Termites
Termites
O 45 species of termites in US
O Only 2 species are native
Termites
O Gut symbionts help digest cellulose (wood)
O Bacteria and protozoans
Termites
O Mature queen lays up to 10,000 eggs per
week
O She can live 10 years or more
O That’s 60 million eggs
Termites and Ants
O Both swarm same time of year
O When reproductive take flight
O Start new colony
Termites and Ants
O Ants have constricted “waist”
O Between thorax and abdomen
Termites
O Spread chemical messages through
frequent grooming
O Anal trophallaxis
O Fluids exchange anus to mouth
O Also transfers gut symbionts through colony
Caste System
O Reproductive Castes
O Produce a queen
Caste System
O Worker Caste
O Food, grooming
Caste System
O Soldier Caste
O Enlarged mandibles
Moisture
O Carry moist soil above ground
O Mud tubes
O Keep termites moist
Moisture
O Cemented with
saliva and fecal
matter
O Mud left behind in
wood
Moisture
O Leaky pipes
O Wet areas
O Shrubs against
house
Food
O Radial paths spreading from colony in
search of food
O Spokes on wheel
O Can’t find food, likely bump into it
Food
O Cellulose is food source
O Untreated wood
O Trees, stumps, firewood,
O Attracted to partially decomposed wood
Food
O Eat softer spring wood in growth rings
O Leave harder summer wood
O Only eat 20% of total wood
O Lattice symptom
Food
O Mud left in tunnels
O Carpenter ants
leave clean tunnels
Inspection
O Shed wings or dead swarmer termites
O Window sills
O Mud tubes
O Tiny holes in baseboards
O Hollow thump
Prevention
O Eliminate wood to
ground contact
O 90% of
infestations
O Firewood away
from house
O Untreated wood 6”
above ground
O Use treated wood
for ground contact
Control
Termiticide Treatments
O Chemical barrier around
house
O Trenching and rodding
O Slabs are drilled and
injected
Control
Bait Stations
O A non-lethal food
source around
house
O Stations every
10’ to 15’
O 12” to 18” from
house
O Frequently
monitored
Control
Bait Stations
O If termites are present, non-lethal food source
replaced with poison bait
O Slow-acting poison taken back to colony
Prevention
O Keep vegetation and
mulch away from
house
O Mulch serves as a
moisture conduit
O Mulch not a food
source
O Even pea gravel
Prevention
O Gutters and downspouts away from house
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