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Common Name: Eastern subterranean termite
Scientific Name: Reticulitermes flavipes
The eastern subterranean termite is a species of wood destroying insect; they are responsible for creating more than 5 billion dollars’ worth of damages to homes all across the United States. The eastern subterranean termite is found naturally in Missouri and can be found living across the entire state.
Termites live in large social colonies and divide themselves into different castes that include: workers, soldiers, and reproductives; each member has a different job to do to help to colony run efficiently.
Workers- Workers make up the bulk of the termite colony. They have a soft creamy white body, have no wings, are blind, and grow to be about ¼ of an inch in length.
Soldiers- The soldiers appear very similar to the workers except they are a bit larger and have an elongated yellow head, large strong jaws, and short legs.
Reproductives- The reproductives are the largest members of the colony, are winged, are dark-brown to black in color, and are about ¼ to ½ inch in length.
When a termite colony has reached maturity (usually not until the colony is at least 3 years old) the reproductive members will swarm from the colony. A termite swarm usually happens on a warm spring day following rain. They will fly away from the colony, shed their wings, and mate. The mated pairs will then go off to establish a new colony of their own. The first batch of eggs that they produce will hatch into workers who are then responsible for increasing the size of the colony and nest, gathering food, and caring for the eggs that the queen will continue to lay. Once the new colony has reached maturity, the cycle will start again and a new swarm will occur and new termite colonies will be started.
In nature termites are considered to be beneficial insects because they help to reduce the amount of dead wood and other cellulose debris that is found on the ground and releases their nutrients back into the soil. It is only when the termites enter into homes and other buildings (usually accidentally) that they become a damaging and destructive pest.
Termites generally live and nest under the ground, as the workers are out foraging for food they may accidentally enter into homes and other buildings through tiny cracks in the foundation or exterior walls. Once they locate structural wood and especially if the wood is water damaged, they will begin to tunnel through it and feed the colony from it.
It generally takes months or sometimes even years for the signs of termite damages to be noticed. In most cases the wood looks fine from the outside, even though the inside may be almost completely hollow and full of tunnels. It is also very rare to see a termite out in the open; these termites basically live their entire lives under the ground or inside of wood.
Preventing termites is almost always impossible task to handle on your own, the best way to prevent problems with termites is to partner with professional pest control company. At Rottler we can offer you the most complete termite defense system possible in order to protect your home, property, and wallet from termites and their damages.
Along with professional control other things that you can do around your home to try and help deter termites includes: reducing moisture levels in your home by using de-humidifiers or air-conditioners, make sure that gutters are working properly to direct water away from your home, fix any leaky pipes or fixtures, and remove and replace any wood in your home that has been damaged by water. It is also a good idea to limit any soil to wood contact in structures that are located on your property.
At Rottler we can eliminate and control termites on your property in several ways, with each visit including a thorough inspection of the interior and exterior of your home. At Rottler we use Term-Alert™ monitoring stations, these stations are placed around your home to detect the presence of termites before they become a problem. We also offer the Rottler Termite Protection System™ featuring the Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System; this is a very successful system that works very well to completely eliminate a termite colony from your home and/or property.
For more information about how Rottler can quickly and safely eliminate termites from your home contact us today.