Termite Larvae – A real termite problem will begin a long time before you actually see the Termites. It all starts when the Queen starts to lay eggs. The eggs will be then transported to a special nursery inside the nest by termite workers where they stay incubated until they hatch into larvae.
The eggs are very small so they are hard to identify. This is the same case with the larvae too. After they hatch they are usually taken by the workers where they are fed and taken care of until they are able to take care of themselves.
As they grow up their bodies begin to change. They can either become workers themselves which have different tasks and assignments in the nest like becoming a soldier or turn into nymphs that have reproductive roles.
A. Roles Of Termites
Worker termites are essential for the survival of the colony. These termites eat wood and digest it and then push out the digested material so that other termites can feed on them. They also pass on bacteria and protozoa from one member to another to help in wood digestion.
They also help in running different operations in the colony. They are responsible for building mud tunnels, for feeding the young and taking care of them. When the queen feels that the colony is in danger, she will resort to the workers for help.
In that case they turn to soldiers in order to defend the colony. Their heads enlarge and they grow large mandibles that allow them to protect the colony and act as weapons.
Nymph termites will provide assistance to the queen in case she wants to increase the number of the members. They become secondary queens and start laying eggs. If the colony has a stable number then the queen might not need their help.
Sometimes they stop laying eggs and turn to winged termites that leave the colony and go away to start their own colonies somewhere else.
B. Why Termite Larvae Need To Be Destroyed?
Innocent looking termites have serious effects. While they seem like innocent creatures, the truth is that they are very dangerous and need to be destroyed.
They keep on eating the wooden foundations of your house which might put your house in danger. This can be a serious risk and something that you can’t afford. Termites will keep on growing and laying eggs until the colony grows to infect your whole house.
This is why it is important to start paying attention to the problem as soon as you see any signs of termites. You need to use insecticides at the first sign of termites. These chemicals will drive them out of your house and soon enough they will be gone. Foams are also very effective because they get into the cracks and reach the entire colony.
These chemicals and foams will be different in strength so the termites might be pushed away from your house but will come back eventually.
Read: How to Locate a Cockroach Nest & 10 Tips to Get Rid of Cockroaches in Your Home
C. Get Help From An Exterminator
This is definitely a service that you want to pay more for. Just asking an exterminator for help will ensure that all the corners of your house are free of termites. The process will take some time to be complete but is totally worth it.
This process is effective because the entire colony that is affecting your house will vanish. All the termites will die and the few members that will survive will leave your house and never come back.
Once you know how organized termites are and how they take care of each other and support the colony to keep it functioning properly, you will understand why it is very important to make sure that the all the termites are gone as soon as you see the first sign of them. If you let them in your house for just a few days, the results could be destructive.
D. How To Kill Termites- Do It Yourself Termite Treatment
If you already have a termites problem then you understand the importance of acting fast. So can a DIY treatment help you fight them off? Is it going to be effective?
Here are a few things that you need to know:
There are several types of termites but the most common ones are the US subterranean. They travel in packs and live underground. They usually form colonies underground that vary in size from thousands to millions.
Termites dig tunnels underground to look for wood which is their primary source of food. Sometimes they are good for the environment since they can help decompose old wood in stumps.
In other situations this can be a catastrophic event like when they find their way to the wooden structures of a building. In that case termites will send signals to their other termites friends notifying them that they found free lunch. In this case you are probably dealing with a serious disaster.
E. How To Kill Termites – Start With the Basics
Follow the saying that says “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” this means that you should try to avoid the problem in the first place. This means that you should always clean off debris and make sure that you don’t store fire wood next to your home. This wood will attract termites to your home where they will find more wood to eat.
A constantly moist foundation will definitely attract termites so you want to make sure that there is no problem with your drainage and gutters. Moist wooden foundations make the perfect spot for the termites and they will especially love it when they find wood next to your house.
Mulch that is used to improve the quality of the soil is also something that you should be careful with. This stuff attracts termites. Mike Potter says that if you have termites or think that they are threatening your house then you should avoid all types of mulch altogether.
There are a lot of methods that can be used to treat the problem of termites. These are effective and will eliminate the problem at the core.
Read: 9 Great Ways To Deal With Baby Roaches Fast And Easy
5.1 Liquid Termite Barrier
The idea behind this method is to create a barrier of liquid insecticides that will prevent the termites from entering your home. This barrier will surround the entire house or the areas infected with termites. The method is effective in preventing termites only if you can make sure that you can reach all the places.
If however, there is a place that you missed or there is an obstacle that can prevent you from spraying the liquid then this method will be ineffective. Moreover, there a lot of concerns related to this problem.
This is because you need to spray a lot of liquid to prevent the termites from gaining access to your home. Spraying this amount of insecticides represents a health hazard.
This method might not be effective in fighting off an entire colony because the termites will always find a way to get inside. If you already have a termites problem and an existing colony then you should look for a better option that would directly address the problem.
