Termites (Dimak – दीमक) often called “white ants” or “silent destroyers” are actually not ants but have evolved from the Cockroaches during the Jurassic age. To date, about 3016 species of termites have been and a few hundred yet need to be classified. It is very interesting to know India is the habitat to 220 species alone from these 3016 species. Another interesting thing to note is that the weight of all termites on earth put together is greater than the weight of all human beings on earth put together.
Termites build either one type of nests in wood or underground or some species of termites often build more than one type of nest. Termites process the knowledge of building 5 types of nests, namely,
- Ground Mounds – On The Ground
- Tree Nests – Outside The Tree But Connected To Internal Cavity
- Pole Nests – Build Nests On The Human Structures
- Subterranean Nests – Build Nests Underground In The Soil
- Tree/ Wood – Inside The Tree Or Wood
With this know-how and technology Termites also maintain the humidity and temperature in their nests which not only helps in maintaining a healthy colony but also propagates its species.
The diet of termites varies from species to species. Termites eat non-stop, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Some termites also feed on grass and other matters. Termites obtain cellulose, sugars, and all carbohydrates from the outer wood of the trees, and hence these termites can eat any wooden structure but they cannot eat the heart of the wood or the innermost wood as it is very hard and also has certain toxins which repel termites. Protein is obtained by eating fungi growing in their nests. Grass eating termites are very important as they produce a large amount of biomass.
Caste System in Termites:
Termites are social insects that build large nests in soil or wood and live in colonies. Termite colonies have the division of labor and have a caste system that consists of sterile male and female “workers” and “soldiers”. All colonies have fertile males called “kings” and one or more fertile females called “queens”. Each caste performs a specific work. Mainly the termites are classified into two castes 1. Productive Caste and 2. Sterile Caste.
1. Productive Caste :
- Colonizing individuals: These termites have two pairs of large wings that are shed after they have swarmed in the process of making new colonies. The swarming takes place during evening hours, especially after pre-monsoon or monsoon showers. These after traveling to a new location drop their wings and form king and queen of a colony.
- Queen (s): She will be larger than other members of the colony and will be swollen because of the presence of the eggs. Termite queens live a long life, in some cases; it has been observed that they live from 30 to 50 years. Some times more than one queen is present in the colony who takes overlaying of eggs form the main queen in case of her death.
- King: King fertilizes the queen and looks after the young. King’s life is shorter than the queen and when the king dies, he is replaced by a new king.
- Complimentary Castes: These are not normally found in the colonies headed by the original king and queen. They appear after a lapse of several weeks if one or both of the king and queen die. Hence even after removing the queen colony will not get destroyed. The members of this caste have no aerial life. They are the future kings and queens.
- Soldiers: These termites are of the same size as that of the worker termites but are differentiated from them due to the presence of the darker head. Some species also have further two categories of soldiers –major soldiers and minor soldiers. Soldiers defend and protect the colonies from ants and other vertebrate predators. They attack with their mandibles.
- Workers: Workers are the most important class of the termites. They are usually pale in color. Their head is always directed downwards and can be easily identified as these are the ones which are very commonly found in our houses and our surroundings. They take care of the eggs and young termites and take them to safety in times of danger.
TERMITE LIFE CYCLE:
The king and queen start mating in a small mating chamber once they have found a suitable site. They then drop their wings and the queen begins to lay eggs a few eggs in the early stage of the colony and more than 1000 eggs a day after several years.
- Pre – Construction Termite Treatment (Dimak- दीमक): The soil and foundation trenches of all upcoming buildings must undergo a mandatory chemical treatment at an early stage of construction. Before you begin construction of your residential or commercial complexes or buildings, it is important to get termite treatment for preventing or controlling the termites through an expert Termite pest control service provider.
A good Termite control service provider shall visit the site of construction and suggest the various stages of termite control treatment when the building is in Pre Construction stage.
- Termite (Dimak) Treatment for Under Construction Buildings: A good AntiTermite pest control service provider shall lay a network of pipelines in the under-construction building to pump the pesticides periodically in the plinth of the building area post-construction. Through this technique, the pesticide is regularly and uniformly sprayed in the entire area.
