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    Category: Termite Inspection and Control

    Termite – Wikipedia - October 18, 2016 by admin

    Termites are eusocial insects that are classified at the taxonomic rank of infraorder Isoptera, or as epifamily Termitoidae within the cockroach order Blattodea. Termites were once classified in a separate order from cockroaches, but recent phylogenetic studies indicate that they evolved from close ancestors of cockroaches during the Jurassic or Triassic. However, the first termites possibly emerged during the Permian or even the Carboniferous. About 3,106 species are currently described, with a few hundred more left to be described. Although these insects are often called white ants, they are not ants.

    Like ants and some bees and wasps from the separate order Hymenoptera, termites divide labour among castes consisting of sterile male and female "workers" and "soldiers". All colonies have fertile males called "kings" and one or more fertile females called "queens". Termites mostly feed on dead plant material and cellulose, generally in the form of wood, leaf litter, soil, or animal dung. Termites are major detritivores, particularly in the subtropical and tropical regions, and their recycling of wood and plant matter is of considerable ecological importance.

    Termites are among the most successful groups of insects on Earth, colonising most landmasses except for Antarctica. Their colonies range in size from a few hundred individuals to enormous societies with several million individuals. Termite queens have the longest lifespan of any insect in the world, with some queens living up to 50 years. Unlike ants, which undergo a complete metamorphosis, each individual termite goes through an incomplete metamorphosis that proceeds through egg, nymph, and adult stages. Colonies are described as superorganisms because the termites form part of a self-regulating entity: the colony itself.

    Termites are a delicacy in the diet of some human cultures and are used in many traditional medicines. Several hundred species are economically significant as pests that can cause serious damage to buildings, crops, or plantation forests. Some species, such as the West Indian drywood termite (Cryptotermes brevis), are regarded as invasive species.

    The infraorder name Isoptera is derived from the Greek words iso (equal) and ptera (winged), which refers to the nearly equal size of the fore and hind wings.[2] "Termite" derives from the Latin and Late Latin word termes ("woodworm, white ant"), altered by the influence of Latin terere ("to rub, wear, erode") from the earlier word tarmes. Termite nests were commonly known as terminarium or termitaria.[3][4] In early English, termites were known as "wood ants" or "white ants".[3] The modern term was first used in 1781.[5]

    DNA analysis from 16S rRNA sequences[6] has supported a hypothesis, originally suggested by Cleveland and colleagues in 1934, that these insects are most closely related to wood-eating cockroaches (genus Cryptocercus, the woodroach). This earlier conclusion had been based on the similarity of the symbiotic gut flagellates in the wood-eating cockroaches to those in certain species of termites regarded as living fossils.[7] In the 1960s additional evidence supporting that hypothesis emerged when F.A. McKittrick noted similar morphological characteristics between some termites and Cryptocercus nymphs.[8] These similarities have led some authors to propose that termites be reclassified as a single family, the Termitidae, within the order Blattodea, which contains cockroaches.[9][10] Other researchers advocate the more conservative measure of retaining the termites as the Termitoidae, an epifamily within the cockroach order, which preserves the classification of termites at family level and below.[11]

    The oldest unambiguous termite fossils date to the early Cretaceous, but given the diversity of Cretaceous termites and early fossil records showing mutualism between microorganisms and these insects, they likely originated earlier in the Jurassic or Triassic.[12][13][14] Further evidence of a Jurassic origin is the assumption that the extinct Fruitafossor consumed termites, judging from its morphological similarity to modern termite-eating mammals.[15] The oldest termite nest discovered is believed to be from the Upper Cretaceous in West Texas, where the oldest known faecal pellets were also discovered.[16]

    Claims that termites emerged earlier have faced controversy. For example, F.M. Weesner indicated that the Mastotermitidae termites may go back to the Late Permian, 251 million years ago,[17] and fossil wings that have a close resemblance to the wings of Mastotermes of the Mastotermitidae, the most primitive living termite, have been discovered in the Permian layers in Kansas.[18] It is even possible that the first termites emerged during the Carboniferous.[19] Termites are thought to be the descendants of the genus Cryptocercus.[9] The folded wings of the fossil wood roach Pycnoblattina, arranged in a convex pattern between segments 1aand 2a, resemble those seen in Mastotermes, the only living insect with the same pattern.[18] Krishna et al., though, consider that all of the Paleozoic and Triassic insects tentatively classified as termites are in fact unrelated to termites and should be excluded from the Isoptera.[20] Termites were the first social insects to evolve a caste system, evolving more than 100 million years ago.[21]

    Termites have long been accepted to be closely related to cockroaches and mantids, and they are classified in the same superorder (Dictyoptera).[22][23] Strong evidence suggests termites are highly specialised wood-eating cockroaches.[24] The cockroach genus Cryptocercus shares the strongest phylogenetical similarity with termites and is considered to be a sister-group to termites.[25][26] Termites and Cryptocercus share similar morphological and social features: for example, most cockroaches do not exhibit social characteristics, but Cryptocercus takes care of its young and exhibits other social behaviour such as trophallaxis and allogrooming.[27] The primitive giant northern termite (Mastotermes darwiniensis) exhibits numerous cockroach-like characteristics that are not shared with other termites, such as laying its eggs in rafts and having anal lobes on the wings.[28] Cryptocercidae and Isoptera are united in the clade Xylophagodea.[29] Although termites are sometimes called "white ants", they are actually not ants. Ants belong to the family Formicidae within the order Hymenoptera. The similarity of their social structure to that of termites is attributed to convergent evolution.[30]

    As of 2013, about 3,106 living and fossil termite species are recognised, classified in 12 families. The infraorder Isoptera is divided into the following clade and family groups, showing the subfamilies in their respective classification:[20]

    Termites are found on all continents except Antarctica. The diversity of termite species is low in North America and Europe (10 species known in Europe and 50 in North America), but is high in South America, where over 400 species are known.[31] Of the 3,000 termite species currently classified, 1,000 are found in Africa, where mounds are extremely abundant in certain regions. Approximately 1.1million active termite mounds can be found in the northern Kruger National Park alone.[32] In Asia, there are 435 species of termites, which are mainly distributed in China. Within China, termite species are restricted to mild tropical and subtropical habitats south of the Yangtze River.[31] In Australia, all ecological groups of termites (dampwood, drywood, subterranean) are endemic to the country, with over 360 classified species.[31]

    Due to their soft cuticles, termites do not inhabit cool or cold habitats.[33] There are three ecological groups of termites: dampwood, drywood and subterranean. Dampwood termites are found only in coniferous forests, and drywood termites are found in hardwood forests; subterranean termites live in widely diverse areas.[31] One species in the drywood group is the West Indian drywood termite (Cryptotermes brevis), which is an invasive species in Australia.[34]

    Termites are usually small, measuring between 4 to 15 millimetres (0.16 to 0.59in) in length.[31] The largest of all extant termites are the queens of the species Macrotermes bellicosus, measuring up to over 10 centimetres (4in) in length.[35] Another giant termite, the extinct Gyatermes styriensis, flourished in Austria during the Miocene and had a wingspan of 76 millimetres (3.0in) and a body length of 25 millimetres (0.98in).[36][note 1]

    Most worker and soldier termites are completely blind as they do not have a pair of eyes. However, some species, such as Hodotermes mossambicus, have compound eyes which they use for orientation and to distinguish sunlight from moonlight.[37] The alates have eyes along with lateral ocelli. Lateral ocelli, however, are not found in all termites.[38] Like other insects, termites have a small tongue-shaped labrum and a clypeus; the clypeus is divided into a postclypeus and anteclypeus. Termite antennae have a number of functions such as the sensing of touch, taste, odours (including pheromones), heat and vibration. The three basic segments of a termite antenna include a scape, a pedicel (typically shorter than the scape), and the flagellum (all segments beyond the scape and pedicel). The mouth parts contain a maxillae, a labium, and a set of mandibles. The maxillae and labium have palps that help termites sense food and handling.

