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Basic Subterranean Termite Biology Chapter 2 Section III – Termite Control Basics of the Pest Bear & Affiliates Service Personnel Development Program 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Basic Subterranean Termite Biology Chapter 2 Section III – Termite Control Basics of the Pest Bear & Affiliates Service Personnel Development Program 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Basic Subterranean Termite Biology Chapter 2 Section III – Termite Control Basics of the Pest Bear & Affiliates Service Personnel Development Program , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

2 What You Will Learn About Subterranean Termites How to identify termites How termites live The biology of termites How termites cause damage What termite damage looks like , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

3 You Can Learn About Basic Building Construction How to inspect for termites Concepts of termite control What equipment is recommended for a high-tech inspection Formosan Termites Monitoring/Baiting for termites , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

4 General Information About Termites Termites are members of the Order Isoptera, which means equal wings (the reproductives have four wings, all of which are equal in length). Termites are primitive insects and are closely related to cockroaches. Termites are capable of converting cellulose, the primary component of wood and wood products, into humus. Termites can digest cellulose because of a one-celled organism (protozoa) found in their gut. Termites are social insects and have distinct castes. Each termite colony is self supporting and independent of other colonies , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

5 General Information About Subterranean Termites (Subs) Subs have a caste system including Workers Soldiers Reproductives , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

6 General Information About Subterranean Termites (Subs) Workers and nymphal reproductives do all the work in the colony Building the nest Gathering food Feeding the soldiers and reproductives Workers and nymphs do all the damage to structures , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

7 General Information About Subterranean Termites (Subs) Soldiers guard the colony from attack Workers and soldiers are blind , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

8 General Information About Reproductive Subs There are primary and secondary reproductives in a subterranean colony. Winged adults are referred to as alates or primary reproductives, They emerge from the colony at certain times of the year in great numbers - this is called a “swarm” , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

9 General Information About Reproductive Subs After a swarm, the reproductives lose their wings and attempt to start a new colony. Very few swarmers will survive and start a new colony. Secondary reproductives are non-pigmented and usually occur in large numbers (they are responsible for producing the large numbers of eggs) , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

10 How Termites Develop and Live Termites have a gradual metamorphosis - egg, nymph and adult. Termites develop from a egg laid by a primary or secondary reproductive female. Nymphs hatch and undergo several molts. Adults develop into one of four castes: workers soldiers secondary reproductives primary reproductives In new colonies the first to hatch are all workers , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

11 There Are Three Species of Subterranean Commonly Found Eastern Subterranean Termites - Reticulitermes flavipes swarms from Feb to June, Sept to Nov swarm year round when associated with heated slabs Light Southeastern Subterranean Termites - Reticulitermes hageni swarms Aug to Oct, Oct to Feb in Florida Southeastern Subterranean Termites - Reticulitermes virginicus swarms May to June, Oct to Nov , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

12 Worker Termites Workers are the most numerous forms in the colony. Workers perform all the work of the colony. In the process of making tunnels and building the nest, they consume and digest cellulose. The destruction of the wood is what makes the subterranean termite economically important. Workers are light colored and have no developed wings or other specialized structures. Workers are often confused with ants and in some parts of the world, termites are called “white Ants” or “Wood Worms” , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

13 Soldier Termites Soldier termites serve the specific purpose of protecting the colony. Soldier termites have an enlarged head and large mandibles. When a break occurs in the structure of the tunnels or the nest, the soldiers gather around the break and insert their mandibles and head into the break to protect the colony from invasion , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

14 Secondary Reproductive Termites Secondary reproductives are also referred to as “supplementary reproductives” Both sexes are wingless and have rudimentary wing pads. They are developed as needed and quickly replace the queen if she is injured or dies. The secondary reproductives are the primary producers of eggs in the colony. If secondary reproductives, with males, soldiers and workers become isolated from the colony, they may create a new colony without being visible above the ground , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

15 Primary Reproductive Termites primary reproductives are the caste most often seen by homeowners - they are the “swarmers”. The adults are dark in color and have four wings of equal length. Swarmers are not usually found in colonies which are less than a year old. Swarms usually occur in the spring or fall and both males and females will leave the colony in great numbers. Swarms usually occur on warm sunny days, when the humidity is high (a foggy spring morning, with a rising temperature at mid morning is ideal) , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

16 Termite Swarms If the conditions are perfect, the swarm will usually occur between mid morning to mid afternoon. The swarmers make a brief flight, land and break off their wings, and attempt to form a new colony. Swarmers are practically defenseless and only a very small percentage of the swarmers will survive. A surviving pair will make a cell, mate and begin to lay eggs. The first termites produced will be workers and they will be smaller than normal , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

