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Termite Characteristics, Treatments, And Prevention Methods

Termites – What Are These Insects?

Termites are social insects that travel, work, and live together in small to large colonies. They spend most of their time foraging for food, shelter, and water. When they are not foraging, they are building shelter and reproducing.

The termite diet consists of cellulose, a natural derivative of plants and trees and a byproduct of various man-made materials, such as cardboard, cotton fibers, and furniture.

Termites erect underground shelters in expansive tunnels that lead directly to food, water, and other important resources. The underground tunnels are meant to offer safety, a warm, safe environment, discretion, and quick access. If the tunnel offers the essentials, the colony will continue to grow out of control, resulting in visible above-ground mounds. Some termite species build their shelters deep inside downed treats and other wooden structures.

The most common termite sighting in North America is the Subterranean species, which has contributed to approximately $2 billion in damage or 95 percent of the total termite damage in North America.

Termite Colony – Its members In-Depth

Primary Reproductive Member – The Queen

Like bee and ant colonies, the termite colony has members with some very important responsibilities. The primary member is the queen termite who is responsible for reproduction. The queen is slightly under 4 inches in length, which is much larger than all the other termite members. Once the queen reaches maturity, she will no longer be able to transport herself from one place to another. This will become the worker termites’ responsibility.

The queen termite spends most of her time reproducing. She will continue reproducing until there is an adequate supply of workers and nymphs.

A queen termite can produce up to 30,000 eggs daily. The average lifespan for a queen termite is 10 years.

Functional Member – The Worker

The worker termite is around 10 millimeters in length, similar to the size of a rice grain. The body is almost translucent, without the wings.

The worker termite spends nearly 24 hours a day erecting and expanding tunnels, nests, and shelters. They are also responsible for the care of other colony members, food, and tunnel maintenance.

Security Member – The Soldier

The soldier termite does not have wings. Its body is almost translucent – light in color.

The soldier termite’s strongest feature is its jaws, which are utilized to fend off predators.

The soldier termite is responsible for keeping predators at bay and fortifying the tunnels.

Reproductive Member – Primary And Secondary Reproductive Termites

Last, but not least, the reproductive member, which is solely responsible for reproduction. Reproductive termite members are a team of females and males.

The winged reproductive termite has flying capabilities. It utilizes its wings to exit the colony in search of a mate. Once a mate is located, they will work together to build a new colony.

Termite colonies are comprised of both primary and secondary reproductive members. The primary reproductive members are the queen and king, the secondary reproductive members are responsible for colony expansion and egg-laying.

What Termite Species Are Found In Los Angeles California?

There are three termite species – dampwood, Subterranean, and drywood – found in Los Angeles, California. The Subterranean termite is a member of the Rhinotermitidae family, which has also been reported in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.

Subterranean Termite

The Subterranean termite colony is comprised of the queen, soldiers, workers, and reproductive members. The Subterranean worker termite is between 1/8” and 3/8” in length, with strong mandibles and a large head that is brown in color. The reproductive Subterranean termite’s size is slightly larger than the worker at ½” in length.

Subterranean Termite Behaviors

The Subterranean termite’s behaviors are very similar to that of other termite species. These behaviors are specific to their classification. For example, the Subterranean worker termite spends up to 24 hours a day working and foraging for food. The colony, as a whole, has some very unique behaviors. They do not build underground tunnels, but instead erect tube shelters made of mud. The diet is cellulose-based. The reproductive members exit the colony in the spring.

Subterranean Termite Damage

Subterranean termite species have been described by some exterminators as the “most destructive.” Their powerful jaws have tooth-like features that allow them to gnaw through a piece of decaying wood at alarming speeds. They are highly known for their severe structural damage to houses, buildings, trees, and other wooden structures.

Flying Ant Versus Termite

The flying ant and termite share only a few of the same characteristics, including wings and antennas. As far as a comparison goes, the wings and antennas are the only similarities. The body shape is much different, with the flying ant, being the larger of the two insects.

Termite Species Facts

  • Termites spend all day and night eating
  • Termites have a long lifespan. The worker termite can survive up to 70 years in the right environment
  • An American termite colony can have as many as 500,000 members
  • Termites play an important role in conservation. They breakdown decaying trees and other wood into soil.
  • Subterranean termites need water to survive
  • Termite mud tube shelters must be periodically moistened with water
  • The termite’s biggest threat is the ant. These insects are prone to ant attacks when foraging for food
  • Termite infestations can be fully eradicated with the help of our termite pest control
  • Subterranean termite sightings have been reported in every US state, excluding Alaska
  • Subterranean termites are responsible for up to 90 percent of all American termite damage
  • The worldwide population of termites would outweigh the worldwide population of humans
  • The worker is the only termite with cellulose digestion capabilities. The worker regurgitates the digested cellulose to feed all the other colony members
  • A queen termite has a lifespan of approximately 20 years. She can produce thousands of eggs per day
  • Sentricon systems are utilized to control the ant population in New Orlean’s very popular French Quarter.

