What are Termites?
Termites are known as white ants, which unlike ants, they actually are not social insects, but rather solitary ones. The worker ants do all the work while the queen and king ant live in a special burrows that have been specially made by the ant. While there are around 4,000 different species of termite, just about ten percent of these are truly dangerous to structures, crops, and woods, while the rest are important biochemically.
There are many different kinds of infestation, including Drywood Termites, Boxelder Termites, or European Termite, which are most common in the southern part of the U.S., and the subterranean termites which live underground and are usually found in houses. Most termites start out as worker ants who build a network of tubes and tunnels under the ground in order to move food from one area to another. As termites grow they will tunnel out further into the ground, eventually building huge mounds of soil and vegetation from soil as well as wood, paper, cotton, wool, or any other organic material that can support their colony. Although termites do not usually eat wood, they do use it as a source of nutrients for making their nests, because wood is much more dense and fibrous than anything else. Infestations can be prevented by treating your home for termites, but sometimes the damage is done, because even if you do find a termite infestation, it may not be visible until it has destroyed large amounts of your wood or injured someone in the process.
One type of termites that is especially damaging to structures of all types is the ‘boxelder bug’ which eats through almost any type of wood. This insect has red-colored mud tubes and sucks the sap off of softwoods, cedar, fir, or pine. They have small wings that propel them and their body has a black color that is also very well marked. The worker ants will go searching for new wood to fill the holes that these winged insects create and the swarmers emerge to finish the job.
If you want help determining what type of Termites you have and schedule a Termite Inspection in Phoenix, AZ contact us for help.