Often known as white ants or anai-anai, termites are far more gruesome than just regular common ants. It could be every homeowner’s nightmare when their homes are infested by termites as they strike without any warning. Not only that, damages could be going on unnoticed for months before you spot signs of termites. Termites can easily empty out a door in 2 weeks!
Research shows that termites are responsible up to RM40 million worth of structural damages every year in Malaysia. Did you know that most home insurance policies do not cover property damages caused by termites? Not only does it cause a dent in your bank account, but it can also be exceptionally dangerous for you and your loved ones if floorboard or roof collapses.
While termites may bite or sting, they don’t transmit any diseases. However, termite droppings may cause allergic reactions or even asthma attacks. It also can be very stressful when your home is infested with them.
Find out more on what these pesky bugs look like before they invade your home.
Termite Life Cycle
Termites, like most living life cycles, start off from eggs, which takes about 30 days for them to hatch. The hatchlings are called nymphs and they will then grow into different castes. Each caste has specific roles and duties within the termite colony. Let’s get to know each of the stages they go through!
1) Worker Termites
Worker termites are the largest populated castes in the colony. They are often described as creamy white. They are the breadwinners as they bring back food to feed the colony. Without worker termites, the colony will not exist. They feed on cellulose, which is what woods are made of. They are also extremely hardworking as they eat 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
These tireless bugs are the very nemesis of your home. Besides foraging for food, they also tend to the young and other colony members like the King and Queen.
2) Soldier Termites
Soldier termites, as the name suggests, are the colony defenders against threats or attacks by predatory enemies such as ants and other termite colonies. They can be differentiated by their large hard head jaws, which are darker in colour. Soldier termites use their head jaws to release toxins to keep invaders away. Here’s a fun fact: soldier termites can’t feed themselves. So, they still need their worker siblings to help when it comes to food.
It’s easy to differentiate alates as they stand out more than other termites. That’s right. It’s their wings! The future kings and queens are born with wings where they leave their colony and search for a mate in large swarms. When they finally mate one, the royal pair will find a new place to start their own colony. They then break off their wings and settle down in their new home to raise their colony.
They are also often mistaken with ant swarmers. Alates have a thick waist, straight antennae and their wings are both equal in size whereas, for ant swarmers, they have pinched waist, elbowed antennae and their wings are both different in size.
4) Queen And King Termites
A Queen termite’s job is to give life to the colony and reproduce. Did you know that a queen termite can live for more than 15 years and lay up to 30,000 eggs every day! With such a long lifespan, imagine the number of eggs that hatch over the years. The King and Queen are responsible for their young until they are able to take over the duties in the colony. And guess who has to feed the royal pair? Of course, it’s the worker termites!
Don’t Risk Your Home and Family with Termites
Rentokil Colony Elimination Plan (RCEP) allows you to safeguard your property against Coptotermes termite infestation.
Termite baiting stations will be installed at identified active termite hotspots. The worker termites will feed on the bait with active ingredients and share it among its colony members. Remember they share food? This affects termite by stopping them from moulting. When the worker termites die off, the colony will decline until it is no longer sustainable, leading to its elimination.
If you suspect or worry that your home is infested with termites, the rule of thumb is DO NOT PANIC. Secondly, don’t attempt to sweep or remove the termites as it might send them hiding.
Call us today at 1300 881 911 or contact us online. With Rentokil’s Action 2/24, we endeavour to respond to your enquiries within 2 hours or the first thing in the next business day and actions will be taken within 24 hours.