Termite Colonies – Do They Pose Health Risk To Humans?

No, termites do not pose a health risk to humans or animals. They are more of a nuisance than a health risk. There is no evidence to validate the claims of termite carrying diseases that can spread to humans through a bite. In fact, termites do not bite at all, they are too busy erecting shelter and foraging for food for their colonies. With this said, termite colonies do not structural damage risk to residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.

Termite Infestation – Effective Extermination Methods

Our Los Angeles termite pest control combines several treatments to ensure the highest level of effectiveness against severe infestations. Since termite tunnels can expand up to 300 feet or more below ground, a full eradication is sometimes impossible with the standard over-the-counter pesticide. To ensure full eradication of a termite colony, a thorough visual inspection is a necessity. This combined with our termite control measures is guaranteed to deliver 100 percent termite eradication.

Termite Infestation – Is DIY Pest Control Effective?

DIY pest control is generally not recommended for termite infestations. There is no evidence that validates its effectiveness to eradicate fully termite colonies. Even when administered per the manufacturer’s recommendation, the only impact it will make on the termite colony is a few dead termites. To ensure 100 percent effectiveness, we utilize pest control techniques that are guaranteed to access those hard-to-reach termite tunnels.

How Long Should I Wait For the Exterminator To Arrive?

Once we receive your termite pest control request, a representative will begin processing your order. The exterminator will be dispatched out to your home within 24 to 48 hours of your initial request. If you believe your termite problem is an emergency, we can help by expediting the extermination visit. We offer same-day, emergency, and by-appoint pest control services. To learn more about our termite management and prevention services, contact our Los Angeles office at your earliest convenience.

Is Termite Treatment Safe?

When pesticides are utilized to eradicate termite infestations, they can pose some environmental and health risks to humans. However, with the proper pest control methods and US Environmental Protection Agency-approved pesticides, it is possible to achieve maximum results without all the potential risks. We only utilize EPA-approved pest control methods and products to ensure the highest level of safety for our clients and their family, pets, and assets.

Termite Infestation Prevention Methods

Termite prevention is comprised of various techniques, which require a full commitment from all household members.

  • Remove all water sources from your property line. Install an underground system to collect rainwater from gutters and downspouts. Inspect and repair all plumbing leaks and divert moisture from the AC unit to the exterior of your property
  • Minimize humidity in crawlspaces, attics, and basements with dehumidifiers and good ventilation
  • Relocate firewood piles to the exterior of your property or at least 20 feet from your home. Store firewood at least five inches above the ground floor
  • Switch from wood-based mulch to rubber mulch
  • Conduct routine foundation inspections, looking for damaged structures and termite mud tubes
  • Contact our pest control company in Los Angeles to request assistance with your termite inspection and eradication

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Take Advantage Of Our Termite Control & Removal Services

For most Los Angeles homeowners, termites are public enemy number one.  And, they should be considered so, because they cause American homeowners millions of dollars every year in repair damages. Unfortunately, eliminating termites from the home takes prior knowledge about the inner working of termites. First, you have to know that you are in fact dealing with termites and this is where most homeowners are impervious. Most homeowners don’t even not that their homes are infested until it is too late. This is exactly where our services can come in handy.

Free Inspections

 Our locally based termite control & removal company in Los Angeles offers free inspections. Whether you fear that you are dealing with termites or you are not sure, you can give us a call and we will send out a highly trained inspector to confirm or deny your suspicions. And, we offer this free of charge. Our inspectors know exactly what signs to look for and we will provide you with physical proof that you are in fact dealing with an infestation.

Stop The Problem Before It Starts

What if there was a way that you could prevent a termite infestation before it starts? There is and that is exactly what we are offering to the good people of Los Angeles. We offer pre-treatment and advice that will help stop an infestation before it starts. For instance, did you know that storing firewood ten feet or closer to the home can attract termites? Did you know that termites are also attracted to cardboard? Take advantage of our preventive termite services and we will head the problem off before it even starts.

Offering Affordable Solutions To Your Problems

 If you are already dealing with termites it is likely that your home will require expensive structural repairs. Our company understands this and that is why we are willing to offer you an affordable solution to your removal needs. We will not take advantage of the fact that you are in need. We offer every one of our customers the same price ranges. While we might not be the cheapest company in the area, we are without a doubt offering the highest level of quality. That being said, we do offer some of the most affordable solutions when it comes to treating termites. To get a free quote, you can call our offices or visit our website to schedule your consultation.

If you have any other pest control issues please check out other services.

Termites Control