Tag: termite company

Learn About The Different Types of Termites

Termites in Louisiana

Due to COVID-19, families living in Louisiana are at their homes more than ever. Not only should you be taking necessary health precautions, but you should also be looking out for persistent pests like termites! We are in the midst of termite season and it’s important to know if they are swarming your home at this time. Termites cause billions of dollars of damage every year, and they can infest any and all structures. Believe it or not, no home is safe from termites without the appropriate preventative measures. 

Termite colonies are working 24 hours a day by feeding, eating and/or reproducing. One termite colony can have over 1 million members. A colony can travel over three football fields in length looking for a food source. Once a termite finds a food source, it leaves a pheromone trail to help other termites locate the source as well. Within each colony, termites perform different jobs according to their caste. There are five different members of the termite family: the Queen, King, Soldier, Worker and Alate aka “Swarmer”. Learning about the different types and how termites reproduce can help you learn what to look out for and how to control them so they don’t take over your home.

Different Types of Termites

Queen

The king and queen are the breeding types of termites. The alates emerge from an existing nest, spread their wings and fly to another place. Once there, the queen sheds her wings and she and the male burrow into the ground where they start to reproduce.

The Queen’s only job is to reproduce! A queen can lay an egg every 15 seconds for many years, sometimes thousands in a single day. They are the largest in size and weigh several times that of worker termites.

King

The King’s only job is to reproduce with the Queen to build a colony. The king termite lives next to the queen, creating a very close existence for the two of them. They are buried deep within the center of the surrounding termite nest, making them the hardest to find and see.

Soldier

A soldier’s job is to protect the colony at all costs by fighting off invaders such as ants. They fight off their predators with a front pair of mandibles in a pinching motion. They are considered the protectors of the colony. These unwanted guests can vary greatly in appearance from other members of the termite colony. They have been seen to have darker heads and larger mandibles than the workers.

Worker

The workers make up the majority of the colony and are responsible for damage to structures. They feed on structures to provide a food source for themselves as well as bring the food source back to the other colony members. In most colonies, workers are wingless and soft-bodied and are the largest single group in most termite colonies.

One thing that most people don’t know is that the workers take care of the eggs and immature termites (nymphs). They also take care of the building and maintenance of the colony structures.

Swarmer

These winged flying termites do not cause any termite damage. Their job is to swarm out, mate and return underground to start a new colony. They have a very short life span outside the colony, which is why you see many dead during swarm season.

Termite swarmers emerge from tubes built by worker termites. They range in color – from yellow to black – depending on the species. These insects are often noticed around exterior lighting and window sills.

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Termites are no joke and can destroy your residence before you know it! The Bug Man is happy to explain to you more about these insects and how or when you should proceed with treatment.

If swarming insects invade your home or you’ve noticed them in the soil around your property, contact The Bug Man today. You can also request a free estimate today or call us for all your pest control needs at (225) 923-2847.

What’s the Difference Between Swarming Ants and Swarming Termites?

Ants vs. Termites

Now that people living in Louisiana are at home more, you should be on the lookout for termites! With termite swarming season already underway, it’s more important than ever to be aware of these unwanted guests. Termites in their swarming phase can often cause confusion for homeowners experiencing this activity in or around their home. In this stage, termites are trying to mate and begin new colonies. The termite colony sizes can range from a few to thousands!

Many homeowners mistake termite swarming activity for swarming ants. Although these two pests may look alike, the treatment varies greatly. Not to mention, the damage they can cause! It’s crucial for you to know the difference between swarms of termites and winged ants in order to take the necessary prevention steps to protect your home. The Bug Man has created a guide for you to distinguish between swarming termites in swarming ants so you can seek the right treatment to eliminate them for good:

 

Termites

Something that a lot of our customers don’t know is that there are five different members of the termite family. The swarmers are just one of the five members. The other members of the colony include the Queen, King, Solider, Worker and Alate aka “swarmer”. The swarmer termites are the reproducers, measuring 4 mm long and are dark brown and/or black in color. Both termites and swarming ants have two pairs of wings that only appear when they’re swarming, however, they have differences. Termites have four wings of equal size and length that stack on top of each other when they are not flying. Their wings are easily broken, or shed after reproduction, often found around your home in the swarming phase.

The antennae of swarming termites are straight and beaded and have wide bodies with a broad waistline. Their main source of food is wood, paper, and other cellulose-based sources. 

