Learn More About The Termites
In Singapore, 3 species of termites are recognise to be highly social insects living in colonies. Roughly, there are about 2,500 species, mainly found in tropical regions in north America. They have “castes” with queens, worker and soldiers and these do different job in the colony. Only the reproductive termites have wing and it shed soon after they have flown away to mate and found a new colony.
Termites feed on wood, decaying wood to a point the damage wood can compromises the safety of mankind. Although sometimes mistaken for ants, they differ in dietary preference and feed off the cellulose in wood. Their daily activities are hard to detect from the surface, making it impossible to prevent. They carefully create mud trails towards the wooden structure to overtime destroy it.
Wood materials that come in contact with the soil provide a perfect point of entry for them. They cause damages and impact a huge loss on property. Hence, the signs of termite are not be neglect or remedy with DIY methods.
For a successful Professional Termite Control, Termite Specialist, Termite Pest Control Services and Termite Baiting Treatment. We must first understand their behaviour which varies depending on the species. Get a Professional Pest Control Services is your best bet to rid of your termite problem permanently.
Lifecycle, Diet & All
The Termite Lifecycle
When the termite queen mates, they lay 6 to 12 termite eggs within the next few days or weeks. Over time, they can lay more eggs with as many as a thousand in just a day. During the egg stage, they are small, white in colour, oval shape, not visible and well hidden in the nest.
Most fully develop nymph will grow into an adult and become termite workers. Those who turn into reproductive will eventually develop wings and eyes. Their exterior will also be darker. The overall their lifecycle takes at least a year to finish.
The Termite Anatomy
Subterranean are the most common type of termite found in Singapore. Unfortunately, they are the most destructive. The two species of subterranean are the Eastern Subterranean, Reticulitermes Flavipes, which can found in the United States. And the other species is Asian Subterranean, Coptotermes Gestroi, found in Southeast Asia.
Drywood from its name, requires less moisture to survive. They feed on wooden furnitures, door, frame and even kitchen cabinet. During their swarming season, they swarms in, looking for a new nest. These flying termite in Singapore will look for wooden area and will bore a small hole to penetrate the wood.
The damage they inflict is not as extreme as the subterranean. The drywood termite treatments, unfortunately, can only control the drywood termite infestation.
Dampwood termite infestation needs excessive moisture in the wood to thrive. They look for woods or areas that might have any water intrusion to start a colony. Some of the areas that might be conducive for them are leaking roofs and woods that is touching the ground. They use their fecal pellets to protect their colony from the air.
The wet wood gives them more protection as the faecal pellets stick together to the side of the nest easily. Damp wood termites get inside these holes or cracks and start the infestation.
The Termite Dietary
It depends on the type of species, each have different preference for food source. For example, drywood termites like wooden structures that are dry. Dampwood and subterranean termites are attract to wood that is rotting and moist.
In average, one colony can finish eating one foot of a 2 by 4 beam in just six months. Nevertheless, the damages can be serious no matter how much they eat.
Learn About The Termite Caste
Three types of termites in Singapore in a subterranean caste and all the three groups differ in colour. Workers are of cream or milky colour, whereby the soldiers are of the same body colour but with a brown head. The reproductive, the queen and king, are usually darker in colour than the rest of the colony. Just like in any well-run underground colony, every group has its own task and responsibility.
Worker termites main job is to feed the colony as the soldiers, king and queen are unable to feed themselves. They rely solely on the worker foraging on cellulose found in wood, trees and paper products. They do not have eyes and move around using scents and moisture trails.
The soldiers are task at protect the colony from any pest intrusion from ants or termites from another colony. Equip with large mandible to ensure that they are able to defend and fight off anything that might harm the colony. The soldiers also are able to discharge white toxic fluid while defending their colony.
The queen will lay the first eggs. These nymphs include both soldier and reproductive an they do not have a distinct worker caste. They will start feeding across the grain of the infested wood and from tunnel and chambers.
The tunnel is used to push the faecal pellets out of their colony. Due to their nature of keeping the tunnel and chamber clean, you can always find their faecal pellets (dropping) outside their colony.
They are often mistaken for ants during the swarming season. Drywood wings are of the same size for all four while the ants are two on the same size.
There is usually only one pair of primary reproductive which are the king and the queen tasked to grow the size of the colony. Another pair of reproductive, swarmers, will develop and leave the colony after about 3-5 years to start one on their own.
Subterranean species lives in moist, dark and cool places, apart from the king and queen, they are blind and move in mud shelter tubes or mud trails. They are often subtle and can go undetected during the initial infestation.
In a Dampwood colony, there are the reproductive (a king and a queen), soldier and alate (swarmers). They do not have any workers although immature termite will assume the roles of a worker. The number is normally small compared to the others.
The soldiers, with large head and mandibles, protect the colony from any predators such as ants. The alate (swarmer) has reproductive function and are the only one with a pair of wings. During the mating season, the alate will fly out of their nest to form their own colony. Their mating season is usually during the wet season as this allow them to create a good living condition.
The alate will shed their wings after they land on a suitable location and will start looking for a partner. It takes a few years for the colony to grow before new alate (swarmers) start looking for their new nest.
Signs of Termite Infestation
Understand the signs and don’t take them lightly as the damages can cost you a bomb and might even compromise safety. Hiring a pest control company to do a regular termite inspection for your property.
These are the types of Termites commonly found in Singapore
Types of Termites
Length 1-10mm. Creamy white to dark brown/black: Long, narrow and oval body, seldom seen as they live mostly below ground.
Length 1-12mm. Straight antennae, beige white to darker brown/black: Shed veiny wings during swarming. Long, narrow and oval body, often seen wings shed as indication of the search to form a new colony.
Length 1-15mm. Tiny to small, pale, often white insects: head relatively large and round on soft, narrow body. Sometimes called white ants for superficial resemblance to ants, but they are unrelated.
Frequently Asked Questions About Termite
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