17 Ants Compared to Termites elbowed antennae two pair of wings - not equal in length eyes present and large in all castes a thin waist usually swarm in late afternoon or evening bead like antennae two pair of wings - equal in length eyes small or absent with some castes blind a thick waist usually swarm in mid morning to afternoon AntsTermites , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

18 How Termite Cause Damage The workers and nymphs do all the damage. Termites feed on the spring wood and use the masticated wood for food and to construct their tunnels and colonies. Termites do structural damage when the eaten wood provided support for the structure , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

19 How Termite Cause Damage Termites do superficial damage when the wood is not part of the support system of a structure. Termites will attack any substance which contains cellulose, such as : paper, cotton fabric, carpet backing, money, books, pallets, and even paper wrapping on electrical wiring , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

20 How Termite Cause Damage Termites cause damage due to the shear numbers of workers and nymphs feeding all the time. Termites control the moisture within their galleries and tunnels, and as long as the termites are actively using these areas, the wood will remain relatively sound. When termites leave an area or are through feeding in an area, the galleries and tunnels will dry out and the damage will become more evident. Dried termite damage becomes brittle and the wood collapses. Old damage and tunnels are the most common indicators of an infestation , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

21 What Does Termite Damage Look Like Subterranean termite damage is readily distinguished because of the presence of masticated wood and mud in the tunnels and galleries. Subterranean termite damage looks like a “book” because only the spring wood is eaten away. When paper or fabric is damaged, it appears as irregular holes and will have traces of mud around the outer edges. When old damage is found, it will generally be very brittle and will crumble upon being touched. Subterranean termite damage is not as severe as Formosan termite damage , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

22 Making A Termite Inspection To make a proper inspection, you need a good light a probing tool a measuring device an inspection report The inspector needs knowledge of the biology and identity of the pests included in the inspection the appearance of their damage building construction The key to making a good inspection is being thorough , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

23 Making A Termite Inspection Start the inspection by preparing an accurate diagram of the property. As the property is inspected, the inspector should search for evidence of current or prior infestations swarmer wings swarmers in spider webs mud tunnels damaged wood The location of each piece of evidence should be noted on the structural diagram. The type and complexity of the construction should also be noted , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

24 To Make A Good Inspection Be thorough Be accurate Know your pests Document everything , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

25 Basic Concepts of Subterranean Termite Control The basic premise for subterranean termite control is to separate the structure from the termites. Actually killing the colony is achieved with the use of spot treatments and baits. Placement of mechanical or chemical barrier between the ground and the structure is only effective if the moisture source for the colony does not exist above the ground level. A good working knowledge of building construction practices is very important for effectively treating subterranean termites. Without termite control, no cellulose products are immune to their attack , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

26 Basic Concepts of Subterranean Termite Control Remove all stumps, roots, wood, and similar materials from areas adjacent to the foundation or beneath the structure. Remove all form boards and grade stakes used in construction. make sure there is no contact between woodwork and the soil or filled areas. Exterior wood should be a minimum of 6 inches above ground. Crawl spaces should be a minimum of 18 above the ground , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

27 Basic Concepts of Subterranean Termite Control Ventilation openings should be designed to prevent dead air spaces. Ventilation of 2 square feet per 25 linear feet of the outside foundation wall is recommended - this helps to reduce the moisture beneath the structure. A thorough annual inspection should be conducted to discover evidence of additional termite activity. If wood must be in contact with the soil, it should be pressure treated. Stucco should stop a minimum of 4 inches above the ground level , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

28 Basic Concepts of Subterranean Termite Control - off grade construction Off grade construction is when the structure is supported on piers or a foundation wall. Termiticide should be applied on all sides of the piers and foundation wall at a rate of 2 gallons per 5 linear feet of pier or foundation. Application should carry the termiticide to the top of the footer or base of the foundation wall. Hollow block foundation walls, fireplaces, porch fills and other such areas should be treated at a rate of 1 gallon of termiticide per 10 square feet , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

29 Basic Concepts of Subterranean Termite Control - on grade construction On grade construction is commonly called slab construction. The exterior wall of an on grade structure should be treated, applying 2 gallons of termiticide per 5 linear feet. The area beneath the slab should be treated at the rate of 1 gallon per 10 square feet. Access to the area beneath the slab is provided by drilling through the slab at strategic points and intervals and injecting termiticide through the holes , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved


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