Termites are often though of as one of the main problem pests we are likely to come across. Their passion for eating their way through timber framed housing makes them a force to be reckoned with; the worst enemy of the home owner.
In this article, we will look at the different types of termites and their characteristics, which should hopefully give you a better idea of what to look out for if you’re unfortunate enough to become infested.
What are termites
Despite the different types of termites out there, they all share a number of similar characteristics which define their species. They are very social creatures, and establish colonies to house their strict social hierarchy, similar to the way ants live.
Of the three main types of termites, the Formosan is by far the rarest, with ground and drywood termites the most common. Whichever type of termite it is, they all survive by eating wood, and digesting the sugars contained within. And they just don’t care whether their next meal is a book, an antique table, the structure of your house…
Of the different types of termites, drywood termites are among the most common. These are the creatures that are likely to set up camp within your walls and start gradually gnawing away. They also tend to live within trees, because of the readily available food source and shelter from the elements.
By the time you notice any structural damage from drywood termites, the problem could already be over three years old, at which point it could be too late. Drywood termites, along with ground termites, cause the majority of the millions worth of structural damage resulting from pests each year. Look for dust, and tiny droppings as a sign of their presence.
Not so far behind the drywoods are the ground types of termites. As the name would suggest, ground termites live in the ground, and establish their colonies below surface level.
Occasionally a worker termite will surface to find food for its queen, and they have been know to travel up to three hundred and fifty feet away from the nest in search of food. It really is no wonder that termites are so widespread!
Add to that the fact that termites can eat over ten pounds of wood matter each week, and you’ve got a serious problem on your hands. Ground termites are thought to be the overall most destructive species, and the tell-tale sign of an infestation is their tunnelling.
The exotic Formosan termite is thought to hail from Asia, and is somewhat less common than the other two types of termites. Having said that, it can be just as damaging. It also likes to establish colonies below the surface, and don’t rule out the chances of an infestation either, particularly if you live in the South. There are, however, widespread control measures to prevent the pest becoming too much of a problem in the years to come.
Termites come in many different types, but the types of termites you have isn’t what really matters – what really matters is that you have effective measures in place to tackle the problem, and prevent too much damage occurring to your belongings, and to the structure of your property.