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As a Las Vegas resident, you know there is a chance that you could encounter termites. You also likely know how destructive these creatures can be. To be so small, these critters can do an immense amount of damage. That being said, elimination isn’t easy, and this is why it pays to arm yourself with the most knowledge possible. You’ll have to if you want to battle this creature in the most effective way possible. Here’s what you need to know about termites:
- This is an extremely social creature with a penchant to stick close to its buddies. They live in large colonies, work as a group, and reproduce so that they can eventually venture off and start secondary colonies. It’s all about the growth and development of the colony.
- It is cellulose that these creatures are after. Cellulose can be found in a wide range of products, including lumber, cotton fibers, paper, cardboard, furniture, and tons of other household items.
- When you see a mound it means that the primary colony has gotten so large they started protruding up through the ground. Termites usually build their nests outside, underground, and away from the structure at least 300 to 400 feet.
- Subterranean termites are the most destructive in Las Vegas, with the ability to do immense amounts of damage to wooden structures. This species is responsible for nearly all of the reported $2 billion damage the US faces every year.
Breaking Down The Colonies
While there are hundreds to thousands of members in a termite colony, members are broken up into several different castes or classifications. Knowing these classes will help you in determining the creature’s specific role within the colony. Each caste has important but different roles and responsibilities.
Queen The Primary Reproductive Member
- With the ability to grow 4 inches long, the queen is the largest member of the colony. She is so big that if needed moved, it takes hundreds of workers to perform the task.
- It is the queen’s main responsibility to lay eggs until workers and nymphs can carry on the torch.
- She can live for 10 years, during which time she will produce as many as 30,000 eggs. (In a single day!)
King The Primary Reproductive Member
- The king is the second reproductive member and the second largest. It is his role to assist the queen during the initial formation of the colony.
- That being said, when the queen ceases her role, the king will continue to mate and assist to increase the size of the colony.
The Worker Termite
- As you probably imagined, it is the worker termite’s responsibility to do most of the work. This consists of tunnel maintaining, feeding, foraging for food, caring for the eggs, and grooming the other members of the colony.
- These guys are soft-bodied, light in color, and only 10 millimeters in size, but they are extremely diligent. They work 24/7.
The Soldier Termite
- These guys are also white, soft-bodied, and wingless, but they are the further thing from soft.
- It is the soldier’s sole responsibility to fend the colony. The primary threat is the ant, and they can easily overpower the termite in specific situations.
- These guys do have powerful long heads with two jaws that they use as weapons against oncoming threats.
The Winged Reproductive Members
- Believe it or not, the winged reproductive members can consist of both male and female termites.
- These creatures do develop wings and this affords them the ability to fly away and start new colonies.
- While there will only be 1 king and 1 queen in each colony, there will be hundreds to thousands of winged reproductive members. They also assist with egg-laying and overall colony production and growth.
Know The Flying Ant And The Flying Termite
Living in Las Vegas affords one a lot of unique opportunities. Unfortunately, it also exposes one to a lot of interesting insects as well. Not only will you end up dealing with termites, but you’ll end up dealing with flying ants. For proper elimination, it will be crucial to learn to differentiate between the two. Here’s what you need to know:
- Both insects do have two unique sets of wings. These consist of front wings and rear wings. However, with the flying ant, the front pair is much longer than the back. The termite‘s wings are about the same size.
- The wings on the flying termite can easily be broken off, whereas the wings on the ant are much more durable and resilient.
- Both do have antennae, but the flying ant has a 90-degree, while the termites are straight.
- The flying any has a narrow and defined waist.
- The waist of the termite looks thicker and less defined, like someone that hasn’t spent much time in the gym.
Other Interesting Facts To Acquaint Yourself With
You’ve learned a lot of interesting things about termites thus far, but it is the tip of the iceberg. There are tons of other things you need to know about termites in order to make elimination and detection much easier. Here are some other things you need to know:
- Termite work 24/7, seven days a week.
- A termite colony can survive for nearly 70 years. This would be many generations.
- A termite colony in the United States usually consists of as many as 500,000 insects.
- Termites must have constant access to water or they will not be able to survive.
- Termites build and maintain mud tunnels or tubes with this water.
- The main predator for the termite is the ant.
- There are over 2,000 species of termites known to man.
- Most of these species are prone to tropical and subtropical climates.
- With the 2,000 species around the world, there are only 40 known in the United States.
- 90 percent of the termite damage is caused by Subterranean termites
- These creatures could eat through concrete, but choose not to do some on most occasions.
- It is only the worker termite that can chew and digest cellulose. This is why they have to feed the other members of the colony.
Are Termites Dangerous?
Termites do not really pose humans a direct threat, as they do not bite, sting, or even carry disease. This is not to say that they aren’t dangerous because they are very dangerous. They can degrade a wooden structure to the point of collapse, and then when you walk in, the structure collapses. Although this is a process that would take years and years, it is a possible scenario. It’s happened before and it will happen again. Other than this, the termite is not a dangerous creature.
Can I Treat Them Myself?
Many people try to termite themselves because of the cost of pest extermination. Not only this, but it is harder than you’d imagine finding a good pest management provider in Las Vegas. While our front door is always open and we boast a stellar reputation, people are still hesitant. This is something we completely understand, but we cannot in good faith recommend anyone trying to treat a termite infestation on their own. And, this is because the potential to further spread the infestation is too great. Termites build underground colonies 300 or 400 feet away from the structure. They also build tunnels leading into and out of the home, which only makes elimination all that more difficult.
Just missing one termite or one tunnel leaves the potential for spreading the infestation. This is why termite infestation is a situation better suited for the pros. All you have to do is pick up the phone, give us a call, set up an appointment, and we’ll get someone out to the property within the next 24 to 48 hours.
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