Termites

Termites are considered to be one of the most-damaging pests in the world; they are able to survive in harsh environment.  Throughout history, they have never stopped destroying our homes, furniture, storages, dams, vegetation, telecommunication facilities, car and crafts, military equipments; etc.

Typical termites are grey in color, wingless, soft body and a pair of short antenna.  Reproduction made by the king and the queen have two pairs of long wings, short stern and round head.  Different types of termites can be found in warm environment, they usually nest in or near the soil and in the woods.

Common Termites Groups

According to the nest location, termites are lumped into three distinct groups: Subterranean Termites, Drywood Termites and Dampwood Termites.  Drywood and dampwood termites have small colonies (approximately several hundreds of termites in colony).  They live in the woods.  Drywood termites infest dry and undecayed wood , and dampwood termites usually feed on damp and rotten wood.

Subterranean termites nest in or near the soil, and infest wood in soil.  Termites construct shelter tunnels in connection with wood through the soil suitable moisture and temperature.  These tunnels are made up of termites spit, soil, indigested wood materials and excrement, and can be built above the soil.  If the environment has enough moisture and humidity dampwood, subterranean termites would also build nest above the ground but not in the soil, usually we can see their presence on the roof.

Subterranean termites have large colonies, at least over millions; an example would be the Taiwan termites.  They are active; members can have activities hundred meters away.  Because of their large colonies and active characteristics, subterranean termites are highly destructive.

Feeding

Termites feed on all cellulose materials, such as wood, paper, carton, board, cotton; etc.  They try to pass through and destroy cellulose materials such as plaster, rubber tube and underground wire, even some of tender metals such as lead, copper and aluminum.

Briefly, except concrete soil, everything in your home may be destroyed by termites.  More terribly, they can pass concrete through tiny crack and loose seam, and travel within the building.

Termites are common in Hong Kong, large number of termites fly into premises especially before tropical wind and raining.  Reproductive termites release their wings after they have successfully found their designated “home”.  To distinguish termites from ants are that ants have fine waist, thorax and abdomen are significantly separate, whereas termites’ abdomen are broadly joined at the thorax.

Termites require moisty environments to live on.  They maintain lively by staying away from dry atmosphere and they shelter under the surface of moist wood, and they will seek shelter from constructed nest with sands.

Termites are economic destructive pests.  They will not spread diseases, but they will destroy wooden structure that will result in economic loss.  As you can see from the pictures, part of the furniture is destroyed by termites and the wooden flooring, the door and doorframe have been eroded.