With very rare exception colonies are located in the ground, with foraging done from these colonies into structures or other wood sources. There is a true worker caste, with adult workers, soldiers, and alates in the colony. It is possible that a colony can have up to two hundred thousand workers or more, and several separate colonies may exist near and be foraging in a single structure. Swarming by the alates may consist of many hundreds of alates from the colony, and many colonies in an area releasing swarmers simultaneously. This usually occurs in late morning to mid-day on a sunny day following a rainfall. Most swarming is in the spring, but fall swarms are also common, and a colony will be at least 3 years old before it produces swarmers. The wings are shed shortly after the flight takes place.
Control is primarily by soil applications of residual insecticides, either as pretreatments or as treatment post-construction. Termite bait products may prove to be effective in eliminating underground colonies altogether. Control of excessive moisture conditions and unnecessary wood materials under or near the structure are preventive measures.
The Bank Doesn't Like Them
Log In to PestWeb to View CEU Requirements
Subterranean termites are the focus of this course with emphasis on biology, habits and habitats.