Break the wood-soil contact. To little clearance between the soil and wooden structures often results in all of the physical requirements for a termite infestation being met (moisture, decaying wood, and food readily available). A general rule is that there should be a 45cm (18 inch) clearance between the soil and lowest horizontal members of the structure. If wooden lattice-work is used around verandas, there should be a space of 50 - 75 cm (20-30 inches) between the soil and this lattice-work. Other problem areas include veranda and basement steps, where the wood is in direct contact with soil.
Subterranean termites were first reported in Ontario at Point Pelee in 1929. It has subsequently been reported in Toronto (1938), Windsor (1950), Kincardine (1954), Oxley (1955), Amherstburg and Dresden (1968) and Guelph (1975). Presently in Metropolitan Toronto, the termite infested area extends through a radius of approximately 30 kilometers.
The subterranean termite is very closely associated with the soil, which is its main source of life-sustaining moisture. Termite food consists of cellulose obtained from wood and wood products. Decaying damp wood is preferred but termites are also able to feed on sound, dry lumber.
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.
Improve the water drainage around your property. If the soil is constantly moist, optimum conditions are provided for the termites. Repair eaves trough, slope concrete walks away from the house and repair all leaks.
In the termite colony there are generally several generations present. The colony is made up of several castes (forms) (larvae, nymphs, secondary and primary reproductives, soldiers and workers), who carry out specific duties or functions.
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.
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.
Careful site preparation and clean-up can do much to discourage the colonisation of a new or existing building site by termites. Where forest or orchard land has been cleared, tree roots must be completely excavated and removed along with any other buried wood.
Avoid storing fire wood directly on the ground. Care should be taken when obtaining infesting material (such a soil and discarded lumber) from known termite areas.