Many architects and builders now engage good Termite control service provider to ensure that the buildings so constructed through them are not only iconic but also that their clients remain happy and satisfied without the botheration of termite infestation.
RPA Pest Control specializes in Termite (Dimak) Prevention and Controlling Service at the pre-construction stage.
- Existing Infrastructure: Various methods and techniques are used by a good termite control service provider to protect the existing infrastructure. Depending on the size and type of materials used in the building premises, the best solution is suggested by the service provider for Termite treatment.
Some of the suggestions are as given below:
- Involves spraying appropriate chemicals.
- Involves the prevention of underground termite infestation by drilling holes and injecting chemicals at the junction of walls and floors and sealing them.
RPA Pest Control Service provider for Anti – termite treatment provides the best-customized solution to prevent and control the damage that has been caused by termites or may be caused by termites to your existing buildings.
Indicators for the Presence of Termite
If you notice the following, it is time to call the team from RPA Pest Control Services.
- A temporary swarm of winged insects in your home or soil around your home/office.
- Discarded wings from swarmers
- Wood sounding hollow when tapped
- Mud tubes on exterior walls, wooden beams, windows, and door frames.
Termites infestation has to be dealt with customized techniques and if neglected will cost huge damage to the property and human beings.
RPA Pest Control specializes in Anti Termite treatment and Anti – Wood Borer treatment services. Call us on 7827144714 / 8318145337 if you see the above indications.
- Termites build their nests by cementing soil, wood together with their saliva and feces. Human beings, when exposed to the termite nests, saliva, and feces, shall have bouts or attacks of Asthma and Allergies.
- Termites spread molds, when they crawl through the woods they also disperse molds. This mold travels and remains in the air and also lands on your skin. Exposure to these molds can cause skin diseases, fungal, and mycotoxin’s toxicity in human beings.
- A soldier termite can bite or sting you if it feels threatened or is handled and result in itching, swelling, burning, and feel very painful, especially if you are already predisposed to allergic reactions.
- Termite colonies generate pellets, commonly referred to as frass, which is wood-colored and looks like sawdust. When this frass touches the skin, it causes contact dermatitis in human beings and other allergic reactions.
Damage to Property:
- According to a study, Termites cause damage of approximately $5 billion every year.
- To obtain their food, termites destroy woodwork, household articles, fences, wooden support beams, plastic plumbing pipes, and wooden poles that come in contact with the soil.
- Termites damage fruit and shade-giving trees.
- Crops like sugarcane, maize, wheat, and sorghum are also destroyed by the Termites.
- Termites can pass through any crack even a crack as thin as that of the thickness of a credit card.
Some Interesting Fact:
Termites have been an important component in the diet of native African populations and India in some parts of Bengal. Queens are harder to acquire but are widely regarded as a delicacy when available. They are easily gathered at the beginning of the rainy season when they swarm, as they are attracted to light and can be gathered up when they land on nets put up around a lamp. The wings are shed and can be removed by a technique similar to winnowing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can the pest control treatment damage my furniture?
No. Professional pest control services use highly developed pesticides that are specifically made to be used on furniture. They neither damage nor stain your furniture.
How can the wood borers be stopped?
Wood borers can be stopped by:
- Sealing all the cracks on wooden surfaces to prevent their breeding.
- Keeping the wooden items dry because they are attracted to moist wood.
Do mud tunnels on the wall indicate the presence of termites?
Yes, mud tunnels indicate the presence of subterranean termites. They often use these tunnels for moving across colonies.
Can termites damage my clothes?
Termites mostly feed on woods, plants, clothes, and paper. So, there are chances that your clothes might get damaged by termite attacks.
Some of the apartments in my neighborhood have termites. Should I take some action to protect my house?
There are programs that help prevention from termite infestations. So, if your house is termite-free, it is better to opt for such services because there are high chances of termite attack in your house if the neighborhood buildings have termites.