Termites feed on wood with the aid of protozoans that live in their digestion system. Termites have proven to cause devastating damages to structures.
Dampwood termite--Dampwood termites’ nest in wood buried in the ground, although contact with the ground is not necessary when infested wood is high in moisture. Because of their high moisture requirements, dampwood termites most often are found in cool, humid areas along the coast and are typical pests of beach houses. Winged reproductive typically swarm between July and October, but it is not unusual to see them at other times of the year. Dampwood termite winged reproductive (sometimes called swarmer’s) are attracted to lights.
Management techniques vary depending on the species causing an infestation. Multiple colonies of the same species of termite or more than one species of termite can infest a building. Any of these variables will influence your control approach. Subterranean, and less frequently, dampwood termites can have nests at or near ground level, so control methods for these can be similar. However, drywood termites’ nest above ground, therefore the approach for eliminating them is unique.
Families consist of Masotermitidae, Rhinotermitidae and Termitidae. They build nests in the soil and are very dependent on soil for moisture. In their search for food, subterranean termites construct mud tubes because they are susceptible to desiccation when exposed to air. They usually work their way above ground to reach wood or any other cellulose source. The cellulose is then broken down into simple starch with the help of protozoans in the termites’ gut.
A important subterranean termites that belong to family Rhinotermitidae is Coptotermes gestroi
All species of the genus Coptotermes may be separated from species of other genera by the following characteristics:
- The soldier have pear-shaped heads
- The size of the soldiers is between 3.5 mm and 6.5 mm
- A white material is exuded from a pore in the head of soldiers when they are disturbed
Six Sign of Termite infection
Watch for Flying ‘Ants’
Those flying ‘ants’ may actually be termites. Usually the first sign of termites, these winged insects are also known as reproductives or swarmers (alate) and can be distinguished from flying ants by their two sets of wings, equal in length.
Audible Clicking in The Walls
Soldier termites make a quiet clicking sound as they bang their heads against wood or shake their bodies to signal danger if the colony is disturbed.
Hard-to-Open Windows and Doors
Warped wood can be a result of the moisture produced by termites when they eat. While the weather or outside temperature may be to blame for stiff windows or sticking doors, this problem combined with any of the other listed signs may indicate you have a termite infection.
Mud tunnels, sometimes called mud tubes are made primarily out of dirt and also include other organic material, like termite feces. Mud tunnels are created by the termites to easily access their food sources and to maintain the warm, humid environment for food storage. Look for mud tunnels in the following areas:
- Foundation Slab
- Basement or Crawlspace
Wood that feels papery or hollow sounding can be a good indication of tiny, unwanted houseguests. Termites consume wood from the inside out, leaving only a very thin layer of wood behind.
Discovering wood galleries or tunnels is a sure sign of termite activity. Tiny holes in walls, exposed wood, furniture and attic beams rarely happen naturally, it is most likely damage from termites.
Management & Control
Finished wood should then be finished with a paint or wood protection paint. DTM Wood Protectant provides long lasting protection against all wood boring insects. It can be diluted with oil or water & it protects wood products from month to year.
Mechanical removal and replacement
This is the most effective way to solve the infestation. If the infestation is isolated/contained in a small area and the infested wood can be removed and replaced, this should be recommended. The infested wood must be removed from the structure and destroyed. If the infestation is heavy, wooden products need to be disposed.
Injection treatment - Injection using syringe can be done to treat the infested area. Fecal pellets need to be clear before the injections. Proper injection should penetrate into galleries & inaccessible areas to target egg & larvae when the insecticide is absorb by the wood. It must be noted that injections may cause some discoloration to the surface of the wood that is being treated.
Control General Treatment of Subterranean Termites
Soil treatment is the principal method used in control, and widely varying types of construction.
Using baits for termite control is another method that involves different consideration.
Physical barriers such as metal screens is a third method requiring another set of consideration. Termatrac Technology.