SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES

Description: Social insects that live in large colonies. There are different classes that include: workers, soldiers and reproductive swarmers. The workers have white bodies, wingless, and are about 9mm to 12mm in length. The soldiers have yellow to orange bodies, wingless and about 9mm to 12mm in length. The soldiers have large jaws which lack teeth. The reproductives or swarmers are dark brown to back in color with brownish to grey wings. The swarmers are about 9mm in length.

Habits: Colonies are located in the soil, where the workers create mud tubes to wood structures in order to feed. Their colonies are almost always connected to soil or some type of moisture source. Swarms typically occur in the spring and the morning after a warm rain. The workers are the ones who feed off wood surfaces. When the workers mature, they take over expanding the colonies and feeding reproductives. Soldiers are produced as the colony increases, and serve the purpose of forcing invaders, such as ants, away from the colonies.

Treatment: The presence of a swarm or wood damage is a very good sign that there is a well established colony in the home or in the close vicinity. Termite control includes a thorough inspection of the property to determine the extent of the infestations, points of entry, moisture problems and then a determination of treatment options.

Fun Fact: The wings of the swarmers are broken off after swarming.