The Drywood termite is hardly a guest and a tell-tail sign of its existence a residential or commercial area is when a small mountain of excrement called frass. Frass has a grainy consistency and a dark brown coloring, nearly like gritty sand and is the reason why drywood termites have another alias known as powderpost termites. The Drywood termite is also known for its ability to survive with hardly any source of water and can completely live inside any material made out of hardwood whether if it’s a wall, roof or even furniture.
Subterranean termites play two roles in this world. When in their natural habitat, they can be extremely helpful as they make full use of cellulose. Cellulose is a chemical property primarily found in plants materials and will eventually be found in derivatives such as paper and cardboard products. When termites consume cellulose, they return it to the earth as humus which is the perfect soil fertilizer. Otherwise, if subterranean find their way into urban living, they will become a problem and will be identified by their winged brethren flying, possibly emerging from a nearby source. Follow these and it will lead you right into the source with mud tubes sticking out from the ground.
Workers are chiefly nest builders and repairers, foragers, feeders, and groomers of other members of the colony. Worker termites are those that cause destruction of wood structures.
Soldiers are chiefly defenders of the nest. On their elongated head, some species use their large, hooked mandibles in a scissor-like way to decapitate predators such as ants. Other species with a nasus disperse a sticky, toxic fluid at an enemy. For a few species, soldier termites are absent; therefore, nymphs and workers defend the colony.
In tropical regions, termites are found where cellulose-rich food sources exist, in both living and dead vegetation. Some tropical termite species are known to raise giant mounds consisting of termite feces, soil, and fungi. These mounds may contain millions of individuals.
Termites usually have one king and a queen that lays the eggs. Worker termites gather food, which is cellulose material like decaying wood or paper, and bring it back to the other termites in the colony. They use the tubes to protect themselves from predators and to keep them moisturized.
If they happen to swarm out of their tunnels and find themselves inside your house they will probably fly towards windows because they are attracted to light and want to be outside. Luckily, they will die within a few hours indoors and are not dangerous. However, the swarm is Mother Nature's way of saying, œCall an exterminator, dear! or buy some to do a termite treatment.
Subterranean termites will stay underground until it is time for them to reproduce. Then specific types of termites known as alates, or reproductives, will burst from the soil in a swarming mass. The flying insects swarm above ground for a short time, try to find a mate, and then die or return underground to start a new colony. This normally happens in the spring, but can also occur a second time in the fall.
Subterranean termites live in nests underground and emerge only to forage for wood or wood based foods. They are very small, but very destructive. They require moisture to survive and they are only attracted to wood, cardboard or paper that has a 19% or higher moisture content. They do not “live” in the wood as other varieties of termites do, but form “mud” or shelter tubes on the walls or ceilings inside or outside the home to shelter them from the outside air and heat of the sun as they travel from underground where they live, to above ground where they eat. They must return to the underground nest roughly every day.
Summary: People are naturally scared of the unknown. What could be more terrifying than termites lurking unseen and unheard within the walls of your own home. The signs of termites usually include massive swarms of flying termites, mud tunnels or damaged wood.
The Formosan termite originated in Southern China. It eventually found its way to Taiwan, which was formerly known as Formosa, then Japan and ultimately the rest of the world. These termites are infamous for their destructiveness and can easily consume its food source in little time because of the sheer population they have in a single colony. A colony of these ferocious insects can house up to millions of members and this is already overwhelming compared to other termite breeds. Formosan termites are known for their mud-like mounds created inside or outside wooden structures.