What are termites?

Termites are ant-like creatures that quietly destroy the integrity of a house. While its features come close to that of an ant, these little creatures were descendants of the cockroach family. To date, there are roughly 3,000 species of termites recorded worldwide.

Despite being identifies as cousins of the roaches, termites behave like ants. They have a social system where there are male and female soldiers and workers – these are the sterile termites. The sterile termites produce the food; maintain the walls of the colony; defends the colony; and keeps the nest ready for mating. Those who defend the colony have bigger heads and more powerful jaws to fight off predators like ants. The fertile ones are called “kings” and “queens” of the colony. Termite queens have the longest life span among insects on Earth and can live for as long as 30 to 50 years. The kings will mate with the queens for as long as it lives.

To expand their territory, alate termites or those that have wings- both males and females pair up in search for a suitable place to build a colony. Once a place is marked, the alates will start digging a space enough for mating. In the early stages, the queen can only produce 10 to 20 eggs. Once it matures, it can lay as much as 1,000 eggs and grow a colony with millions of termites.

The colony lives off by eating dead plants, leaf litter, soil, and or animal manure since they are detrivores – those that consume decomposing organisms. Some even consume minerals like iron, nickel, silver, all forms of metals, and even concrete.

WHAT DO termites do?

Termites slowly destroy anything that is biodegradable, to such extent that their roles in the ecosystem of forests were deemed important to continue to the cycle of life. However, this mission proves fatal to homes and other structures that are made of wood, concrete, or metal.

The mission begins when two termites burrows themselves in the pillars of a house or a building. From there, they will slowly reproduce. And since termites work their way inside the foundations of the house, it is highly possible that symptoms will be invisible until the reliability of the material is already compromised. These insects stay and expand the colony for as long as the environment can sustain the cluster.

To prevent the infestation, some builders use metal or concrete. However, there are termites that can also devour these materials. Hence, no surface is safe from these micro destroyers.

Metal termites like to eat rusted metal while concrete termites like to erode the concrete to sand like substance before consuming the structure.

Where do Termites usually hide?

Black Widows build their nests in the darkest most secluded places – usually in small holes dug by rodents or other animals, or around unfinished construction openings or piles of untouched wood.

At home, it can be in the darkest corner of the garage, the kitchen, or even the bed room. There are areas in this spaces that may not have been cleaned for so long since it has been used as a pile area. The kitchen may have corners that vacuum cleaners fail to reach during cleaning. Lastly, bed rooms can have a neglected crook. The above mentioned areas are the most frequent habitats of Black Widow spiders.

Note that these spiders prefer to feed at night when they will not be noticed and can blend into the darkness.

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