One of the best ways to defend against an enemy is to understand it. In this situation, termites are your enemy, threatening your home and property with damage and destruction. While the best line of defence is to plan early and protect your home ahead of time, there are many options when it comes to eradicating these nasty pests. Today, we take a closer look inside the colony of the termite itself, assisting us to understand how to more effectively stop termites in their tracks.
A Social Species
Understanding that termites are a social species is paramount in conceiving the way to combat them. Termites build colonies, working and living together in groups. This means they work together and share resources. Colonies are highly interconnected. Because of this, their elimination takes a more structured approach than that of other pests.
Australian Termite Colonies
In Australia, there are many different species of termites (perhaps as many as 300). These build nests as the home base of their colonies. Nests may be formed within trees, as huge mounds on the surface of the ground, within the soil, or completely underground–as in the case of subterranean termites. Despite the differences in their outward appearance, most termite colonies function in a similar manner.
The Termite Castes
Each termite colony is a mini society, divided into various castes or types. Each caste has a different purpose in the colony and engages in specific behaviour and tasks. They also typically have a variance in body shape according to their caste. There is a primary king and queen (the reproductives), as well as workers and soldiers. These three groups make up the principal castes of a termite colony.
The worker caste makes up the largest portion of the colony. These blind, wingless, and sterile termites are designated to build the nest, gather food, and tend to the young termites and other castes. The workers move in and out of the nest and are typically the termites that you may spot around your property when an infestation has taken place.
The soldiers are easily recognisable and allow for species identification. These, too, are wingless, blind, and unable to reproduce. With heads of armour and distinctive colour, they help protect the colony against ants and other threats. The worker termites help to feed the soldiers as they are unable to use their own mandibles for consumption.
The reproductives, sometimes known as the alate cast include the primary king and queen and other reproductives (the future kings and queens of new colonies). These termites are the most physically developed with working eyes, reproductive systems, and the important inclusion of wings. When swarming time takes place, these alates leave the nest in search of another spot to begin a new colony. Sometimes the discarded wings can be found by homeowners as a sign that termites are in the area, as their flight is not typically very far.
Once a new colony is established, the queen begins laying eggs. She is a very fast reproducer: some subterranean termite queens are capable of producing 2000 eggs every single day. Doesn’t sound too threatening? Once a colony is mature, there may be up to two million individual termites, and that colony may remain active for as many as 50 years. All the more reason to protect your home from their intrusion!
Termites Threatening Your Property?
If you’ve seen active termites or signs of termite damage, please don’t wait to get in touch with your local termite experts today. Termite Solutions are the professional team equipped and ready to protect your property and eradicate your pests for good. Call us now.