If there is one dreadful insect that you should fear, it is the termite. They are mostly referred to as the “silent destroyer” because they secretly hide and thrive in your home or yard without any immediate sign of damage. In Australia, you will find more than 300 different species of termites, and they have one common characteristic – they consume cellulose-based plant material.
But how well do you know these pests? Well, pestcontrolnorthbrisbane.com.au have rounded up key facts about termite that probably you never knew:
Termites are a little bit longer compared to some other common insects. An adult termite ranges from 1/4 – ½ inches in length. But the queen and the king are larger and can reach over one inch long. They are found in different colours mostly depending on the species. You can easily identify the workers of a majority of the species by their soft body and pale-colour.
Termites are categorised as detritivores or detritus feeders. They only feed on trees and dead plants. That’s the reason why they are mostly established in woodlands, wooden structures or simply drawn to wood. They get nutrients from the cellulose, an organic fibre that’s largely found in plant matter and wood. Although they also feed on other materials such as drywall, paper, and plastic, wood makes up the majority of the pest’s diet. Depending on the species of termite, some prefer dead wood while other feed on living trees.
It’s important to note that different termites have their own dietary preferences. Some feed on softwood, moist and decaying woods, while others prefer wood with little moisture if any. All termites’ mouths are capable of tearing pieces of wood. They can eat any type of wood, and if they are not properly controlled, they can bring your house or any wooden structure down with time.
They commonly live within wooden structures, soil, fallen timber and decaying trees. But the habitats may vary among some species of termites depending on their food preference. In south-east Queensland, these pests are found in significant numbers in the tropical forests due to optimal living conditions and plenty of food. There are no controls in forests, making it suitable for the pests to breed and thrive. If your home or yard has a wooden structures, then your home is at risk.
The reproduction of termites occurs during the summer months. Reproductive flying termites will leave their colonies to mate and pair off. After mating, the couple loses their wings and become queen and king and a new colony is created. The queen lays eggs that hatch into immature termites that develop into workers, reproducers, or soldier.
The colony consists of three termite types: workers, soldiers, and reproducers. Workers are responsible for feeding the colony members, caring for the young and maintaining the nest. Soldiers provides the colony with protection from intruders, while reproducers are the sexually active members that add to the colony numbers by mating and laying eggs.