    Consistent with all insects, the anatomy of the termite thorax consists of three segments: the prothorax, the mesothorax and the metathorax. Each segment contains a pair of legs. On alates, the wings are located at the mesothorax and metathorax. The mesothorax and metathorax have well-developed exoskeletal plates; the prothorax has smaller plates.

    Termites have a ten-segmented abdomen with two plates, the tergites and the sternites. The tenth abdominal segment has a pair of short cerci.[42] There are ten tergites, of which nine are wide and one is elongated. The reproductive organs are similar to those in cockroaches but are more simplified. For example, the intromittent organ is not present in male alates, and the sperm is either immotile or aflagellate. However, Mastotermitidae termites have multiflagellate sperm with limited motility.[44] The genitals in females are also simplified. Unlike in other termites, Mastotermitidae females have an ovipositor, a feature strikingly similar to that in female cockroaches.[45]

    The non-reproductive castes of termites are wingless and rely exclusively on their six legs for locomotion. The alates fly only for a brief amount of time, so they also rely on their legs. The appearance of the legs is similar in each caste, but the soldiers have larger and heavier legs. The structure of the legs is consistent with other insects: the parts of a leg include a coxa, trochanter, femur, tibia and the tarsus. The number of tibial spurs on an individual's leg varies. Some species of termite have an arolium, located between the claws, which is present in species that climb on smooth surfaces but is absent in most termites.[46]

    Unlike in ants, the hind-wings and fore-wings are of equal length.[2] Most of the time, the alates are poor flyers; their technique is to launch themselves in the air and fly in a random direction. Studies show that in comparison to larger termites, smaller termites cannot fly long distances. When a termite is in flight, its wings remain at a right angle, and when the termite is at rest, its wings remain parallel to the body.

    Worker termites undertake the most labour within the colony, being responsible for foraging, food storage, and brood and nest maintenance.[50] Workers are tasked with the digestion of cellulose in food and are thus the most likely caste to be found in infested wood. The process of worker termites feeding other nestmates is known as trophallaxis. Trophallaxis is an effective nutritional tactic to convert and recycle nitrogenous components.[51] It frees the parents from feeding all but the first generation of offspring, allowing for the group to grow much larger and ensuring that the necessary gut symbionts are transferred from one generation to another. Some termite species do not have a true worker caste, instead relying on nymphs that perform the same work without differentiating as a separate caste.[50]

    The soldier caste has anatomical and behavioural specialisations, and their sole purpose is to defend the colony. Many soldiers have large heads with highly modified powerful jaws so enlarged they cannot feed themselves. Instead, like juveniles, they are fed by workers.[53]Fontanelles, simple holes in the forehead that exude defensive secretions, are a feature of the family Rhinotermitidae.[54] Many species are readily identified using the characteristics of the soldiers' larger and darker head and large mandibles.[50] Among certain termites, soldiers may use their globular (phragmotic) heads to block their narrow tunnels.[55] Different sorts of soldiers include minor and major soldiers, and nasutes, which have a horn-like nozzle frontal projection (a nasus).[50] These unique soldiers are able to spray noxious, sticky secretions containing diterpenes at their enemies.[56]Nitrogen fixation plays an important role in nasute nutrition.[57]

    The reproductive caste of a mature colony includes a fertile female and male, known as the queen and king.[58] The queen of the colony is responsible for egg production for the colony. Unlike in ants, the king mates with her for life.[59] In some species, the abdomen of the queen swells up dramatically to increase fecundity, a characteristic known as physogastrism.[58] Depending on the species, the queen will start producing reproductive winged alates at a certain time of the year, and huge swarms emerge from the colony when nuptial flight begins. These swarms attract a wide variety of predators.[58]

    Termites are often compared with the social Hymenoptera (ants and various species of bees and wasps), but their differing evolutionary origins result in major differences in life cycle. In the eusocial Hymenoptera, the workers are exclusively female, males (drones) are haploid and develop from unfertilised eggs, while females (both workers and the queen) are diploid and develop from fertilised eggs. In contrast, worker termites, which constitute the majority in a colony, are diploid individuals of both sexes and develop from fertilised eggs. Depending on species, male and female workers may have different roles in a termite colony.[60]

    The life cycle of a termite begins with an egg, but is different from that of a bee or ant in that it goes through a developmental process called incomplete metamorphosis, with egg, nymph and adult stages.[61] Nymphs resemble small adults, and go through a series of moults as they grow. In some species, eggs go through four moulting stages and nymphs go through three.[62] Nymphs first moult into workers, and then some workers go through further moulting and become soldiers or alates; workers become alates only by moulting into alate nymphs.[63]

    The development of nymphs into adults can take months; the time period depends on food availability, temperature, and the general population of the colony. Since nymphs are unable to feed themselves, workers must feed them, but workers also take part in the social life of the colony and have certain other tasks to accomplish such as foraging, building or maintaining the nest or tending to the queen.[50][64] Pheromones regulate the caste system in termite colonies, preventing all but a very few of the termites from becoming fertile queens.[65]

    Termite alates only leave the colony when a nuptial flight takes place. Alate males and females will pair up together and then land in search of a suitable place for a colony.[66] A termite king and queen will not mate until they find such a spot. When they do, they excavate a chamber big enough for both, close up the entrance and proceed to mate.[66] After mating, the pair will never go outside and will spend the rest of their lives in the nest. Nuptial flight time varies in each species. For example, alates in certain species emerge during the day in summer while others emerge during the winter.[67] The nuptial flight may also begin at dusk, when the alates swarm around areas with lots of lights. The time when nuptial flight begins depends on the environmental conditions, the time of day, moisture, wind speed and precipitation.[67] The number of termites in a colony also varies, with the larger species typically having 1001,000 individuals. However, some termite colonies, including those with large individuals, can number in the millions.[36]

    The queen will only lay 1020 eggs in the very early stages of the colony, but will lay as many as 1,000 a day when the colony is several years old.[50] At maturity, a primary queen has a great capacity to lay eggs. In some species, the mature queen has a greatly distended abdomen and may produce 40,000 eggs a day.[68] The two mature ovaries may have some 2,000 ovarioles each.[69] The abdomen increases the queen's body length to several times more than before mating and reduces her ability to move freely; attendant workers provide assistance.

    The king grows only slightly larger after initial mating and continues to mate with the queen for life (a termite queen can live up to 50years).[64] This is very different from ant colonies, in which a queen mates once with the male(s) and stores the gametes for life, as the male ants die shortly after mating.[59] If a queen is absent, a termite king will produce pheromones which encourage the development of replacement termite queens.[70] As the queen and king are monogamous, sperm competition does not occur.[71]

    Termites going through incomplete metamorphosis on the path to becoming alates form a subcaste in certain species of termite, functioning as potential supplementary reproductives. These supplementary reproductives only mature into primary reproductives upon the death of a king or queen, or when the primary reproductives are separated from the colony.[63][72] Supplementaries have the ability to replace a dead primary reproductive, and there may also be more than a single supplementary within a colony.[50] Some queens have the ability to switch from sexual reproduction to asexual reproduction. Studies show that while termite queens mate with the king to produce colony workers, the queens reproduce their replacements (neotenic queens) parthenogenetically.[73][74]

