Although the name “white ant” suggests otherwise, Termites are not actually related to ants.
Termites are a soft bodied insect that feed on wood, bark, dead leaves, grass etc. There are around 2300 species of termites however approximately 350 can be found in Australia, 12 of which feed on and destroy wood.
In an established nest a Queen termite can be so enlarged that it leaves her immobilised, In some species she can lay 2000 – 3000 eggs per day! The King and Queen can live up to 15 years and are only replaced when they are too old to meet the needs of the colony. Unlike other pests who only mate at the beginning of their reproductive life the King will fertilise the queen periodically throughout their term.
You may notice termites being dispersed in large groups generally in warm or humid weather, these are the winged re-productive (alates) and are to be the Kings and Queens of their new nests. They have a well-developed cuticle and usually two pairs of dark brown wings equal in length. They are weak flyers so must find a nesting ground and drop their wings, it is here that they release pheromones to attract their new King. Only a small percentage are successful in creating a new colony and if they do it can take some time to start doing damage. Alates may swarm around the roof of a home and even enter the roof space, this is not generally a cause for concern as a nest must be established underground, if you are consistently seeing termites close to a home then this may mean that a nest has been established and it is recommended that you make contact with a pest control operator. Soldiers are sterile and their job is to protect the colony and scout and locate new sources of food however they rely on the worker soldiers to feed them.
So to put it simply there are 4 types of Termites within one colony
Primary Reproductive: Kings & Queens.
Winged Reproductive: Creators of new colonies and future Kings & Queens
Soldiers: Defend the nest and find new sources of food.
Workers: Feed the colony, rear the young and repair and enlarge the nest.
Termites are helpful to other insects and animals in the wild however they are not so helpful if they are destroying your home! Protector Pest Control believes that prevention is better than cure, It is not only reassuring to know that your home is protected against termites but that you are protected from the large costs involved in eradicating active termites and replacing roof beams, timber framed structures, cabinetry and windows and door frames that they may have destroyed. See our page to investigate your options.
If you wish to discuss your options over the phone please contact one of our friendly staff on 9397 2033 or fill out a contact form for a response via email.