After termites are discovered and treated it is recommended that the homeowner keep up on termite inspections. Quarterly inspections can be done or at least annually. Homeowners should make sure that the contract includes a warranty or coverage if termites are found later down the road. Smart Pest covers customers for up ten years unless the homeowner wishes to extend the contract. Termite stations can be installed around perimeters to check every few months. If termites infest the baited stations that particular section of the structure can be treated at no charge to the customer. Many homes that have termites can expect the neighbors and other homes in the area to be infested. Baiting systems are not perfect and houses can still be prone to termites. Stations do not kill termites like many homeowners believe. They are simply a monitoring tool.
Some areas of Iowa have more termite activity than others. Many river towns have high numbers of termites due to increased moisture levels. Soil type and temperature can also contribute to termite numbers. Other areas of the country have completely different kinds of termites, some of which don’t require wood or cellulose to survive. Termites can consume up to 2-3 times their body weight in wood every day. Most termites prefer sandy soil as opposed to clay or non porous soil. Subterranean termite colonies can have up to 60,000 termite workers or more. Termites have to communicate with one another within the colony to survive
Workers are the most prolific termites in a colony and are in charge of feeding other termites, feeding the queen, and making tunnels for nests. They also chew and eat the wood creating the majority of the damage to wood. Many people think that brick and stone will be termite free but they will travel along these materials to get to other areas. Soldier termites are in charge of protecting the colony mainly from ants and other predators. Ants are termite’s main enemy and often are attacked by them. Termites are usually the same size as small ants but have a milky, white color as opposed to ants. Termites are actually very beneficial insects to the environment as they help get rid of decomposing wood and debris.
Termites feed on wood and cellulose. Any home made of wood can be susceptible to termite damage. Termites are social insects and are closely related to cockroaches and insects such as bees. They live in large numbers called colonies made up of workers, soldiers, swarmers, and reproductive members. Swarmers emerge a couple times a year usually after big rains in spring and fall. When termites swarm they are often mistaken for flying ants. After landing in an area suitable for a new colony, termites drop the wings and begin making a new nest.
Termites are responsible for thousands of dollars of damage to homes all over Iowa every year. The control and treatment of termites is very large part of the pest control industry. Not all pest companies do termite work due to the large amount of liability involved. Many homeowners are frustrated with the amount of money involved with termites which can be expensive not only for treatments but for paying for damage repair. Pest control specialists must know how to treat termites safely and effectively to kill the entire colony
Termites choose areas depending on soil type, moisture, conditions of wood, and temperature. Usually, the older rotting wood is more prone to an infestation. They can infest new wood however. Termite treatments can be expensive because of the cost of chemicals. The entire structure needs to be treated to ensure no new activity or damage in areas where the termites may not have been seen. Structures need to be measured to determine prices of treatments.
There are 3 classes of subterranean termites which is the type of termite found in Iowa. The first is a worker. They are off white and do not have wings. Workers do the majority of the damage to wood and structures. Soldiers and swarmers are the other two classes of termites. Swarmers are active in the spring and fall after big rains. They look for new nests to start new colonies. Termites cause millions of dollars in damage to homes and buildings every year.
Termites have been around the world for millions of years and will continue to thrive for years to come. Termites are found in colonies because they are considered a “social” insect. In the U.S. there are over 40 species of termites