    Termites are detritivores, consuming dead plants at any level of decomposition. They also play a vital role in the ecosystem by recycling waste material such as dead wood, faeces and plants.[76][77] Many species eat cellulose, having a specialised midgut that breaks down the fibre.[78] Termites are considered to be a major source (11%) of atmospheric methane, one of the prime greenhouse gases, produced from the breakdown of cellulose.[79] Termites rely primarily upon symbiotic protozoa (metamonads) and other microbes such as flagellate protists in their guts to digest the cellulose for them, allowing them to absorb the end products for their own use.[80][81] Gut protozoa, such as Trichonympha, in turn, rely on symbiotic bacteria embedded on their surfaces to produce some of the necessary digestive enzymes. Most higher termites, especially in the family Termitidae, can produce their own cellulase enzymes, but they rely primarily upon the bacteria. The flagellates have been lost in Termitidae.[82][83][84] Scientists' understanding of the relationship between the termite digestive tract and the microbial endosymbionts is still rudimentary; what is true in all termite species, however, is that the workers feed the other members of the colony with substances derived from the digestion of plant material, either from the mouth or anus.[51] Judging from closely related bacterial species, it is strongly presumed that the termites' and cockroach's gut microbiota derives from their dictyopteran ancestors.[85]

    Certain species such as Gnathamitermes tubiformans have seasonal food habits. For example, they may preferentially consume Red three-awn (Aristida longiseta) during the summer, Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) from May to August, and blue grama Bouteloua gracilis during spring, summer and autumn. Colonies of G.tubiformans consume less food in spring than they do during autumn when their feeding activity is high.[86]

    Various woods differ in their susceptibility to termite attack; the differences are attributed to such factors as moisture content, hardness, and resin and lignin content. In one study, the drywood termite Cryptotermes brevis strongly preferred poplar and maple woods to other woods that were generally rejected by the termite colony. These preferences may in part have represented conditioned or learned behaviour.[87]

    Some species of termite practice fungiculture. They maintain a "garden" of specialised fungi of genus Termitomyces, which are nourished by the excrement of the insects. When the fungi are eaten, their spores pass undamaged through the intestines of the termites to complete the cycle by germinating in the fresh faecal pellets.[88][89] Molecular evidence suggests that the family Macrotermitinae developed agriculture about 31 million years ago. It is assumed that more than 90 percent of dry wood in the semiarid savannah ecosystems of Africa and Asia are reprocessed by these termites. Originally living in the rainforest, fungus farming allowed them to colonise the African savannah and other new environments, eventually expanding into Asia.[90]

    Depending on their feeding habits, termites are placed into two groups: the lower termites and higher termites. The lower termites predominately feed on wood. As wood is difficult to digest, termites prefer to consume fungus-infected wood because it is easier to digest and the fungi are high in protein. Meanwhile, the higher termites consume a wide variety of materials, including faeces, humus, grass, leaves and roots.[91] The gut in the lower termites contains many species of bacteria along with protozoa, while the higher termites only have a few species of bacteria with no protozoa.[92]

    Termites are consumed by a wide variety of predators. One species alone, Hodotermes mossambicus, was found in the stomach contents of 65 birds and 19 mammals.[93] Arthropods and reptiles such as bees, centipedes, cockroaches, crickets, dragonflies, frogs,[94] lizards,[95] scorpions, spiders,[96] and toads consume these insects, while two spiders in the family Ammoxenidae are specialist termite predators.[97][99] Other predators include aardvarks, aardwolves, anteaters, bats, bears, bilbies, many birds, echidnas, foxes, galagos, numbats, mice and pangolins.[97][100][101][102] The aardwolf is an insectivorous mammal that primarily feeds on termites; it locates its food by sound and also by detecting the scent secreted by the soldiers; a single aardwolf is capable of consuming thousands of termites in a single night by using its long, sticky tongue.[103][104]Sloth bears break open mounds to consume the nestmates, while chimpanzees have developed tools to "fish" termites from their nest. Wear pattern analysis of bone tools used by the early hominin Paranthropus robustus suggests that they used these tools to dig into termite mounds.[105]

    Among all predators, ants are the greatest enemy to termites.[106][107] Some ant genera are specialist predators of termites. For example, Megaponera is a strictly termite-eating (termitophagous) genus that perform raiding activities, some lasting several hours.[108][109]Paltothyreus tarsatus is another termite-raiding species, with each individual stacking as many termites as possible in its mandibles before returning home, all the while recruiting additional nestmates to the raiding site through chemical trails.[106] The Malaysian basicerotine ant Eurhopalothrix heliscata uses a different strategy of termite hunting by pressing themselves into tight spaces, as they hunt through rotting wood housing termite colonies. Once inside, the ants seize their prey by using their short but sharp mandibles.[106]Tetramorium uelense is a specialised predator species that feeds on small termites. A scout will recruit 1030 workers to an area where termites are present, killing them by immobilising them with their stinger.[110]Centromyrmex and Iridomyrmex colonies sometimes nest in termite mounds, and so the termites are preyed on by these ants. No evidence for any kind of relationship (other than a predatory one) is known.[111][112] Other ants, including Acanthostichus, Camponotus, Crematogaster, Cylindromyrmex, Leptogenys, Odontomachus, Ophthalmopone, Pachycondyla, Rhytidoponera, Solenopsis and Wasmannia, also prey on termites.[100][106][113] In contrast to all these ant species, and despite their enormous diversity of prey, Dorylus ants rarely consume termites.[114]

    Ants are not the only invertebrates that perform raids. Many sphecoid wasps and several species including Polybia Lepeletier and Angiopolybia Araujo are known to raid termite mounds during the termites' nuptial flight.[115]

    Termites are less likely to be attacked by parasites than bees, wasps and ants, as they are usually well protected in their mounds. Nevertheless, termites are infected by a variety of parasites. Some of these include dipteran flies,[118]Pyemotes mites, and a large number of nematode parasites. Most nematode parasites are in the order Rhabditida; others are in the genus Mermis, Diplogaster aerivora and Harteria gallinarum. Under imminent threat of an attack by parasites, a colony may migrate to a new location. Fungi pathogens such as such as Aspergillus nomius and Metarhizium anisopliae are, however, major threats to a termite colony as they are not host-specific and may infect large portions of the colony;[122][123] transmission usually occurs via direct physical contact.M.anispliae is known to weaken the termite immune system. Infection with A.nomius only occurs when a colony is under great stress.[123]Inquilinism between two termite species does not occur in the termite world.

    Termites are infected by viruses including Entomopoxvirinae and the Nuclear Polyhedrosis Virus.[126][127]

    Because the worker and soldier castes lack wings and thus never fly, and the reproductives use their wings for just a brief amount of time, termites predominantly rely upon their legs to move about.

    Foraging behaviour depends on the type of termite. For example, certain species feed on the wood structures they inhabit, and others harvest food that is near the nest.[128] Most workers are rarely found out in the open, and do not forage unprotected; they rely on sheeting and runways to protect them from predators. Subterranean termites construct tunnels and galleries to look for food, and workers who manage to find food sources recruit additional nestmates by depositing a phagostimulant pheromone that attracts workers.[129] Foraging workers use semiochemicals to communicate with each other,[130] and workers who begin to forage outside of their nest release trail pheromones from their sternal glands.[131] In one species, Nasutitermes costalis, there are three phases in a foraging expedition: first, soldiers scout an area. When they find a food source, they communicate to other soldiers and a small force of workers starts to emerge. In the second phase, workers appear in large numbers at the site. The third phase is marked by a decrease in the number of soldiers present and an increase in the number of workers.[132] Isolated termite workers may engage in Lvy flight behaviour as an optimised strategy for finding their nestmates or foraging for food.[133]

    Competition between two colonies always results in agonistic behaviour towards each other, resulting in fights. These fights can cause mortality on both sides and, in some cases, the gain or loss of territory.[134][135] "Cemetery pits" may be present, where the bodies of dead termites are buried.[136]

    Studies show that when termites encounter each other in foraging areas, some of the termites deliberately block passages to prevent other termites from entering.[130][137] Dead termites from other colonies found in exploratory tunnels leads to the isolation of the area and thus the need to construct new tunnels.[138] Conflict between two competitors does not always occur. For example, though they might block each other's passages, colonies of Macrotermes bellicosus and Macrotermes subhyalinus are not always aggressive towards each other.[139] Suicide cramming is known in Coptotermes formosanus. Since C.formosanus colonies may get into physical conflict, some termites will tightly squeeze into foraging tunnels and die, successfully blocking the tunnel and ending all agonistic activities.[140]

