Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Reticulitermes flavipes

The eastern subterranean termite is the most common termite found in North America. Termites feed on cellulose which is found in most buildings, trees, wood furniture or other wooden products. They have a protozoa in their hindgut that helps them digest the wood and the workers will feed the other members of the colony. A mature colony can range from 20,000 workers to as high as 5 million workers and the primary queen of the colony lays 5,000 to 10,000 eggs per year to add to this total. The number of colonies per acre in North Carolina average about 30. Once a colony is destroyed, this does not mean your problem with termites is over. Another colony can take over the tunnels made by a collapsed or extinct colony and re-infest a structure. That is why it is so important to keep continuous protection on your home whether it is monitoring stations, conventional liquid treatment, or a combination of strategies. Homes need to be inspected every year to make sure that no re-infestations have occurred and give the pest control company a chance to make sure your home is properly protected. Once you see the alates (winged termites) that swarm, this is a signal that you have a mature colony on or near your property and may already have hidden damage in your home. Home owner’s insurance does not cover damage caused by termites, and that damage repair can cost you more than the cost of a preventive treatment on your home. Some people can mistake winged termites for winged ants. It is best to have a professional come out and identify the insect problem that you are having.

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