Termites live normally in warm regions of the earth. They are social insects and more closely related to cockroaches than to ants, as often assumed. They usually have a white or yellow-white body color and reach, with some exceptions, a body length between 2 and 20mm. A termite colony, that, under certain circumstances, can include millions of individual animals, consists in general of three specialized groups or "castes", in which both sexes are represented: the so called "workers", "soldiers" and "reproducers". Workers and soldiers are usually blind and sterile. While workers are responsible for nest building, food procurement and brood care, the soldiers serve, with their stronger head and jaw, to protect the termite nest. The reproducers, which are the only ones capable of reproduction, live constantly together, after they have found on their nuptial flight to each other, as a termite queen and termite king, because the female animal, unlike an ant queen, has to be mated ever anew. Termite queens can reach an age up to 15 years. Dying queens or kings are replaced directly by the progeny. In this way a population can endure forever.
As alimentation they prefer organic materials such as wood, humus or grass. But as cellulose eaters they can also cause damage to books or organic insulating material. The wood-destroying termites are divided into damp wood termites and dry wood termites, depending on the specific feeding behavior.
Termites prefer a protected and dark environment. Therefore, it is difficult to detect any signs of domestic infestation at an early stage. There are over 2800 known types of termites, but only 83 are considered pests. These, however, are the most damaging ones in the construction sector and thus also in financial terms. In this case, the so called “Wet-wood-termites” are the larger cause of damage than the “Dry-wood-termites”. They eat wood from the inside out, leaving a fine layer on the surface. It is then easy to apply pressure to the affected areas in order to detect an already existing damage.
Extermination of an infestation of termites:
Wood pests: Termites