- Scientific name is: Reticulitermes flavipes.
- Are the most economically important wood destroying insect in North America
- Most common termite species found in North America
- Colonies are comprised of a caste system made of three categories: worker, soldier, and reproductive.
- Mature colonies range from twenty thousand to 5 million workers.
- This species along with Reticulitermes virginica is responsible for eighty percent of the 2.2 billion dollars spent every year in the United States on termite control.
- Size depends on what caste the particular termite falls under.
- Workers and soldiers are about three to five millimeters long.
- Reproductives are roughly one centimeter long.
- Color and features also depend on what caste the termite is in.
- Workers are a creamy white, have round heads, are wingless, and are blind.
- Soldiers are yellowish tan with a brown head and long black mandibles.
- Reproductives are black, have two pairs of wings, and beaded antennae.
- Feed on cellulose gathered from wood, books, and cotton.
- Burrow through any material containing cellulose, but can tunnel through non cellulose containing material to reach a destination.
- This makes them especially destructive to human structures.
- Have a primary queen and a secondary and tertiary queen to continue the colony if the primary queen dies.
- Primary queen lays five to ten thousand eggs every year.
- Workers make up the majority of a colony and eat the wood.
- They are sterile and are tasked with foraging for food and water, feed and groom other termites, care for the young and the eggs, construct and repair shelter tubes, and aid in colony defense.
- Soldiers defend the colony with their mandibles and fontanelle which sprays a sticky latex to ensnare enemies.
- They make up one to two percent of the colony and cannot feed themselves.
- Sometimes the Eastern subterranean termites make a dramatic appearance and swarm between the months of February and April.
- The reproductives of the colony use this method to mate and form new colonies.
- Ridding a home of termites takes special skills like knowledge of building construction to identify critical termite invasion areas.
- Termite pest control may also use special equipment like masonry drills and soil treatment rods.
- There are two methods of treatment: liquids and baits.
- Some liquid options are soil applied termiticides that provide a long lasting barrier that keeps termites from leaving the ground and entering buildings.
- Non-repellant liquids have proven to be more effective of ridding an area of ridding an area of a termite problem on the first try.
- Termite bites consist of cardboard, paper, or some other cellulose containing material combined with a slow-acting substance lethal to termites.
- Some baits are installed below ground in cylindrical plastic stations while some are placed indoors over active colony tubes.
- The baits are foraged by workers and taken into the colony where it spreads and kills the other termites.
- A combination of baits and liquid products has proven to be the most effective way of ridding areas of these terrible pests and preventing the damage they are infamous for making.