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In Charlottesville, VA, there are a lot of insect species known and feared. However, there are none so much as the termite. You might be deathly allergic to bees but probably fear a termite invasion more than a bee invasion. This is because of the creature’s propensity for damage to wooden structures. These critters can do immense amounts of damage to wooden structures, damaging them to the point of near collapse. All in all, termites and termite infestations are worrisome topics for many. At the very moment you suspect you are dealing with one, you’ll want to get the pros involved. While this is the case, there are things you do on your own. It starts by arming yourself with the most accurate knowledge possible.

  • Termites are known as social creatures because where you see one, there are many lingering around the corner. They work together, live in large groups, and cooperate fully for the development and betterment of the colony.
  • The termite‘s goal is to raise members to the point where they can venture off and start their own colonies.
  • Termites are known for doing immense amounts of damage to wooden structures, but it is the cellulose that they are after. Cellulose is in a lot of other products, including cotton fibers, cardboard, furniture, and tons more…
  • When you see a mound it means that the termite colony has grown too large. Termites initially build their colonies underground with the intention of going undetected. They also build thousands of tunneling systems, leading in and out of the colony.
  • While there are a variety of species of termites in the United States, it is the Subterranean termite that is the most troublesome. These creatures alone are responsible for 95 percent of the reported $2 billion damage faced by US residents each year.

Understand The Castes

Speaking of colonies, it is imperative to understand the hierarchy of the colony. Members are broken up into what are known as castes. Each specific caste has a specific role. These roles will be crucial for the development and betterment of these colonies. Understand how this hierarchy work might better help you with the elimination and detection of termites. Here’s what you’ll need to know:

The Queen Primary Reproductive Member

  • You don’t have to be a termite expert to know that the queen is the head honcho. She is the one that the rest of the members are working to serve. She is by far the largest member of the entire colony, measuring in at nearly 4 inches long.
  • She is so large that if she needs moving, and she often does, it will take hundreds of workers pushing to accomplish the task.
  • A queen can live for more than 10 years.
  • During these 10 years, the queen can produce as much as 30,000 eggs in a single day.

The King Primary Reproductive Member

  • It’s probably pretty obvious that the king’s main responsibility is to assist the queen in any way he can.
  • This assistance usually consists of mating and help care for the eggs during the initial formation of the colony.
  • The king will, however, continue to mate and build the colony long after the queen ceases.

The Worker Termite

  • If there was ever a true workhorse, it would be the worker termite. These guys virtually work 24/7, 365 non-stop. They are soft-bodied, light in color, and don’t go wings, but they are relentless when it comes to working. 
  • They only measure to be about10 millimeters, which is about the size of a grain of rice.
  • Their main roles are constructing and maintaining tunnels, foraging for food, caring for eggs, and feeding and grooming the other members of the colony.

The Soldier Termite

  • With two powerful jaws that can be utilized as mandibles, the sole responsibility of the soldier termite is to fend the colony. They use these jaws as weapons against potential invaders.
  • The primary invader of the termite colony is the ant.

Winged Reproductive Members

  • The main goal of the winged reproductive members is to venture off and start separate colonies.
  • These members develop wings so they can fly off and start new colonies. These secondary colonies are usually constructed in wood sources, whereas the primary ones are underground about 300 to 400 feet from the primary residence.
  • While each colony will consist of only 1 king and 1 queen, there will be thousands of winged reproductive members.
  • Both of these members can consist of male and female members.

Evaluating The Flying Ant And Flying Termite

You can see that both the ant and termite have a lot of commonalities. Both like to construct underground colonies located about 300 to 400 feet away from the primary residence. They also construct thousands of tunnels leading to and from this colony. In addition to this, they fly and look similar. A lot of people will even mistake them for the same creature.

However, they are nothing alike and elimination for each creature will be different. This is why it is imperative to learn to distinguish between the two. Doing so will help with elimination and detection. Here’s what you need to know about the flying ant and flying termite.

  • Both have wings. The front wings of the flying any are longer than the back pair. With the termite, the front and back wings are exactly the same sizes.
  • You can easily break the termite’s wings off, whereas the flying ant’s wings are extremely durable and stout.
  • The waist of the ant is narrow and pinched. 
  • The waist of the flying termite is thick and less defined.
  • Both have antennae, but the ants are elbowed, whereas the termites are straight.

Are Termites Dangerous?

Termites don’t bite, they don’t sting, and they aren’t even known for carrying or transmitting diseases. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t be indirectly dangerous. They can! With their ability to make quick work of wooden structures, they can damage a wood building to the point of collapse, and then when you walk in, it collapses. 

Can I Eliminate Termites

Unfortunately, it is not recommended for anyone to try to eliminate termites on their own. And, this is because they are such complex creatures. They build colonies 300 to 400 feet from the property with hundreds of entrance and exit tunnels, making the situation all that more complex. It only takes missing one creature or missing one tunnel, and the entire colony could go on to live another day. Either way, this is not something you want, as it just means more work and more of a headache for you. This is why it is best to get the pros involved immediately. They know how to attack the situation with the utmost efficiency while ensuring they cut off every possible entrance and exit. This is something that will be imperative for the elimination of this creature.

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