While termites and flying ants have similar reproductive cycles, mating and establishing new colonies in warmer months, their life cycles vary greatly. Male flying ants typically die after mating, and most worker ants live for only a few months, while both male and female termites live on long past reproduction, often able to survive several years. 

 

Flying Ants

Flying ants are winged swarmers that can be seen nesting in damp or rotting wood, but may also be present in dry wood. Flying ants are omnivores that feed on seeds, nectar, and other insects and/or debris found in or around your home. The easiest way to distinguish a termite from an ant is to look at the body. Flying ants have pinched waistlines with three body parts: a head, abdomen, and thorax. They are black, brown, or reddish in color. The antennae of these pests are elbowed, unlike the termites. 

Although termites and swarming ants are similar in having two pairs of wings, the ants have front wings that are noticeably larger than their hind wings. On termites, all four wings are the same size. Ants wings also are more resistant than termites and don’t break off as easily. 

While flying ants live in large colonies similar to termites, and some (like carpenter ants) will even inhabit wood, they do not feed on wood, and therefore are much less likely to cause the structural damage that termites are known for.

 


 

Swarming termites are no joke and can destroy your home in the blink of an eye, costing you thousands. The Bug Man would be more than happy to explain to you more about these pests and what to do in the event of a termite swarm, and most importantly, how you should proceed with treatment. 

If swarming insects invade your home or are you’ve noticed them in the soil around your property, contact The Bug Man today. You can also Request an in-home estimate today or call us for all your pest needs at (225) 923-2847.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Termites

termite-blog-graphic

Termite season is officially here, and if you aren’t proactively preventing them, then they just may be eating your home and multiplying in your house as we speak!

Did you know that termites don’t sleep? Yep, that’s right. They can build their colonies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And get this, the termite queens have the longest lifespan of any insect in the world, averaging between 30 and 50 years. No wonder you can’t seem to get rid of them! Typically, termites swarm after their colony has reached their capacity level and is ready to expand. The swarming happens about once a year, usually in late spring, typically around mothers day, depending on the type of wood: dry wood or damp wood. Additionally, a termite queen can lay up to 30,000 eggs per day and one colony can have over 1 million members. These pesky intruders cause a whopping $5 billion dollars a year in damage. Follow along to find out the do’s and don’ts of termites so you can finally get rid of these unwanted guests and provide a safe environment for you and your loved ones.

Do’s

  • Do have your home under a termite contract with a company licensed by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture.
  • Do notify your termite company anytime you perform any construction around your property such as additions or open walls. Home additions need to be treated as a preventative and if termite activity is found. When walls are open during construction it gives the company an opportunity to look at the studs of your home to inspect for any termite related issues.
  • Do always retreat your home every 5 years due to the breakdown in the chemical barrier under your soil if you have a chemical contract.

If you have a termite baiting program, contact your termite company if stations are removed for any reason so they can be reinstalled as soon as possible to avoid a break in termite protection.

Dont’s

  • Don’t put off repairing moisture issues on your home. Termites are attracted to moisture and will feed heavily on this area. Seal up all leaking windows and door frames to prevent water rot and moisture issues.
  • Don’t dig out your flower beds close to your slab area if your home is under a termite contract without contacting your termite company. By digging into our treatment area, you are breaking the chemical barrier in place to keep termites out. Notify your termite company of flower bed repair and have them come back and retreat the area once work is done.
  • Don’t skip your yearly inspections! The inspections are very important due to the termite pressure in South Louisiana. This gives our technicians the opportunity to look for conducive conditions and check your slab for termite evidence and to check your bait stations if you have a termite baiting contract. Skipping your inspection will void your termite contract.

If you think you have termite damage or evidence, never disturb the suspected area. Call your termite company first to inspect as to not disperse the possible termites.


The Bug Man has offered the Sentricon Termite Baiting program since the late ’90s and has proven to be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to termites. The Bug Man also offers a chemical treatment option for termite control called the Termidor HP Injector. We are the only company in Baton Rouge and one of three in the state utilizing this new technology which eliminates the old “trench and treat” method that disturbs landscaping by instead injecting an accurate dose of chemical around the slab of a property. We also offer pre-construction options to treat the soil, slab and frame of a home while a property is being built. With these termite treatment methods, we are able to offer our customers the best options in the industry to keep termites out of your property for good!

Have a termite problem you can’t seem to fix, or just have questions about these unwanted guests? Good news, we offer FREE termite estimates. Please contact The Bug Man for all your termite needs at (225) 923-2847 or visit our contact page to get in touch.