Termites. Identification. Termites are social and can form large nests or colonies, consisting of three (3) major castes (types):

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1 Termites Termites are small, white, tan or black insects that can cause severe damage to wooden structures. Termites belong to the insect order Isoptera, an ancient insect group that dates back more than 100 million years. The Latin name Isoptera means equal wing and refers to the fact that the front set of wings on a termite swarmmer is the same size and shape as the hind set. This is one of the major ways to distinguish a termite from an ant. With ants the front and hind wings are of different size and shape. Termites become a problem when they consume cellulose inside of structures. This is a major misconception with the public. Most people think termites only consume wood. In fact they will consume books, carpets, paneling, desks, dry wall, etc. Identification Termites are social and can form large nests or colonies, consisting of three (3) major castes (types): 1. Reproductive winged reproductives produce the offspring in the colony and Swarm at certain times of the year. This usually occurs in the early spring. Colonies can have both primary (one king and queen) and hundreds of secondary reproductives to assist in egg laying and colony growth. Termite Queen Termite King

2 2. Workers most numerous of the colony, do the jobs necessary to keep the colony in good working order. They care for the young, construct and maintain tunnels, and forage for food. They are white and soft bodied, and can be mistaken for fly maggots. Termite Worker 3. Soldiers - responsible for defending the nest against other colonies and species. They are white, soft bodied with an enlarged head containing two large jaws which are used as a weapon against predators. Termite Soldier Termites are sometimes confused with winged forms of ants, which swarm at the same time of the year. However, termites and ants can be distinguished by checking three (3) features: Antennae Termite - slightly curved, with no elbow Ant - straight, with an elbow Wings Termite - two sets of equal length and shape Ant - two sets of unequal length and shape Waist Termite - undefined and hard to detect Ant - constricted and easy to identify

3 BugBusters Treatment methods for subterranean termites There are three methods of treatment that we employ. The first is the old traditional soil treatment or rod and drill. Chances are everyone at some point and time has had one performed on their home or remember their parents or neighbor s home being treated. Years ago we used chlorodyne based termiticides that lasted for what seemed like forever. These were the good old days but it was discovered that these chemicals could be harmful to our environment. In the early eighties the industry switched to termiticides which are cypermethrin based, almost as effective, safer for the environment, but not as long lasting. Then came the 90 s and the industry discovered what we refer to as non-repel termiticides. Until then the plan was to create a complete chemical barrier around the structure being treated. Nothing in and nothing out. Eventually all termites trapped inside of the chemical barrier would dry out and die because they could not return to the soil, which subterranean termites have to do constantly for the moisture. And of course no other termites could pass through this barrier, until the chemical would start to lose its efficacy, which generally is around five (5) years. The non-repels (Termidor) attack in a totally different method than this. When they are applied in the soil termites can not detect them and crawl right through. Each member of the colony that comes in contact with the treated soil becomes a carrier of the active ingredient. Termites are very social insects and are constantly in contact with other members of their colony. Usually within a ninety (90) day period we achieve colony elimination. There are two classifications of soil treatments 1) Standard or whole structure, meets or exceeds the state s prescribed standards. Unquestionably the best of the three. The best way to totally protect the structure. At the end of the initial warranty period (one year) the warranty can be extended by the customer for up to four (4) additional One Year Periods. The fee for this is normally ten (10) percent of the initial treatment cost per year. Upon transfer of ownership of the identified service location, the warranty can be continued upon the request of the new owner and upon payment of a contract service fee of $ ) Partial or spot, usually performed on an area of the structure that has displayed a resistance to a standard treatment. BugBusters discourages this type of treatment and normally only performs them on structures that are still in their five year (5) termite warranty period with us.

4 Soil treatments are still considered the most effective and quickest way to control and eliminate subterranean termites. They also are less expensive than the monitor/bait systems. Their drawbacks can be the noise and dust during the treatment. Some customers are reluctant to the sight of the drill holes, but if patched correctly these weather (fade) over time and are hard to detect. Keep in mind that this is the method that has been around for many years. Baiting BugBusters was one the companies that did not jump on the bait system band wagon when they were introduced to our industry. We were not convinced that a subterranean termite would voluntarily leave a structure to hit on a wood stake placed in a plastic housing located outside. Why would I stop at a fast food restaurant for a bite to eat if I just had a home cooked meal? Like anything new, when the bait systems were introduced in the mid 90 s they suffered through growing pains and had yet to be perfected. Due to the redesign of the stations and the switch to more effective baits (ones that interrupt the life cycle, not stomach poisons) we now consider baiting to be a viable option to the old tried and true method of soil treatments. Now, I may just stop at a restaurant to have desert after my home cooked meal. We partner with Whitmire Micro-Gen and offer their (Advance) Termite Bait System. We feel this system is effective at monitoring for termite activity around structures, even if after detection a soil treatment is performed. Baiting is less destructive than soil treatments, but slower acting and more expensive because the process requires multiple visits to the structure to monitor for termites, and to add or replenish baits as needed. Mixed treatments, soil treatment and bait stations Sometimes, due to environment concerns or construction type, mixed treatments are recommended. It is conceivable to have one structure employing both methods. A few examples are; homes with well water, or structures built up high that are located near a water source. Normally the area(s) that are the furthest away from the water source are soil treated while the area(s) in question are treated with monitor/bait stations. New construction pre-treats

5 It is advisable to pre-treat all new structures against termites while they are under construction. Normally this is performed by applying a termicide barrier inside and around the footer/foundation before the floor is poured. This is very effective at preventing subterranean infestations for up to ten years. This brief overview was designed to give you the customer a basic understanding of the termites that are most commonly found in our area. It is in no way intended for any other purpose. Please feel free to contact BugBusters Exterminating with any other questions concerning termites via this website, fax or telephone.

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