Often shelter tubesconstructed of soil particles cemented together by excrement or secretions from the mouth are used to connect the outside soil to a building and for crossing a concrete or metallic portion in a structure. The presence of a shelter tube is generally the first physical evidence of a termite infestation.
The third method of dispersal is through infested wood or soil being transported to a new location. As few as 15-40 larvae or nymphs contained in the infested material may moult to become secondary reproductives and begin a new colony.
Subterranean termites are social insects, feeding on cellulose and living in colonies in the soil. These colonies are close to moisture, and can be readily relocated due to temperature or other environmental changes. Termites travel through soil, in wood itself, or through shelter tubes.
Proper ventilation is essential to eliminate moist conditions. The main areas of concern are verandas and crawl spaces. The amount of ventilation will be variable according to regional and local factors, and must meet building standards.
Reproductive termites are similar but have wings. Termites are weak flyers and will only attempt to fly if the air is still and there is high humidity without the likelihood of rain. The largest member of the termite family is the queen. She can be up to 4 inches long and lays up to 4 eggs a minute! If she dies, one of the reproductive termites takes her place.
Liquid chemicals sprayed on the ground around a home to poison termites, termiticides are one of the most common types of termite services. Many times, termites don`t live inside the wood of a home. They enter to eat and then leave to go back to their own home. When termites travel across soil sprayed with termiticides, it poisons them in a matter of minutes or a few hours. When applied correctly, the termiticide should remain effective for five years. Termiticides are one of the most popular ways to prevent termite damage.
The presence of shelter tubes over the surface of foundation walls is the primary sign of a termite infestation. These tubes are 6mm (1/4 inch) to 12mm (1/2 inch) wide, and can extend many centimetres in length until wood is discovered. These tubes protect termites form the drying effect of air, and maintain the termites` contact with the soil.
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.
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.
Winged termites are darker. Termites have six legs, all of which are short. On ants, the front wings are longer than the back pair and they don`t break easily. Termites have four wings of equal size (twice as long as the body) which do not break easily. Ants have narrow and defined waists. Termites have thick undefined waists. Ants have elbowed antennae. Termites have straight ones which resemble tiny strings of pearls. They do not have eyes unless they are winged termites. Termites are actually more closely related to the cockroach family rather than the ant family.