What are Termites?
Termites are a group of eusocial insects. While termites are commonly known, especially in Australia, as "white ants," they are not closely related to the ants. As eusocial insects, termites live in colonies that, at maturity, number from several hundred to several million individuals. . A termite colony consists of anywhere from 350,000 to well over a million workers, soldiers, and swarmers (termites with wings). A single termite queen can lay thousands of eggs per day and live between 30 and 50 years. That means a queen can recoup her losses and repopulate her colony even after tremendous devastation.
Termites mostly feed on dead plant material, generally in the form of wood, leaf litter, soil, or animal dung, and about 10% of the estimated 4,000 species (about 3,106 taxonomically known) are economically significant as pests that can cause serious structural damage to buildings, crops or plantation forests.
Owing to their wood-eating habits, many termite species can do great damage to unprotected buildings and other wooden structures. Their habit of remaining concealed often results in their presence being undetected until the timbers are severely damaged and exhibit surface changes. Once termites have entered a building, they do not limit themselves to wood; they also damage paper, cloth, carpets, and other cellulosic materials. The termites' effects are damaging, costing the approximately billions each year in wood structure damage.
Prevention of Termites
1. Identify and fix all water leaks in your home, both internal and external.
2. Never bury waste lumber or wood scraps in your yard. It acts as a magnet to termites and directs them to your property.
3. Eliminate any standing or pooling water from around your home.
4. Store all excess building materials and firewood away from the house.
5. Use treated lumber for any wooden structures that will have direct contact with the ground.
Get your home inspected for termite damage periodically.