    Among the reproductive caste, neotenic queens may compete with each other to become the dominant queen when there are no primary reproductives. This struggle among the queens leads to the elimination of all but a single queen, which, with the king, will take over the colony.[141]

    Ants and termites may compete with each other for nesting space. In particular, ants that prey on termites usually have a negative impact on arboreal nesting species.[142]

    Most termites are blind, so communication primarily occurs through chemical, mechanical and pheromonal cues.[38][130] These methods of communication are used in a variety of activities, including foraging, locating reproductives, construction of nests, recognition of nestmates, nuptial flight, locating and fighting enemies, and defending the nests.[38][130] The most common way of communicating is through antennation.[130] A number of pheromones are known, including contact pheromones (which are transmitted when workers are engaged in trophallaxis or grooming) and alarm, trail and sex pheromones. The alarm pheromone and other defensive chemicals are secreted from the frontal gland. Trail pheromones are secreted from the sternal gland, and sex pheromones derive from two glandular sources: the sternal and tergal glands.[38] When termites go out to look for food, they forage in columns along the ground through vegetation. A trail can be identified by the faecal deposits or runways that are covered by objects. Workers leave pheromones on these trails, which are detected by other nestmates through olfactory receptors.[53] Termites can also communicate through mechanical cues, vibrations, and physical contact.[53][130] These signals are frequently used for alarm communication or for evaluating a food source.[130][143]

    When termites construct their nests, they use predominantly indirect communication. No single termite would be in charge of any particular construction project. Individual termites react rather than think, but at a group level, they exhibit a sort of collective cognition. Specific structures or other objects such as pellets of soil or pillars cause termites to start building. The termite adds these objects onto existing structures, and such behaviour encourages building behaviour in other workers. The result is a self-organised process whereby the information that directs termite activity results from changes in the environment rather than from direct contact among individuals.[130]

    Termites can distinguish nestmates and non-nestmates through chemical communication and gut symbionts: chemicals consisting of hydrocarbons released from the cuticle allow the recognition of alien termite species.[144][145] Each colony has its own distinct odour. This odour is a result of genetic and environmental factors such as the termites' diet and the composition of the bacteria within the termites' intestines.[146]

    Termites rely on alarm communication to defend a colony.[130] Alarm pheromones can be released when the nest has been breached or is being attacked by enemies or potential pathogens. Termites always avoid nestmates infected with Metarhizium anisopliae spores, through vibrational signals released by infected nestmates.[147] Other methods of defence include intense jerking and secretion of fluids from the frontal gland and defecating faeces containing alarm pheromones.[130][148]

    In some species, some soldiers block tunnels to prevent their enemies from entering the nest, and they may deliberately rupture themselves as an act of defence.[149] In cases where the intrusion is coming from a breach that is larger than the soldier's head, defence requires a special formations where soldiers form a phalanx-like formation around the breach and bite at intruders.[150] If an invasion carried out by Megaponera analis is successful, an entire colony may be destroyed, although this scenario is rare.[150]

    To termites, any breach of their tunnels or nests is a cause for alarm. When termites detect a potential breach, the soldiers will usually bang their heads apparently to attract other soldiers for defence and to recruit additional workers to repair any breach.[53] Additionally, an alarmed termite will bump into other termites which causes them to be alarmed and to leave pheromone trails to the disturbed area, which is also a way to recruit extra workers.[53]

    The pantropical subfamily Nasutitermitinae has a specialised caste of soldiers, known as nasutes, that have the ability to exude noxious liquids through a horn-like frontal projection that they use for defence.[151] Nasutes have lost their mandibles through the course of evolution and must be fed by workers.[56] A wide variety of monoterpene hydrocarbon solvents have been identified in the liquids that nasutes secrete.[152]

    Soldiers of the species Globitermes sulphureus commit suicide by autothysis rupturing a large gland just beneath the surface of their cuticles. The thick, yellow fluid in the gland becomes very sticky on contact with the air, entangling ants or other insects which are trying to invade the nest.[154] Another termite, Neocapriterme taracua, also engages in suicidal defence. Workers physically unable to use their mandibles while in a fight form a pouch full of chemicals, then deliberately rupture themselves, releasing toxic chemicals that paralyse and kill their enemies.[155] The soldiers of the neotropical termite family Serritermitidae have a defence strategy which involves front gland autothysis, with the body rupturing between the head and abdomen. When soldiers guarding nest entrances are attacked by intruders, they engage in autothysis, creating a block that denies entry to any attacker.[156]

    Workers use several different strategies to deal with their dead, including burying, cannibalism, and avoiding a corpse altogether.[157][158][159] To avoid pathogens, termites occasionally engage in necrophoresis, in which a nestmate will carry away a corpse from the colony to dispose of it elsewhere.[160] Which strategy is used depends on the nature of the corpse a worker is dealing with (i.e. the age of the carcass).[160]

    A species of fungus is known to mimic termite eggs, successfully avoiding its natural predators. These small brown balls, known as "termite balls", rarely kill the eggs, and in some cases the workers will even tend to them.[161] This fungus mimics these eggs by producing a cellulose-digesting enzyme known as glucosidases.[162] A unique mimicking behaviour exists between various species of Trichopsenius beetles and certain termite species within Reticulitermes. The beetles share the same cuticle hydrocarbons as the termites and even biosynthesize them. This chemical mimicry allows the beetles to integrate themselves within the termite colonies.[163] The developed appendages on the physogastric abdomen of Austrospirachtha mimetes allows the beetle to mimic a termite worker.[164]

    Some species of ant are known to capture termites to use as a fresh food source later on, rather than killing them. For example, Formica nigra captures termites, and those who try to escape are immediately seized and driven underground.[165] Certain species of ants in the subfamily Ponerinae conduct these raids although other ant species go in alone to steal the eggs or nymphs.[142] Ants such as Megaponera analis attack the outside the mounds and Dorylinae ants attack underground.[142][166] Despite this, some termites and ants can coexist peacefully. Some species of termite, including Nasutitermes corniger, form associations with certain ant species to keep away predatory ant species.[167] The earliest known association between Azteca ants and Nasutitermes termites date back to the Oligocene to Miocene period.[168]

    54 species of ants are known to inhabit Nasutitermes mounds, both occupied and abandoned ones.[169] One reason many ants live in Nasutitermes mounds is due to the termites' frequent occurrence in their geographical range; another is to protect themselves from floods.[169][170]Iridomyrmex also inhabits termite mounds although no evidence for any kind of relationship (other than a predatory one) is known.[111] In rare cases, certain species of termites live inside active ant colonies.[171] Some invertebrate organisms such as beetles, caterpillars, flies and millipedes are termitophiles and dwell inside termite colonies (they are unable to survive independently).[53] As a result, certain beetles and flies have evolved with their hosts. They have developed a gland that secrete a substance that attracts the workers by licking them. Mounds may also provide shelter and warmth to birds, lizards, snakes and scorpions.[53]

    Termites are known to carry pollen and regularly visit flowers,[172] so are regarded as potential pollinators for a number of flowering plants.[173] One flower in particular, Rhizanthella gardneri, is regularly pollinated by foraging workers, and it is perhaps the only Orchidaceae flower in the world to be pollinated by termites.[172]

    Many plants have developed effective defences against termites. However, seedlings are vulnerable to termite attacks and need additional protection, as their defence mechanisms only develop when they have passed the seedling stage.[174] Defence is typically achieved by secreting antifeedant chemicals into the woody cell walls.[175] This reduces the ability of termites to efficiently digest the cellulose. A commercial product, "Blockaid", has been developed in Australia that uses a range of plant extracts to create a paint-on nontoxic termite barrier for buildings.[175] An extract of a species of Australian figwort, Eremophila, has been shown to repel termites;[176] tests have shown that termites are strongly repelled by the toxic material to the extent that they will starve rather than consume the food. When kept close to the extract, they become disoriented and eventually die.[176]

