Subterranean termites are one of the most expensive pest in the United States. These termites cause billions of dollars in damage each year. They’ve existed for over 55 million years, and have adapted accordingly. Subterranean termites cause millions in damage in our state every year. As one of Louisiana’s most persistent pest, it’s important to understand what make them such a huge threat.
These termites are social insects and use cooperative behavior to survive. They live in family groups called colonies, and swarm with each other. Social insects differ from other insects because each termite performs individual tasks that benefit the colony as a whole. Other types of insects work independently. Research suggests that the colony divides up the territory around the nest and begin digging tunnels in search of food. Once they locate a source other non-productive tunnels are closed and the group is directed to the new food source.
Identification and Reproduction Habits
To determine a specific termite colony you need to look at the soldiers, unmated reproductive caste, alates and the wings. Worker termites tend to look the same. These characteristics will help you identify subterranean termites:
- Workers: No wings, cream colored, about 1/4 inch or less
- Alates: Two pairs of wings, dark-brown to black in color, about ¼ to ½ inch long
- Soldier: No wings, cream/white color with a brown head, large jaws
Another way to identify a termite group is to assess the damage they leave behind. Subterranean termites typically build their nest underground. That means the majority of the damage in the wood is clumped with soil or mud within the tunnels. Subterranean termites only ingest softwood. Damaged wood appears layered because the workers aren’t eating the hardwood portion. This group of termite also feeds with the grain rather than across the grain.
Pest Control Solutions
Liquid termiticides are a popular solution for subterranean termite control. There are two types of termiticides primarily used for treatment: repellent products and non-repellent products. A repellent barrier treatment requires a thorough soil application target as many termite entryways as possible. Termites have trouble detecting soil treated with a non-repellent termiticide. They work their way into a treatment zone, unaware they are entering treated soil. Termites who come into contact with this soil tunnel back to the nest and infect other termites who haven’t reached the termiticide.
For more information on how to treat Subterranean Termites in Baton Rouge contact Arrow Termite and Pest Control. A termite professional can help you find a solution to your problem!