The worker termites are white in colour and approximately 6mm (1/4 inch) in length. Their antennae are straight (not elbowed) and the body is not narrowed at the waist, which distinguish them from ants. They have chewing mouth parts and are responsible for foraging and feeding the dependent members of the colony. The hind gut of the worker contains protozoa (single-celled animals) which assist in breaking down cellulose into its component parts which are digestible by the termite. The worker termite causes the structural damages.
When no further activity is observed in the bait stations, treated bait is removed, and replaced with untreated bait. Monitoring continues on a regular basis, and the procedure is repeated as necessary. Several companies offer products and services that are variations on this method of site treatment, although baiting is still a relatively new approach for termites.
Termites eat away at wood in the home and use their own feces and dirt to patch up the holes they make. If you look carefully, you might find some evidence of this. If you have painted, wooden surfaces you might see what appears to be bubbling under the paint. This can be caused by termites eating the wood. After termites have finished swarming, many shed their wings, which you can find on the floor of your house.
The second method is called "budding". In this method, when a colony becomes sufficiently large, or a portion of a colony becomes separated from the main colony, new secondary reproductives are formed from larvae or nymphs and the nucleus of a new colony is established.
Soldier termites are similar in size and colour to workers, but have an enlarged brownish coloured head with large modified mandibles (large biting jaws), used for defense.
The two wingless non-reproductive castes consist of the soldiers and workers. The soldiers defend the colony from outside attack, while the workers carry out all duties except defence and reproduction. For example, the workers feed the reproductives, larvae and soldiers, care for the eggs, and construct tunnels and shelter tubes. The soldier caste consists of sterile adults with large heads and pincher-like mouth parts. These soldiers make up 2-3 % of the total colony.
A typical termite family will include soldiers. These have long heads and powerful jaws. Soldier termites defend the family unit. If you can find some soldier termites, this makes it easier to know whether you have a termite problem. Solders only make up part of the termite population so you will have to look carefully for them. Most termites are workers. These are about 2/5 inch long and are recognizable by their soft, light-colored bodies. They look a bit like moving grains of rice.
It is useful to know for termite identification that almost every type of termite lives in the dark, apart from the winged ones that fly or any termite when they are constructing something. This means that you normally only see them when something is open or broken. When they are exposed, termites attempt to follow their scent trails to get home. If they can`t get home, they either squeeze themselves into a small gap or wander around looking lost until they find another termite.
The first method, common in the warmer climates of the southern United States, is called swarming. This occurs usually in spring, when large numbers of winged primary reproductives (alates) (top photo) emerge from a colony, fly a very short distance, mate and then establish a new colony. Although alates are found in Ontario, rarely do they swarm.
Pesky wood eating insects, termites can quickly destroy the framing of your home. Some areas have such a huge termite problem, termite inspections are a regular requirement in the sales contract of a home. One thing is for sure, if untreated, termites can cause pricey damage. If you are a homeowner, it is important for you to make termites a priority. The good news is that termite control is easy. This article looks at protecting your home from termites with termiticide, termite barriers, or bait stations.