wood-feasting insects and learn how to identify them.
The 3 Major Destructive Types of Termites
Thankfully, not all termites are destructive in nature. It’s only when termites feed on key building structures that we have a cause for concern. The key challenge businesses and home owners face is that you hardly notice the problem until it is too late.
You may not notice a colony is living in your home as they prefer to hide in difficult to spot places.
From there, they will slowly continue to breed and feed on your furniture, shelves, house foundations and anything that can provide for their cellulose diet.
The only hint you will get that they’re living within your midst, is the mud tube that they travel in. And again, this is only common for the subterranean termite species. However, these subterranean species are also perhaps the most common variety and are usually the biggest contributor to termite problems around Singapore. If you spot some elaborate tunnel systems when peeking within cracks on your wall, you know for sure this is the species you’re dealing with.
Drywood Termite Species
The next problematic species is the drywood termite species. They live within wooden objects and will breed there while continuing to consume it before shifting to another wooden furniture.
Dampwood Termite Species
Finally, a third species to look out for is the dampwood termite species. These usually stay closer to ground choosing to feed on decaying pieces of wood.
The Colony And Their Caste System
Regardless of the species they belong to, the various types of termites all follow a similar caste system within their colony. Each caste has a specific role and purpose they adhere to. By identifying which caste these termites belongs to, will give you a clue on the growth of their colony.
Queen and King
Right at the top of the colony lies the Queen and the King. Their role is simply to reproduce and populate the colony. They are also the only sexually mature members of their entire colony and are also usually the largest termites of the colony.
With every royalty, you’ll need soldiers, and these are the next caste of termites. They role is simply to defend the colony from predators. You can identify them from their larger mandibles which help them to fight against invaders.
Next are the workers, who are responsible for doing everything else. This includes collecting food, feeding the colony, making tunnels, excavating the nest and many more. They are also the contributors to many home destruction as they go about doing their work.
Finally, we have the alates. You can identify them by the wings on their back. Alates are destined to become the new kings and queens of their own colonies. After maturing to a certain age, they’ll find a suitable new environment and a mate to start their own colony. They’ll shed their wings while doing so and hence this is the first indicator of a potential termite infestation situation.
Identifying which species of termites that have infested your home could be quite challenging. Hence many homeowners would usually prefer to conduct a simple termite self-inspection to ascertain that they do indeed has a termite infestation problem and let a pest control professional do the rest.
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