    A termite nest can be considered as being composed of two parts, the inanimate and the animate. The animate is all of the termites living inside the colony, and the inanimate part is the structure itself, which is constructed by the termites. Nests can be broadly separated into three main categories: subterranean (completely below ground), epigeal (protruding above the soil surface), and arboreal (built above ground, but always connected to the ground via shelter tubes).[178] Epigeal nests (mounds) protrude from the earth with ground contact and are made out of earth and mud. A nest has many functions such as providing a protected living space and providing shelter against predators. Most termites construct underground colonies rather than multifunctional nests and mounds.[180] Primitive termites of today nest in wooden structures such as logs, stumps and the dead parts of trees, as did termites millions of years ago.[178]

    To build their nests, termites primarily use faeces, which have many desirable properties as a construction material. Other building materials include partly digested plant material, used in carton nests (arboreal nests built from faecal elements and wood), and soil, used in subterranean nest and mound construction. Not all nests are visible, as many nests in tropical forests are located underground.[180] Species in the subfamily Apicotermitinae are good examples of subterranean nest builders, as they only dwell inside tunnels. Other termites live in wood, and tunnels are constructed as they feed on the wood. Nests and mounds protect the termites' soft bodies against desiccation, light, pathogens and parasites, as well as providing a fortification against predators.[182] Nests made out of carton are particularly weak, and so the inhabitants use counter-attack strategies against invading predators.

    Arboreal carton nests of mangrove swamp-dwelling Nasutitermes are enriched in lignin and depleted in cellulose and xylans. This change is caused by bacterial decay in the gut of the termites: they use their faeces as a carton building material. Arboreal termites nests can account for as much as 2% of above ground carbon storage in Puerto Rican mangrove swamps. These Nasutitermes nests are mainly composed of partially biodegraded wood material from the stems and branches of mangrove trees, namely, Rhizophora mangle (red mangrove), Avicennia germinans (black mangrove) and Laguncularia racemose (white mangrove).[184]

    Some species build complex nests called polycalic nests; this habitat is called polycalism. Polycalic species of termites form multiple nests, or calies, connected by subterranean chambers.[100] The termite genera Apicotermes and Trinervitermes are known to have polycalic species.[185] Polycalic nests appear to be less frequent in mound-building species although polycalic arboreal nests have been observed in a few species of Nasutitermes.[185]

    Nests are considered mounds if they protrude from the earth's surface. A mound provides termites the same protection as a nest but is stronger. Mounds located in areas with torrential and continuous rainfall are at risk of mound erosion due to their clay-rich construction. Those made from carton can provide protection from the rain, and in fact can withstand high precipitation. Certain areas in mounds are used as strong points in case of a breach. For example, Cubitermes colonies build narrow tunnels used as strong points, as the diameter of the tunnels is small enough for soldiers to block.[186] A highly protected chamber, known as the "queens cell", houses the queen and king and is used as a last line of defence.

    Species in the genus Macrotermes arguably build the most complex structures in the insect world, constructing enormous mounds. These mounds are among the largest in the world, reaching a height of 8 to 9 metres (26 to 29 feet), and consist of chimneys, pinnacles and ridges.[53] Another termite species, Amitermes meridionalis, can build nests 3to 4metres (9to 13 feet) high and 2.5 metres (8feet) wide.

    The sculptured mounds sometimes have elaborate and distinctive forms, such as those of the compass termite (Amitermes meridionalis and A. laurensis), which builds tall, wedge-shaped mounds with the long axis oriented approximately northsouth, which gives them their common name.[187][188] This orientation has been experimentally shown to assist thermoregulation. The north-south orientation causes the internal temperature of a mound to increase rapidly during the morning while avoiding overheating from the midday sun. The temperature then remains at a plateau for the rest of the day until the evening.[189]

    Termites construct shelter tubes, also known as earthen tubes or mud tubes, that start from the ground. These shelter tubes can be found on walls and other structures.[190] Constructed by termites during the night, a time of higher humidity, these tubes provide protection to termites from potential predators, especially ants.[191] Shelter tubes also provide high humidity and darkness and allow workers to collect food sources that cannot be accessed in any other way.[190] These passageways are made from soil and faeces and are normally brown in colour. The size of these shelter tubes depends on the amount of food sources that are available. They range from less than 1cm to several cm in width, but may extend dozens of metres in length.[191]

    Owing to their wood-eating habits, many termite species can do great damage to unprotected buildings and other wooden structures.[192] Their habit of remaining concealed often results in their presence being undetected until the timbers are severely damaged, leaving a thin layer of a wall that protects them from the environment.[193] Of the 3,106 species known, only 183 species cause damage; 83 species cause significant damage to wooden structures.[192] In North America, nine subterranean species are pests; in Australia, 16 species have an economic impact; in the Indian subcontinent 26 species are considered pests, and in tropical Africa, 24. In Central America and the West Indies, there are 17 pest species.[192] Among the termite genera, Coptotermes has the highest number of pest species of any genus, with 28 species known to cause damage.[192] Less than 10% of drywood termites are pests, but they infect wooden structures and furniture in tropical, subtropical and other regions. Dampwood termites only attack lumber material exposed to rainfall or soil.[192]

    Drywood termites thrive in warm climates, and human activities can enable them to invade homes since they can be transported through contaminated goods, containers and ships.[192] Colonies of termites have been seen thriving in warm buildings located in cold regions.[194] Some termites are considered invasive species. Cryptotermes brevis, the most widely introduced invasive termite species in the world, has been introduced to all the islands in the West Indies and to Australia.[34][192]

    In addition to causing damage to buildings, termites can also damage food crops.[195] Termites may attack trees whose resistance to damage is low but generally ignore fast-growing plants. Most attacks occur at harvest time; crops and trees are attacked during the dry season.[195]

    The damage caused by termites costs the southwestern United States approximately $1.5billion each year in wood structure damage, but the true cost of damage worldwide cannot be determined.[192][196] Drywood termites are responsible for a large proportion of the damage caused by termites.[197]

    To better control the population of termites, various methods have been developed to track termite movements.[196] One early method involved distributing termite bait laced with immunoglobulin G (IgG) marker proteins from rabbits or chickens. Termites collected from the field could be tested for the rabbit-IgG markers using a rabbit-IgG-specific assay. More recently developed, less expensive alternatives include tracking the termites using egg white, cow milk, or soy milk proteins, which can be sprayed on termites in the field. Termites bearing these proteins can be traced using a protein-specific ELISA test.[196]

    43 termite species are used as food by humans or are fed to livestock.[198] These insects are particularly important in less developed countries where malnutrition is common, as the protein from termites can help improve the human diet. Termites are consumed in many regions globally, but this practice has only become popular in developed nations in recent years.[198]

    Termites are consumed by people in many different cultures around the world. In Africa, the alates are an important factor in the diets of native populations.[199] Tribes have different ways of collecting or cultivating insects; sometimes tribes will collect soldiers from several species. Though harder to acquire, queens are regarded as a delicacy.[200] Termite alates are high in nutrition with adequate levels of fat and protein. They are regarded as pleasant in taste, having a nut-like flavour after they are cooked.[199]

    Alates are collected when the rainy season begins. During a nuptial flight, they are typically seen around lights to which they are attracted, and so nets are set up on lamps and captured alates are later collected. The wings are removed through a technique that is similar to winnowing. The best result comes when they are lightly roasted on a hot plate or fried until crisp. Oil is not required as their bodies usually contain sufficient amounts of oil. Termites are typically eaten when livestock is lean and tribal crops have not yet developed or produced any food, or if food stocks from a previous growing season are limited.[199]

