Subterranean termites spend winters underground but come springtime they begin to swarm once the ground warms to approximately 70 degrees and after the last winter freeze. When forming new colonies; flying male and female “Swarmer” termites break off their wings, enter wood through a crack or hole, mate and begin feeding. In addition to swarmers, be on the lookout for tubes as a sign you may have an issue. They build tubes to protect themselves from not only the weather elements, rain or wind, but also against predators like ants.
No one knows exactly how long termite queens live, but many are known to live at least ten years and records of some long lived mounds suggest longevity of over 40 years. Formosan queens can produce up to 1,000 eggs a day. The largest Formosan termite colony found in America had infested a public library in Algiers, La. It weighed 600 pounds and contained 70 million termites. But who’s counting?
Termites burrow into wood to obtain food. Given enough time, termites will feed until nothing is left of the wood but a shell. Collective with other termite species, they cause as much as $5 billion in damage each year. Formosan termites alone cause over $1 billion in damage every year.
Suspect a problem or want to ensure you are prepared if one develops? There is no better time to protect one of your most valued assets. Call us today to learn more about our Termite Service plan.
Facts from NPMA’s Pestworld.org
This article from the Home & Garden section of the San Antonio Express-News expands on what to look for and in general a very good read if you want to learn more about these wood destroying pests.