5. 2 Termites Baits
Termites baits work just like fish baits. Basically you throw a piece of wood and wait for the termites to infect it. This is basically like throwing darts blindfolded because most of the time you will have no idea where the termites are actually living or coming from.
There are a lot of baits that are available at hardware stores and there are mixed reviews about them. For this reason many people choose to play it safe and resort to DIY baits that will work as effectively.
- There are some products that are only available for professionals like Firstline and Sentricon. These are very effective and of higher grade than the ones sold for use by ordinary people. Using these products involves putting pieces of wood inside plastic tubes. The purpose is not to poison or kill the termites just yet, but simply to locate them and know where they are. The bait will usually be put away from the house at an adequate distance.
- The company should have a plan of continuously following up the work and monitoring how successful the bait process goes. This means that they should come and check every now and then to see if the termites fell for the bait.
- Once the termites get into the tube, the wood will be removed and replaced with another substance that kills the termites. Often when the termites find large pieces of wood they would send signals to invite other termites over. This means that the bait method can attract large numbers of termites to be present at one time. This makes the elimination process more effective and successful.
- Once the bait method has proved successful, there should be continuous monitoring to ensure that the termites don’t come back. It is common that colonies come back after they have been eliminated that is why it is recommended to monitor the tubes on a quarterly basis to ensure that your house is always safe from any termites’ attacks.
As you can see, an average homeowner doesn’t have the necessary tools or experience to make sure that the termites problem is solved. This is why; it is of great importance to make sure that the problem is addressed and handled as soon as possible and using the professional quality products.
Read: Eggs Of Termites And What We Did Not Know About Them
F. Bait Vs. A Barrier Termite Treatment
When you are considering whether to use the bait method or the barrier termite treatment, there are a few factors that you can consider to make sure that you are choosing the best option. While both methods can be effective, there are a few points that will help you decide on the most appropriate method for you:
- Bait method is less intrusive and requires less physical effort. For the barrier method to work you need to physically apply the liquid everywhere. This can sometimes involve removing pieces of furniture or rolling carpets to make sure that the liquid has reached all the places.
- Barrier method works faster. This means that if you already have a manifesting problem of termites then using the barrier method will lead to faster results. You can quickly spray the areas where the termites are found this ensures that they are kept away from spreading to other areas in the house. At the same time, it will restrict them and will help you locate the exact place where they come from.
- Baits are more expensive. Baits have to be used by professionals or else they might be useless. This means that household owners should compare the costs and benefits of baits before deciding on using them. Most of the time, baits will involve an initial cost of set up then a maintenance fee to follow up. The initial treatment can range from $700 to $2500. The fee will be determined according to the area and the degree of infection. This will be followed by an annual fee for monitoring that would be anywhere from $70 to $250. If there is a requirement for more follow up, the fee will increase. The monitoring pace will be addressed in the contract, meaning that you might be paying this monitoring fee for 3 or 4 times a year and this is one of the reasons why baits are more expensive than using the barrier method that requires only the purchase and the application of the insecticide. Failure to monitor will be a disaster after the removal of termites because they will return again once the poisonous substance has been removed. Colonies usually reappear and this makes monitoring of great importance.
In conclusion, although the cost of eliminating termites is really high, it is justified compared to the costs of having them. Termites can damage the foundation of your house and all the furniture inside causing you a lot of losses. Although there are a lot of better things to spend $1000 on, termites elimination is of great importance.
Read: A Pest Control Guide For Termites (White Ants)
G. The Life Cycle Of The Termites: What Are The Stages? Who From The Colony Can Reproduce?
Termites can be found anywhere in the world except in the Antarctic. They are called silent damagers because they cause a lot of damage without being noticed. Colonies of termites can harm the foundations of your house leading to great financial losses and potential hazards.
Colonies can be found anywhere and will contain several hundred to several millions. Each colony will have different types of termites: eggs, larvae, workers, nymphs, soldiers, swarmers, king and queen.
H. Termite Life Cycle
The most important part of the termites’ life is laying eggs. Each year and during the same period, swarmers will leave their nests and start the mating season. The mating season differs from one group to another. Some prefer to lay eggs in the warm weather after rain while others do this at night.
First the queen will lay 10 or 20 eggs but the number will rise until it lays thousands of eggs every day. The eggs are white in color but are very small. Although they can be seen, you will hardly find any because they are always located in the hidden areas of the nest.
Termites larvae will appear from the eggs and will be white and able to move. They are not swarm-like like the rest of larvae. They are very slow to grow. Termites don’t have a stage of case worm but nymphs will appear which are bigger than larvae and will have 4 pads of wings.
The nymph will shed its skin several times. After the first shedding it will turn to a worker but in some cases it will keep on shedding and become a soldier. The change takes months and will depend on the food, temperature and how populated the nest is.
Mastotermes darwiniensis (the most primitive termite) has different 5 nymph stages and one soldier stage. These termites are darker in color. The soldier can later turn into a nymph with wing pads. It turns into a swarmer after 3 nymph stages.
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