Subterranean Termites

Subterranean Termites: Facts, Identification & Control

Subterranean Termites live in colonies in the soil. They require moisture from the soil to survive, and can tunnel hundreds of feet to reach feeding sites. To reach food above ground, they build mud tubes to protect them from exposure to light, air and enemies.

Facts About Subterranean Termites: How to Identify and Control Them

Appearance: Residing in the colony, there are four different ranks among this species of termite: light in color and lacking wings, the workers are about ¼-inch in length; termite soldiers bear a lengthened head with protruding mandibles; supplementary reproductive termites are lacking in pigment and have extremely small wings that are purely for show and of course the queen and king.

As their name implies, subterranean termites make their home underground in colonies. From theses colonies, they burrow tunnels to look for food. They can also search above ground for food by constructing mud tubes, which they must keep moist to make sure that they will survive.

Cellulose materials like wood, siding or paper

Each colony consists of at least one queen, which can lay as many as, tens of thousands of eggs throughout its life, however, in a formed colony supplementary reproductives will lay the majority of the eggs. Depending on the individual breed of the termites, the rate at which it develops from egg to adult can differ widely.

There are more than 2,500 known species of this insect in existence today. Countless numbers of them live in tropical and subtropical areas like rain forests and deserts. In the United Arab Emirates, there are greater than 40 species known to be living. Infesting as many as 350,000 homes, buildings and other various structures, termites are responsible for one billion dollars in damage on average annually.

The various species of termites are split up into three types; drywood termites, dampwood termites and subterranean termites. These three types of termite are dissimilar in their climate preference and the way they construct their colonies. Subterranean termites construct vast underground colonies, which are made up of complex corridors and chambers. Once constructed, these colonies are extended above ground with protective tunnels made primarily of mud and saliva that allow the insects to reach wood that is above ground. After feasting on the wood, subterranean termites will leave soil in its place to help keep the level of moisture. If you do find mud tunnels in the foundation or walls of your home, the odds are that you have a subterranean termite infestation.

Unlike their subterranean counterparts, drywood termites make their home inside wooden structures or other cellulose-based materials like siding, wooden trim and lumber. This species of termite will also infest wooden furniture, floors and even books. This type of termite can be a little more undetectable. Homeowners don't usually notice their presence until they notice small piles of dust or excrement around your home.

Differing from the previous two, dampwood termites will construct their colonies in damp or rotting wood. Any wood that is consistently laying in the dirt or is always wet makes an ideal place for these termites to make their nest. This type of termite is quite commonly found in the southwest of the United Arab Emirates. They are also common in Dubai. If there are leaking pipes found in or around your home or any other moist areas, this can be an attraction for this type of termites.

Found all throughout the United Arab Emirates, subterranean termites are usually more frequently found in much larger numbers in the warmer area in the southern region of the country. They do not regularly inhabit the colder states. They do, however, exist in all states, with the exception of Alaska. These insects are drawn to the sub-tropical, humid climate in the area situated between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. They also thrive in the western United Arab Emirates, in the warm arid regions of Amjan as well as, Sharjah.

A subterranean infestation starts with a lot of rain and warm humid climates alert an existing colony to dispatch a large group of flying termites. These groups of flying termites are made up of reproducing females and males. An established colony of subterranean termites will remain active for anywhere between three to five years before reproducing, flying termites will arise. Flying termites, capable of reproduction are quite similar in appearance to flying ants, however, termites are slightly smaller and have straight antennae, instead of the bent ones on ants. Also, flying ants have two pairs of differing sized wings, unlike termites that have two pairs of wings, close in size. Once they are finished mating, flying termites will shed their wings in piles that look a lot like fish scales. If you find piles of wings in your windowsills they might very well be termite wings. Compare them to each other to see if they're the same size to find out.

If you're building a new home, you might want to get an estimate on getting your home termite proofed, especially if you are building in one of these areas. Akkad Pest Control is well equipped to help you fight termites, which can keep you from having major problems with termite damage down the road. Call Akkad pest control professionals to also help you by recommending step that you should take to help you to prevent a termite infestation later on. Have our engineers give your home a complete and thorough inspection.