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Termites : Anthropods

Animal Group: Anthropod
Class: Insecta
Order: Isoptera

4 Interesting Facts:

  • Termites have bacterial protozoa in their gut! This helps them break down wood and cellulose. This is then turned into energy the termite uses to continue to build the colony.
  • There is 1 state in America that does not have termites….. that state is…. Alaska.
  • Termites come in wet and dry – dampwood termites and dry wood termites – Arizona has dry wood termites.
  • There are 2,000 termite species (and scientists are saying there are more) on earth.
  • Termites Play an Important Role in Our EcoSystem
    Termites are recyclers. They break down organic matter and the organic matter decomposes back in the ground. They are crucial for rainforests.

    Termite Species in Arizona

    Termite Species in Arizona

  • 1 / 4 to 1 / 2 inch long
  • They have soft bodies and straight antennas
  • The queen and king are the largest and can grow up to an inch long and are the first in line to be king or queen
  • Some termites can fly

    Dry wood termite colonies are smaller than underground termite colonies. Mature colonies can consist of a few hundred to a few thousand members.

    When conditions are favorable, male, and female swarms (king and queen) begin to colonize in cracks and other openings in the wood. Arizona termites send scouts to find vulnerable areas in your home. As soon as the termites find their way into your homes, they build mud tubes to penetrate and eat through the wood of their structure.

    Dry wood termites live in extremely dry weather, so they do not need much moisture to survive. For termites, the moisture they need to survive from the humidity in the air develops, and the moisture they receive is consumed by the wood they eat.

    Most termite infestations occur when termites build tubes in the cladding of a house. You enter the house through exposed wood paneling or house objects such as wooden furniture. The infestation is usually limited to one area of the house but can be widespread.

    Cracks in concrete walls and foundations can form hollow blocks along the way that termites infest the house. The damage can be enormous, as termite colonies chew through wooden beams and other wood objects, weakening them from the inside out. Repairing dry wood damage is costly and requires the use of a fumigation process. Underground wet wood termites eat books and other paper products, cellulose products, and a variety of other plant products. Termites living in the ground around the house can penetrate the wood and touch the ground and build mud pipes from the floor to the wood where they are not attacked.

    They are the most common termite species in the country and cause billions of dollars of structural damage each year. Wet wood termites are a problem not only in the USA. They are most common in humid and warm tropical areas. A colony can have more than one egg-laying female underground termite nest with hundreds or thousands of members.

    The quiet and mysterious nature of moist termites makes it difficult to detect infestation until it becomes severe. Termites remain hidden because they do not build mud tubes to cover their entrance holes with their own excrement. They can weaken houses and hollow out support beams.

    This can lead to costly repairs and cause a lot of frustration. Moisture infestation indicates that the wood is rotting and leaking, causing excessive moisture in the house. In addition, moist termite infestation can be observed in areas affected by leaks in the roof and cracks in drainage pipes. Moist wood and termites weaken houses by hollowing out support beams. This leads to expensive repairs and causes a lot of frustration.

    LEARN ABOUT DAMPWOOD TERMITES (sometimes referred to moist wood termites)

    Dampwood Termites like to attack the following foods: stumps, lumber, fallen trunks and branches, and leaves that are in direct contact with the ground. Water damage to wood lying on the ground should also attract moist wood termites.

    In their natural environment, termites act as useful insects that break down cellulose-containing materials such as dead trees. They occur in weakened structural areas and areas that are in direct contact with wood and soil and feed on cellulose. Underground termites live in the soil and must keep contact with soil or other moisture sources to survive.

    Termites build soil protection tubes in soil structures to protect themselves from predators and maintain a humid environment. Thermowells can be installed in interior walls, canopies, and chimneys, but are not always visible.

    Insulated soil infestation occurs in buildings where termites have no access to water from condensation water, leaking pipes, roofs, or other sources. In rare situations where water, wood stains and other soils are underground, termites can build colonies without contacting the ground.

    Note warning signs such as the presence of winged swarms or mud pipes as signs of damage to the wood. Pests can invade a house and go unnoticed for years, so it is important to respond early warning signals to prevent serious damage.

    Remember, termites look different depending on the species. Dry woodworker termites, for example, have a creamy color and large, dark heads. Formosa termites have orange bodies, while traditional underground termites are brownish.

    They live in both rural and urban environments and can be found in houses, fences, sheds, garages, wood burns and other dead wood. Because cellulose occurs naturally in wood and tree roots, termites tend to stay close to their home and have easy access to food. Certain woods such as cedar, cypress and sequoia are resistant.

    Dampwood Termites do not interfere with pressure-treated composite wood. However, they crunch directly through the chipboard and get into it.

    Termites are good at staying hidden and consuming wood from the inside out. They leave the skin of the wood untouched to hide the damage from human eyes. There are both chemical and non-chemical methods for treating termites.