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The winged reproductive caste (alates) is dark brown to brown or black, with brownish-gray wings. Except for the queen, all other members of the colony are whitish.
Soldiers look like peanuts. But we can't recommend them roasted. Swarmers have wings. The front wings have two dark, hardened veins in front, and the front wing is larger than the hind wing. When swarming, they are black and their wings are twice the rest of their body.
They are the most destructive and widespread termites in the U.S. As the name suggests, they are most common in the western states, from British Columbia, south to western Mexico, and east to Idaho and Nevada.
Unlike other termites, subterraneans prefer not to live in their food, having a slightly elevated sense of lifestyle. They are also unique in that they choose to live underground. Rather than embracing moisture like dampwood termites, they live between it – below the frost line but above the water table.
They're claustrophobic, and build mud tubes so they can easily get fresh air and food. Secondary colonies may live above ground if there is moisture, such as a leaky pipe.
Do they read the comics first? The world will never know. No spring wood is safe from them, but in summer, they stick to the newspapers because they cannot digest the lignin in the wood.
It takes two to start a colony. After swarming, a pair of reproductives construct a cavity for a future home site, then mate within one day. The female lays about 10 eggs, which hatch 50 days later, giving the pair plenty of time to get settled in. Development takes over 5 months, with up to 7 instars (stages). Swarmers don't even appear until the third or fourth year. Swarming takes place in daytime in the spring in the northern regions, and following rain in southern regions. In the fall, swarms can get pretty big in some areas.
They mostly eat spring wood, leaving the summer wood untouched, so the damaged wood appears to be layered. Soil is found in the galleries of their nest.
A crack less than 1/16 inch (1-2 mm) wide is all the clearance they need.
In the case of wood-destroying pests, a registered company and state-licensed inspector will need to inspect the structure to find and identify conditions. A written report will be issued, which must list findings and appropriate recommendations as per the rules and regulations established by the regulatory agencies in the various states.
Consult with your local office for the requirements that affect your structure. This termite lives in the ground rather than the wood, traveling through tunnels they create to reach their food. This insect swarms annually. It is important to have regular inspections to identify infestations.
The control method recommended depends on the location of the infestation. Liquid barrier treatment or baiting may be recommended.
In light of certain physical conditions, the structure, or at the property owner's request not to use residual pest materials, termite baiting systems may be more practical or desirable. Recommendations for the control of this insect should also include recommendations to repair structural damages caused by it.
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