Termites 101: What You Need To Know About Termites

Termites cause major damage to structures by chewing through support beams, floors and walls. This compromises the wood’s integrity and can lead to costly repairs. In fact, termites are responsible for more damage in the United States than hurricanes, tornados and house fires put together.

Termites are social insects that live in hierarchical colonies.

They are led by a king and a queen and populated by castes of soldier termites, worker termites and immature termites still developing. Each member of the colony is responsible for fulfilling different roles.

Workers make up the majority of the population but are smallest in size. They are responsible for caring for eggs and feeding and tending to the other castes. Workers construct the colony which leads to the destruction of homes and buildings.

Soldiers are responsible for, you guessed it, defending the colony. Their head is hard and shaped like a helmet with 2 mandibles they use as weapons against intruders. When there is danger, soldiers will bang their heads against the wood to alert the colony. If you hear a tapping behind the walls that is a sign there is a termite infestation.

The king and queen are responsible for reproducing and growing the colony. A mature termite colony can contain more than 2 million individuals and can split into secondary colonies with new queens who are constantly reproducing.

Unfortunately, many people only realize they have a termite infestation when they are getting ready to sell their homes. By this time, it’s most costly to repair and a major deterrent for potential buyers.

The good news is that damage caused by termites happens slowly over time. An annual inspection by a Knockout Pest Control technician will ensure you identify any potential infestations early and keep your home safe. We serve all of Long Island, New York City, and Westchester and Rockland Counties. Call 1-800-244-PEST or 1-800-244-7378. We respond like every pest problem is an emergency with fast, 24 hour service seven days a week.

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