    In addition to Africa, termites are consumed in local or tribal areas in Asia and North and South America. In Australia, Indigenous Australians are aware that termites are edible but do not consume them even in times of scarcity; there are few explanations as to why.[199][200] Termite mounds are the main sources of soil consumption (geophagy) in many countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.[201][202][203][204] Researchers have suggested that termites are suitable candidates for human consumption and space agriculture, as they are high in protein and can be used to convert inedible waste to consumable products for humans.[205]

    Termites can be major agricultural pests, particularly in East Africa and North Asia, where crop losses can be severe (3100% in crop loss in Africa).[206] Counterbalancing this is the greatly improved water infiltration where termite tunnels in the soil allow rainwater to soak in deeply, which helps reduce runoff and consequent soil erosion through bioturbation.[207] In South America, cultivated plants such as eucalyptus, upland rice and sugarcane can be severely damaged by termite infestations, with attacks on leaves, roots and woody tissue. Termites can also attack other plants, including cassava, coffee, cotton, fruit trees, maize, peanuts, soybeans and vegetables.[23] Mounds can disrupt farming activities, making it difficult for farmers to operate farming machinery; however, despite farmers' dislike of the mounds, it is often the case that no net loss of production occurs.[23] Termites can be beneficial to agriculture, such as by boosting crop yields and enriching the soil. Termites and ants can re-colonise untilled land that contains crop stubble, which colonies use for nourishment when they establish their nests. The presence of nests in fields enables larger amounts of rainwater to soak into the ground and increases the amount of nitrogen in the soil, both essential for the growth of crops.[208]

    The termite gut has inspired various research efforts aimed at replacing fossil fuels with cleaner, renewable energy sources.[209] Termites are efficient bioreactors, capable of producing two litres of hydrogen from a single sheet of paper.[210] Approximately 200 species of microbes live inside the termite hindgut, releasing the hydrogen that was trapped inside wood and plants that they digest.[209][211] Through the action of unidentified enzymes in the termite gut, lignocellulose polymers are broken down into sugars and are transformed into hydrogen. The bacteria within the gut turns the sugar and hydrogen into cellulose acetate, an acetate ester of cellulose on which termites rely for energy.[209]Community DNA sequencing of the microbes in the termite hindgut has been employed to provide a better understanding of the metabolic pathway.[209] Genetic engineering may enable hydrogen to be generated in bioreactors from woody biomass.[209]

    The development of autonomous robots capable of constructing intricate structures without human assistance has been inspired by the complex mounds that termites build.[212] These robots work independently and can move by themselves on a tracked grid, capable of climbing and lifting up bricks. Such robots may be useful for future projects on Mars, or for building levees to prevent flooding.[213]

    Termites use sophisticated means to control the temperatures of their mounds. As discussed above, the shape and orientation of the mounds of the Australian compass termite stabilises their internal temperatures during the day. As the towers heat up, the solar chimney effect (stack effect) creates an updraft of air within the mound.[214] Wind blowing across the tops of the towers enhances the circulation of air through the mounds, which also include side vents in their construction. The solar chimney effect has been in use for centuries in the Middle East and Near East for passive cooling, as well as in Europe by the Romans.[215] It is only relatively recently, however, that climate responsive construction techniques have become incorporated into modern architecture. Especially in Africa, the stack effect has become a popular means to achieve natural ventilation and passive cooling in modern buildings.[214]

    The Eastgate Centre is a shopping centre and office block in central Harare, Zimbabwe, whose architect, Mick Pearce, used passive cooling inspired by that used by the local termites.[216] It was the first major building exploiting termite-inspired cooling techniques to attract international attention. Other such buildings include the Learning Resource Center at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa and the Council House 2 building in Melbourne, Australia.[214]

    Few zoos hold termites, due to the difficulty in keeping them captive and to the reluctance of authorities to permit potential pests. One of the few that do, the Zoo Basel in Switzerland, has two thriving Macrotermes bellicosus populations resulting in an event very rare in captivity: the mass migrations of young flying termites. This happened in September 2008, when thousands of male termites left their mound each night, died, and covered the floors and water pits of the house holding their exhibit.[217]

    African tribes in several countries have termites as totems, and for this reason tribe members are forbidden to eat the reproductive alates.[218] Termites are widely used in traditional popular medicine; they are used as treatments for diseases and other conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, hoarseness, influenza, sinusitis, tonsillitis and whooping cough.[198] In Nigeria, Macrotermes nigeriensis is used for spiritual protection and to treat wounds and sick pregnant women. In Southeast Asia, termites are used in ritual practices. In Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, termite mounds are commonly worshiped among the populace.[219] Abandoned mounds are viewed as structures created by spirits, believing a local guardian dwells within the mound; this is known as Keramat and Datok Kong. In urban areas, local residents construct red-painted shrines over mounds that have been abandoned, where they pray for good health, protection and luck.[219]

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    Termite - Wikipedia

    Termite Control | Truly Nolen - October 11, 2016 by admin

    Termites play a vital role in our ecosystem. They maintain nature's balance by breaking down dead wood and other plant material. There are nearly 50 known termite species in North America and more than 2,600 worldwide. However, when termites invade homes, they become major pests and cause an estimated $5 billion dollars in damages in the United States each year. Billions more are spent on termite prevention and treatment, making them the most economically significant wood-destroying organisms in the United States. An average home suffers $7,900 in damages before termites are detected and termite damage may not be covered by many homeowners' insurance. Prevention is key. It is important to have annual inspections. Early discovery provides you a head start in solving this problem.

    Our Total Termite Protection Plan℠ is the most innovative and complete termite protection plan offered in the United States. We combine a variety of control techniques into a single, comprehensive, and effective treatment program. It safeguards your home from termites by focusing on both the soil and the structure.

    Combining above and below- ground treatments provide you with the most complete and thorough protection. Treatment areas include attics, eaves, walls, windows, doors, plumbing pipes, foundations, and slabs. We diagnose your individual needs and provide a customized solution. While most termite control companies only provide your home with protection against one type of termite, our Total Termite Protection Plan℠ is effective against any and all termites.

    You can feel secure in knowing you are buying the best protection available. We put our money where our mouse is. Qualified homes can take advantage of our $1 million guarantee.

    Truly Nolen's trained professionals know that no two homes are the same. Our termite control experts have been trained to "think like a bug" in order to best understand and eliminate your pest problem. Your Truly Nolen specialist will inspect common termite entry points such as:

    After a thorough inspection, we will provide you a customized and individualized assessment and treatment plan. We can help you get rid of termites regardless of your home's construction type, material, or age.

    How do we do it? Truly Nolen's comprehensive Total Termite Protection Plan℠ covers your home's interior, exterior, and foundation, eliminating any opportunities for termites to persist in and around your home. Our trained professionals can treat for termites in hard-to-reach places like wall voids and moldings. Since we treat the interiors, exteriors, and everywhere in between, we go above and beyond to provide you with termite control where other methods fail. On in the interior, Truly Nolen treats bath traps and plumbing, slab cracks/expansion joints, garage expansion joints, and direct active infestation. Exterior treatment includes wood privacy fences, dead tree stumps, landscape timber, and preventative exterior treatments as needed. In your home's foundation, Truly Nolen will treat the crawlspace foundation, the crawlspace pier, as well as the foundation void. Our competitors don't treat any of these common termite-hiding places.

    The application technology makes the difference. We have several non-invasive application methods to provide you with comprehensive treatment to safely protect you and your family.

    For finished surfaces: the tornado. As the name implies, our exclusive tornado method penetrates through and follows wood imperfections that are barely visible. Active ingredients mix with water as a propellant. Next, high-pressure air forces the mixture deep into cracks and crevices, getting deep inside doors and window jambs, sills, and mouldings.

    For interior voids: the high-pressure mister. We use a high-pressure mister to treat your attics and wall voids by covering surfaces of unfinished wood. Active ingredients are mixed with high-pressure water to create small droplets for full coverage. Smaller droplets allow us to apply more ingredients in more places.

