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Termites are undoubtedly one of the most destructive pests in Los Angeles since they do billions of dollars worth of damage each year. Termites consume cellulose which can be found in lumber. As a result, they’re going to destroy your home one piece at a time. The best way to tackle them is by teaming up with a qualified exterminator in Los Angeles. Here’s how you’ll want to get started:
- Termites are extremely social creatures. Where there is one, there will be hundreds nearby.
- They work together as a team when building, organizing, and bettering the colony. It’s all about the growth and development of the colony.
- The termite‘s main goal might be to grow the colony. However, swarmer termites will eventually leave the colony to build new ones.
- Termites are known for eating wood because it contains cellulose. This material can also be found in a wide range of other products, including lumber, cotton fibers, paper, cardboard, furniture, and more.
- When you see termite mounds, the colony has grown too large.
- While there is an assortment of termite species, it is Subterranean termites that are responsible for most of the structural damage. They cause 95% of the reported $2 billion damage yearly.
Breaking Down The Levels Of The Colony
Most people know that termites live in colonies. However, what they don’t know is that within these colonies there are different levels or classes. Each class is responsible for different tasks within the community. Fully understanding each termite and its specific role within the colony can help with detection as well as elimination. Here’s what you need to know about each caste:
The Queen (Primary Reproductive)
- The most well-known member of the colony and the biggest. She is female and so big that if need moving, it will take hundreds of members working together to relocate her.
- It is the queen’s role to lay eggs and contribute to the growth of the colony
- She can live for nearly 10 years or more. During this time, she’ll potentially produce an astronomical number of offspring. She can lay as many as 30,000 eggs in a single day.
The King (Primary Reproductive)
- If there is a queen, there must be a king. This is the case within the termite community. During the early stages, the king helps the queen produce more members so the colony can thrive.
- The queen and king will continuously mate to contribute to the growth of the colony.
- It’s the worker termites that are the true workhorses of the termite community. They are soft-bodied and light-colored with no wings.
- They usually grow to about the size of a grain of rice.
- They work 24/7 digging tunnels, caring for eggs, foraging for food, and feeding and grooming young members of the community.
- These guys might be soft-bodied and wingless, but there is nothing at all soft about them.
- They are extremely powerful with strong jaws that can be utilized as weapons against invading threats. Although they’ll fight other invaders, they primarily have to worry about ants.
- These guys are solely responsible for defending the colony.
Winged Reproductive Members
- Winged reproductive members can be both male and female. Believe it or not, they can produce offspring for the colony.
- These guys do grow wings, which afford them the ability to leave the parent colony and form their own.
- While each termite colony will only contain 1 king and 1 queen, each colony will contain hundreds to thousands of winged reproductive members.
The Most Common Types Of Termites
Unfortunately, there are thousands of termite species around the world. Nevertheless, there is only one that you have to worry about in Los Angeles. There are more than one species in Los Angeles, but it is just the Subterranean termite that poses a problem. As you learned, these are the most destructive termite and pose the biggest risk to your structure. The characteristics of these termites can depend on their role within the colony. Refer to the members above for more information on roles.
Worker termites are anywhere from 1/8 inch to 3/8 inch long while the soldier termites are similar. Soldier termites are unique because they have powerful mandibles and larger brown heads. The reproductive members usually only make it to about ½ inch in length. Despite what many people think, termites would prefer to build their colonies underground.
Determining The Differences In The Flying Ants And Termites
Many people mistake flying ants for the termite. While the two share some similarities, they are completely different in mentalities and moods. Regardless, it’s imperative to be able to distinguish between the two. This will help with elimination as well as detection. Here’s what you need to know about the two and how they are different:
- The flying ant and flying termite have front and back wings. With the flying ant, the front wings are much longer than the back and not easily broken. This is not the case with the termite. The termite’s front and back wings are the same size and can easily be snapped off.
- A termite colony can survive with no problem for many generations of worker termites, which amounts to about 50 to 70 years.
- The average termite colony can contain as many as 500,000 members.
Here are some more interesting things you need to know about termites:
- The colonies feed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When it comes to eating, termites do not stop eating.
- Termites are considered valuable by many, as they break down wood in forests into reusable soil. Many have considered them to be the earth’s first recyclers.
- Termites need constant access to water or they will not survive.
- You can eliminate termites from a property entirely with the right techniques.
- There are over 2,000 species of termites, but the Subterranean termite is the most destructive in your area.
- Most termite species prefer tropical and subtropical conditions.
- Termites cannot chew through concrete but move through its cracks easily.
- A queen can live for over 20 years and lay thousands of eggs daily.
Are Termites Dangerous?
You don’t have to be a pest management professional to know that termites are dangerous. While they do not pose an immediate physical threat by stinging or biting, they can cause you indirect harm by causing a structure to collapse in on you. They can damage wooden foundations enough to where they are ready to collapse. Columns and beams are all at risk of total collapse when it comes to termite damage.
How Do You Eliminate Termites?
Given the potential lethal abilities of termites, we cannot recommend anyone trying to fix an infestation on their own. This is a job better left for the professionals. One of the reasons these critters are so hard to eliminate is because they construct their colonies about 300 feet away and build tunnels to and where they are going. This makes them extremely difficult to eliminate. It just takes missing one termite or one entry point for them to go on living another day. You must attack and destroy the entire colony as well as all possible entry and exit points. Despite what you might believe, this is a much more difficult task than it sounds.
When Will Help Get Here?
Given our termite elimination abilities and the fact that we deal with a wide range of other critters, we stay extremely busy. With this in mind, one of the reasons we stay so busy is because we are willing to adapt and make exceptions. We’ll work after business hours. We’ll come out on the weekend. We will virtually move heaven and earth to satisfy our customers. All you have to do is give us a call and we’ll have someone out to the property within the next 24 to 48 hours. However, we do have and offer emergency services when they are needed.
Is Termite Treatment Safe?
Pesticides have long been a staple of the pest industry. Pest management firms from around the world have been utilizing pesticides for years to eliminate termites. And, they will likely continue to do so because they have been tried and tested. Remember that these products are extremely dangerous, especially in unqualified hands. This is why it is always imperative to choose someone licensed in your city.
The point is that these products are dangerous to you, your family, your pets, your property, and the environment. This is why we have started offering alternative solutions. We try to offer them whenever possible. Whether you want to learn more or see if your property qualifies for these treatments, you can give our Los Angeles office a ring. We’ll send out an assessor to evaluate the property and see what can be done.
Preventing Termite Infestations
It is always best to deal with the problem before it severely worsens. Of course, this is much harder than most people will ever realize. Remember that there are things you can do to help. And while these things will not eliminate all of the pests, you should still do them because they can help tremendously. Here are some things, you’ll want to keep an eye on:
- Make sure water is diverted away from the foundation and properly draining.
- Always keep an eye on plumbing pipes for potential leaks and drips.
- Keep humidity at acceptable levels in applicable areas. (Crawl spaces, attics, basements, and bathrooms).
- Store all firewood at least 20 feet away from the home and 5 inches off the ground.
- Routinely check the foundation of the property for cracks and crevices, as these are potential entry points into the home.
- Once you’ve found termites on your property, contact us immediately.