The Importance Of Quality Termite Control For Your Plymouth Property

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It can get cold during Plymouth winters, so it is easy to think that it is far too cold for termites to survive here; but not only can termites survive here, they can do quite a bit of damage! Join us today as we discuss a few important facts every Plymouth resident should know about termites in our area. We'll discuss how to detect termites and the challenges of termite detection. We'll talk about why termites get into homes and how much damage they're capable of doing. We'll end by telling what works to effectively control termites. If you'd like to speak to someone about your termite concerns or you need advice regarding termites or termite damage you've found, jump to our contact page. Combat Pest Control offers industry-leading termite pest control in Plymouth, and we are happy to help. With that said, let's get into our subject matter for today. 

About The Termite Caste System

termite climbing nest

A termite colony is rich and diverse. Everyone has a job, from the queen to the humble worker. Let's take a moment to discuss the jobs or "castes" in a termite colony. They offer insights into what is needed for quality termite control in Plymouth.

Queen: She is at the heart of her colony, and you won't ever see her unless you dig into the ground and expose her nest. If you expose her, you'll find a big blob of a creature, with a black head and thorax attached. The blob is the abdomen of the queen, which grows as she produces offspring. The enlarged abdomen is tan with brown crosssection lines. Some termite queens can produce one egg every three seconds. In the course of one day, she may produce more than 28,800 eggs. That is 10,512,000 eggs a year! There are factors that limit this growth, but you can see how things can quickly get out of hand. 

King: The termite king is somewhat different from many other male insects. He stays by his queen and continually helps with the production of offspring long after the establishment of a colony. Unlike the queen, the king doesn't grow into a blob. He continues to look the same as he did when he became a king. The king starts as a winged reproductive. The only difference after the colony is established is that he loses his wings. His queen does this as well. The wings shed by the kings and queens may be you're only warning sign of an infestation.

Reproductives: In a termite colony, worker termites may develop into reproductives to assist the queen and the king. Under the ground, reproductives may move out of their original nests and create new nests, called satellite colonies. These new nests are created without the reproductives coming above ground.

Swarmers: These are winged reproductives. They exit the colony, take to the air, and mate. Once the mating process is done, the swarmers shed their wings and disappear back into the ground. A swarmer is about ? of an inch in length and has long, white wings that are a stretched teardrop shape. The wings stack on top of each other and do not have a cleft at the tips, like the wings of an ant swarmer. The swarming and mating behavior of male and female termite reproductives takes less than an hour.

Soldiers: These termites are generally twice as large as the workers. They have large orange heads and black pincers. The job of the soldiers is to protect the workers. When termite tunnels are exposed, these are the termites you are likely to see first.

Workers: These are the most plentiful termites in a colony by a long shot. Workers are the only termites that eat wood. All other termites get their food from the workers through the sharing of fluids. A worker looks like a pale, fat ant. It is about ? of an inch long and has six legs, two antennae, and three body parts. Worker termites have a strong aversion to light and will avoid even the reflection of light off the moon. Termite identification is essential as catching a glimpse of termites in your yard can alert you to danger and allow you to call a professional for a subterranean termite treatment in Plymouth. 

Now that you know what you're up against, and the difficulty of detecting these insects, let's talk about how termites will damage your Plymouth home or business. It is not commonly understood why termites are a serious threat in New England. These facts will shed some light on this secret threat.   

Why Termites Infest And Destroy Wooden Structures

Termites eat cellulose. A preferred food source is the cellulose found in decaying wood. When they enter your yard, they'll likely feed on wood debris first. They may find dead branches stacked in a pile. They may find a tree that has fallen over, a log lying on the ground, stacked wood, or construction materials. Once in your yard, termites may find the wood inside your home and begin to nibble. We can't tell you how much of a threat termites will present to the structures on your property, but you should know these facts.

  • Termites never stop looking for food, even after they've found a food source. Termites can damage your home while eating other wood sources in your yard at the same time.
  • Termites are simple organisms. They never sleep.
  • Subterranean termites live underneath the ground and will slow down or stop completely during the winter. But when they get under a structure that heats the ground, they don't have to stop for winter.
  • One little worker termite can't do much damage, but a colony of several hundred thousand termites will. 
  • Termites can travel a hundred yards to find a food source, and more than one colony can feed on your home at the same time.
  • Termites often enter homes through cracks in foundations, and wood that is planted in the ground, such as the wooden posts of a back deck. When termites do this, they can enter a home without creating any visible signs.
  • Subterranean termite workers often create shelter tubes. These above-ground tunnels are detectible, but workers typically create them in locations that are dark and difficult to inspect.
  • Termites silently feed on wood. The only detectible noise they make is the clicking of soldier heads on tunnel walls when there is an invasion. But this is rare.

It is essential to apply effective termite control to guard your Plymouth property from damage or to arrest a termite infestation in your home or business when you are fortunate enough to detect these insects. Let's explore a few facts and statistics that will give you an understanding of the extent of damage termites can cause.  

The Extent Of Damage Termites Can Cause To Your Property

Subterranean termites are the most destructive termites in the United States. The cost of subterranean termites is over $5 billion a year, while the cost of all other termites is in the hundreds of thousands. The termites in Plymouth are Eastern subterranean termites, a species that causes more damage than any other termites in the country. The reason is not that they are the most destructive. It is that they have the greatest distribution, and their ability to live in many places is the key issue. They are robust insects.

When termites damage a structure, they create tunnels inside studs, trusses, and load-bearing beams. The stress of gravity pulling down on a structure that has been weakened by excavated tunnels creates cascading damage. Over time, floors begin to sink and walls start to bulge. You may notice that a door begins to stick or a window opens and closes freely. We hope this kind of damage is not what alerts you to a termite problem. When you get proactive termite control for your property, you take charge of your finances. Rather than waiting to find out how much termites are going to cost you, you're able to put the cost of termite control into your budget right now. No surprises.     

The Most Effective Termite Control For Your Property

Subterranean termites live under the ground, so the best solution is one that is applied to the ground. We use Termidor, the most trusted name in termite control. The liquid termiticides we inject into the ground are undetectable to termites. When they pass through the material, they pick up the active ingredient and share it with each other as they groom. The active ingredient passes from termite to termite and makes its way through the colony. Termidor calls this the transfer effect. The workers unknowingly take part in the elimination of their own colony. When the colony is gone, your property is no longer at risk for termite damage.

Do you live in Plymouth? Would you like to speak with someone about how a Termidor treatment can guard your home or business from termite damage? Give us a call or drop us a line. The service team at Combat Pest Control can help you find the answers you're looking for. 

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