    For soil treatments: liquid treatments. Truly Nolen protects your home inside and out. As part of our comprehensive treatment plan, we treat the soil near and under your home. We apply liquid treatments in trenches or drillings to protect foundations, slabs, and tub traps.

    For under-slab protection, the difference is in the injection rods. Our thin-walled, lightweight stainless steel rod injection system makes the entire under-slab process less intrusive while still effectively delivering our trusted treatment.

    The new injection rods are smaller (-inch about the size of a pen) constructed of thin-walled, lightweight stainless steel provide comprehensive 360- degree coverage, and an improved flow rate. Instead of using a single flood tip that limits application to just the end of the rod, the multi-directional tip uses six to eight holes around the rod. This modern application method is less invasive, provides a more complete application, in a shorter amount of time saving you time and money. For example, an average- sized -home with a supported slab treatment, would receive about 200 gallons of treatment on both the inside and outside of the foundation as well as into block voids.

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    Termite Control | Truly Nolen

    Termite Control Services | Ehrlich Pest Control - October 3, 2016 by admin

    With over 85 years of global experience, our termite experts have extensive local experience and are trained monthly on the very best termite protection technologies. Our comprehensive termite inspections and treatments are backed by the Ehrlich Termite Warranty.

    Different termite control services will be recommended to the customer based on the species of termite identified.

    For subterranean termites (the most common species of termite along the East Coast of the United States), the two main treatment options are Ehrlichs baiting/monitoring and conventional termite service.

    Termite Baiting and Monitoring - Ehrlichs termite baiting and monitoring service involves the strategic placement of bait stations in the soil around the structure and inside the structure where the presence of termites have been identified.

    Conventional Termite Service - Ehrlichs conventional termite service involves the injection of a liquid termite product into the soil that creates a protective barrier around the home.

    In instances where drywood termites are identified, Ehrlich will primarily recommend a fumigation service or a spot treatment service.

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    Termite Control Services | Ehrlich Pest Control

    Shoreline Pest Control – Termite inspection, fumigation … - September 28, 2016 by admin

    An effective Integrated Pest Management program requires the guidance of a Pest Management Professional. When executed properly, we create a partnership with homeowners that can help manage pest populations in and around your home.

    This is a critical first step that, when performed correctly and with diligence, can get your IPM program on track. In this phase, we will assess your home's risk of infestation. We will identify any existing pests and note cracks, crevices and other points of entry into your home. We will uncover potential food sources, the presence of water sources, and look for signs of existing pest activity. From this your we will develop a prevention plan that can drastically reduce your homes susceptibility to invasion.

    In a chemically oriented approach to pest control, all other steps to discourage and control infestations are ignored in favor of introducing large amounts of pesticides into the environment. In an effective IPM program, however, pests are first discouraged by creating an environment unsuitable for them. This means removing food and water supply sources (including leaky pipes), compost sites, general yard debris, accessible pet food, garbage and other food sources.

    During the inspection process, we will identify specific areas of vulnerability to pest invasion and create a customized plan for controlling and eliminating any problems without introducing unnecessary chemicals and hazards. We will maintain a vigilant effort to remove or seal points of entry into your home and keep them sealed. We will help you identify situations such as high moisture areas, overhanging branches or debris piles which could attract pests or provide pathways into your home. This ongoing service has a major impact on keeping your home from becoming an attractive living site for insects, termites and other pests.

    Even after a thorough assessment of conditions, development of a management plan and creation of a pest proofing program, there may be the need to eliminate an existing infestation. Because in IPM, pesticide product application is just one part of an effective multi-faceted program, it can be performed with restraint and focus. This means only those pesticides necessary to address your specific problem will be used and only in the locations and quantities necessary. And as much as possible, these products will be specially selected for lower toxicity to people, pets, nontarget pests and the environment in general.

    The final part of IPM is an ongoing monitoring program to ensure that your home maintains conditions that discourage pests and to identify the presence of pests before they become full-blown infestations.

    Click here to find out more about Shoreline Pest Control's Pretreatement Service

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    Shoreline Pest Control - Termite inspection, fumigation ...

    Termite Inspection | Treatment & Control | Tampa Bay Florida - September 11, 2016 by admin

    TermiteInspection, Treatment, and Control Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Hernando Counties.

    Termites can go undetected for years and can become very costly if left untreated. According to the National Pest Management Association, termites cost Americans more than $5 billion in damages each year. Thats more than fire and flooding combined. Termite damage is usually not covered by insurance, and that is why its crucial to hire a licensed pest control company to help protect your health & property.

    ABC Pest Control specializes in termite inspection, treatment, and control in the Tampa Bay area. Our licensed technicians are involved in ongoing training to insure that our customers receive, not only excellent service, but, also, the latest and best technologies available for the proper identification and solution of any termite problem in the Tampa Bay area.

    Termites can be very hard to spot. They eat wood from the inside out, preferring the soft spring wood growing in layers deep inside wood construction materials, fences, fallen branches, firewood and even wood mulch. You might not be able to see their handiwork until theyve caused a lot of damage and even spread to multiple locations on your property. However, Termites do leave a few clues to their presence.

    Infestations of the subterranean termites in a building may be recognized by the swarming of thousands of reproductive termites during the early spring either inside or outside of the structure. Termites also produce mud-tubes which protect the colony from drying out. Sometimes, these mud-tubes may be found protruding from cracks between boards or beams or along baseboards or windows. These earthen tubes extending from the soil to the wood inside the structure act like highways for the worker termites. You may spot live termites working in these tubes if they are broken or have been exposed.

    One of the most common symptoms of a Drywood termite infestation is the accumulation of tiny, straw to brown-colored fecal pellets inside or beneath infested furniture or in the corners of the walls. Sometimes, these pellets can appear on counter surfaces. These pellets sift from small holes in the infested wood or are pushed out through small round openings maintained by the termites for this purpose. The hard fecal pellets have six distinct, concave surfaces. Signs of termite infestation also include swarming of winged forms in fall and spring and evidence of tunneling in wood. If you find these pellets place them on a sheet of loose-leaf paper and tilt the paper. If the pellets roll off the paper, then you most likely have Drywood Termites. Call ABC Pest Control immediately for a termite inspection.

    Call Today For A FREE Inspection! Toll Free:1 (877) 888-7378

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    Termite Inspection | Treatment & Control | Tampa Bay Florida

    Home Termite Treatments | Clark Pest Control - August 10, 2016 by admin

    You love your home. So you can see why pests might be attracted to it, too. And if they're termites, the results can be catastrophic. It's estimated that termites and other similar wood- destroying pests wreak havoc on U.S. buildings and crops to the tune of about $30 billion per year, with the average homeowner swallowing about $3,000 of that. These insects snack 24/7 and some species can lay up to 40,000 eggs per day. So it's important to catch them early. But they often don't reveal themselves until your wooden surfaces reveal the damage they've caused. So how do you catch them?

    Even if your home is built with brick or vinyl, termites can bypass the exterior to enter and feed on ceilings, floors, cabinets, furniture and even cardboard boxes or canvases. Signs of termite damage include wood that has buckled or is swollen, or you may even see the wooden tunnels the termites have burrowed. You might also find mud tubes that connect their underground nest to a structure. Or even droppings, which look like tiny wood-colored pellets. Often, you'll detect a moldy scent as well. If so, it's time to call Clark Pest Control for an inspection.

    Our integrated pest management (IPM) approach to termite control gives you the most progressive control strategy available.Our termite inspectors and service technicians are trained continuously, and all inspectors and most technicians are fully licensed. If a treatment plan is needed, we'll devise a safe strategy to eradicate the termites, repair their damage and eliminate the possibility of future infestations.

    We make it easy to keep your home pest-free:

    Call or text Clarktoday for a free inspection of your home* at 1-800-882-0374, orclick herefor an estimate to protect your home against these destroyers, and never have termites over for dinner again.

