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Subterranean Termites

  • Subterranean termites are wood destroying (eating) insects that live in the soil. They
    typically nest approximately 4 ft. below the surface of the soil, but can nest as much as
    12 ft. or more below the surface.
  • Termites live in colonies which can contain several thousand members and up to several
    hundred thousand members. These insects have a “caste” structure which means that each “caste” has a different function to perform, as well as a different appearance.
  • Swarmers appear in the Northeast usually in April and May. It is not unusual to have swarmer sightings as early as February if there is an early thaw. After a swarm, the kings and queens mate and form a new colony. Swarmers lose their wings soon after their brief flight. The presence of these wings indicate that a swarm has occurred within the home or structure.
  • Winged termites (swarmers) which are usually black in appearance, are often confused with carpenter ants. It helps to know the difference.
Drywood Termite Pellets
  • Soldier termites protect the colony from predators such as ants. That is their sole purpose and will fight to the death to protect the colony.
  • The worker termites are very numerous, are white to cream colored and are the providers for the colony. They are approximately 1/8th of an inch in length.
  • They feed on wood or other materials that contain cellulose, such as paper, cardboard, fiberboard and some fabrics as well. A small organism lives in the digestive track of the insect. The protozoa helps to convert cellulose into nourishing food.
  • Subterranean termites build “mud” tubes to shelter them from low humidity and affords them a controlled atmosphere.
  • Termites can cause substantial damage over time, and unless you know what to look for, you may not be aware that you have a problem. Houses should be inspected at least once a year for evidence. This evidence could consist of damaged wood, mud tubes, swarmer wings or “sounding” the wood to check its integrity.
  • Because of the insidious nature of this insect, it is recommended that a professional check your home if you have any doubts of their existence within the structure. Raidex Termite Control, Inc. will perform this inspection free of charge if a written report is not required by a lending institution for the sale of the structure. Otherwise, the charge will apply.
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