Termites are known as the “silent destroyers” due to their abilities of chewing through wood, flooring, wallpaper and other similar material. Termites do not come alone but carry themselves in colonies. Colonies vary in size comprising of two individuals extending to hundreds of thousands and can reach up to millions of individuals forming castes that are distinguished upon characteristics. In identifying termites it is important to note the soldiers,alates ,the winged, unmated reproductive caste and etc. Another importance identification source is the appearance of the damaged wood that is consumed.The following are a list of termites that are commonly found in the NYC area:
Eastern Subterranean Termites:
Subterranean Termites are either a dark brown or black in color, about ¼ to ½ inch long with two pairs of wings equally close in length. The works caste do not have wings and are cream colored whereas, the soldiers also do not have wings but possess large mandibles , and are cream colored but their heads are a brown hue.
Signs of Infestation:
A subterranean termite’s damage to wood usually has an an accumulation of soil or mud within tunnels of wood they feed on. These termites only eat softwood so the wood appears to be layered.
Formosan Termites prefer warm climates and are highly dense in population south of the U.S . However, they are becoming more common sighted as far north as New York. The head of this termite are oblong in comparison to the rectangular shaped head of the subterranean termite.The swarmers, or adult termites, are a yellow hue and are on average about ½ inch long. Additionally, they have small hairs on their transparent wings.
Signs of infestation:
Formosan Termites consume wood and leave behind smooth sided galleries. Their damage to wood also causes wall or other structural areas to sag.
Drywood Termites in their mature stage have two sets of wings. Although, it is important to note that swarmers shed their wings quickly so most dead swarmer bodies do not have attached wings. On average, they measure 12mm in length.
Signs of Infestation:
Drywood Termites damage is recognizable in that they cut across the grain of wood leaving a characteristic pattern of chambers and tunnels, in which fecal pellets are left behind. These fecal pellets, which are distinctive in appearance with six longitudinal flattened sides, may be the first sign of their presence.
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