    *Excludes real estate transactions, which may be subject to a fee.

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    Home Termite Treatments | Clark Pest Control

    Termite Control | Western Exterminator - June 23, 2016 by admin

    Termites are called hidden invaders for a good reason. Often there is nothing visible to the untrained eye indicating that termites are eating a structure. If you look closely, you may note a few telltale signs that a colony has taken up residence in your real estate investment.

    Termites do leave a variety of signs of their presence, and with diligent inspections you may be able to tell if you have an infestation and catch it before too much damage is done. Wings on windowsills or flying termites in your home certainly are cause for alarm. Wood damage can be an identifying sign of a termite infestation. If you find or break open a piece of wood and it is honeycombed or carved out, the damage was likely caused by termites. You can probe suspect wood with a knife or flat-blade screwdriver to see if it's been hollowed.

    Severely damaged wood may sound hollow when tapped. Unexplained piles of what appears to be coarse grains of sand (which can appear almost anywhere throughout the structure) may actually be termite fecal pellets sifting out of wood members. Mud tubes on walls, along baseboards or in cracks and crevices indicate termites.

    Termites can cause appreciable damage can be done in just 3 years, so we recommend a termite inspection every 2-3 years.

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    Termite Control | Western Exterminator

    Termite Control | Inspection | Treatment | Protection … - March 15, 2016 by admin

    For most of us, the most valuable asset we own is our home, so for peace of mind and best practice Termite Control, its vital to commissionan annualTermiteInspection and install Termite Protection. 1300 Pest Control technicians are fullylicensed and insuredto carry out Termite Inspections to Australian Standards or greater.

    Termites, or White Ants as they are often called, feed on wood, so if your home contains wooden frames or structural elements, then its likely that at some point in time your home could be at risk of Termite Infestation and Termite Damage that could run into the thousands.

    The need for effectiveTermite Control is because without it Termite Damage often goes undetected because Termites eat from the inside out, sotermite damage can besubstantial by the time live termites are detected.

    > Wood that sounds hollow when tapped > Gaps or crumbling wooden beams > Termite mud tubes, which run above ground and are built by Termites as tunnels to avoid exposure.

    Approximately half of all Pest Controllers are not properly licenced or fully insured for the work they carry out. Dont just settle for the quickest turn-around or the cheapest price as you may not always be getting what you thought you were paying for.

    Our quality Termite Controllers will conduct a thorough Termite Inspection of your property, including the foundations, the inner structural elements, fencing and all wood products in and around the property. If live termites are found or the risk of termites is considered high, we will also provide you with Termite Treatment and Termite Protection options for your property and budget.

    Our technicians can be trusted to carry out aprofessional job. They have afull Timber Pest Licence, ProfessionalIndemnity and Public Liability Insurance.

    All Termite Inspections arecarried out to Australian Standards or greater.

    Termite Inspections arevery thorough, at least 1 hour for an average house. The Termite Inspector will need access to all rooms including the ceiling cavity.

    The Termite Inspection isperformed withan array of tools and thorough Visual Inspection of the premises. These tools can include but are not limited to:

    Termite Control has advanced significantly in recent years. 1300 PestControl support Industry best practices and keep up to date with the continuing improvements in Termite Inspection,Termite Treatmentand Termite Protection.

    Reticulation Systems are physical barriers that also store chemical Termite Treatments and are designed to impede the entry of termites into the building as well as aid in termite detection and kill termites if they enter the termite protection zone.

    In Queensland, builders must have a physical termite barrier or a reticulation system installed before a concrete slab is poured for a new building. With the cost of termite damage in Australia being higher than fire, flood and other accidental causes it pays for all new houses in all parts of Australia to be fitted with a termite reticulation system. There are a few types of termite reticulation around so it pays to discuss your options with your Pest Controller who will be able to assess your individual needs based on your geographical location, building structure & budget constraints. Most reticulation systems available require the pest controller to be accredited or certified with the installation and monitoring of these systems.

    Termite Treated Zones, also known as Termite Barriers are a popular and proven method of Termite Protection for new and existing structures. Installing a Termite Barrier involves digging a trench around a concrete slab and treating the soil with termiticide that has long lasting residual effect. To maintain a continuous barrier around the slab, concreted areas are drilled approximately 200mm apart and the termiticide is injected into each hole. Termites that do prey into the treated zone are repelled away.

    Monitoring of the termite barriers are performed generally annually by your Pest Controller who will issue additional chemical treatment if required.

    There are several types of Termite Barriers available and they differ in cost, monitoring requirements & structural differences.

    A popular method of Termite Control is Termite Baits. This form of Termite Treatment involves the use of wood treated with chemicals that act as bait for the worker termites.

    The workers ingest the toxic wood and carry it back to the termite nest, where the termite colony is exposed and infected.

    Quality Pest Control & Termite Services

    Use only environmentally friendly products that are safe around children & animals

    Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association member that comply with Australian Standards

    Latest Pest Control Practices, Products & Technology, including Thermal Imaging to detect Termites

    Integrated Pest Management for Residential and Commercial clients

    Trust our Fully Licenced & Fully Insured Pest Controllers who provide Warranties

    Yes, our Prices are very competitive! Get a Free Fast Quote


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    Termite Inspection Service – Apple Valley Pest Control - March 15, 2016 by admin

    Termite & Pest Services

    A&C termite and pest solutions provides the best pest control service for your home or business in Apple Valley & all of the surrounding areas. For all of your pest control & termite inspection services for the following areas contact us today! We provide the best pest control service & termite inspections for Victorville, Hesperia and the high desert.

    Starting at $80.00 for Termite Inspections For Single family homes.

    (Escrow transactions or Re-financing) Free Bed Bug Inspections.

    Regular Maintenance for Pest Control: Monthly Starting at $36.00 Bi-monthly Starting at $60.00 Quarterly Starting at $85.00

    Ask about our One Time Service Price.

    As you can see we offer all of our clients quality pest control service and termite inspection services in Apple Valley & the high desert at an affordable price.

    We can help keep your home clean and safe with our top quality pest control service and termite inspection and removal service. We are rated among the top pest control companies in the High Desert and we are here to help all homeowners and business owners with their pest or insect problems. Feel free to contact us today to come out to your home or business in Apple Valley or any part of San Bernardino County and let us evaluate your pest or insect problem before it gets worse.

    Now Proudly servicing the Hesperia school district and the Victorville Elementary and High School District with professional pest control services.

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    Termite Inspection Service - Apple Valley Pest Control

    Professional Pest Control Services for Homeowners – Corky’s - August 6, 2015 by admin

    Corky's Pest Control has accumulated nearly 50 years experience in the Pest Management industry and provides an unparalleled quality in our individual and collective services. Being one of the few "fully" licensed pest control operators in Southern California allows us to treat your entire property with the latest technologies and developed procedures to give you the service you deserve. Pet safety is also of primary concern when treating your property.

    While all of our services are available as individual treatments, we have developed a new service that will fit most of the pest problems the average homeowner will encounter. Our new Ultimate Pest Control Service targets Ants, Spiders, Ticks, Aphids, Whitefly and Mosquitoes.

    We provide a money-back guarantee on nearly all of our services and look forward to welcoming you to our family of satisfied customers.

    Important Links

    View a list of cities in which we provide service.

    We specialize in the use of green productsboth botanic and low-impact, using only the best available to the market. Our licensed personnel assure customer satisfaction, and they will take care of problems caused by ants, spiders, cockroaches, and other insects, rodents such as mice, rats, and gophers, and even the West Nile Virus-carrying mosquitoes and bed bugs.

    Our termite department is state of the art, offering fumigation, spot treatments, heat treatments, subterranean termite treatments and the new Termatrac Radar "no tent" solution.

    Corky's Pest Control is licensed, bonded and insured.

    Original post:
    Professional Pest Control Services for Homeowners - Corky's

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