The social insect termites are sometimes called “white ants” but did you know that they are most likely related to cockroaches than ants? Termites are also considered to be among the oldest insects on the planet. At Advantage Pest Control, we want our clients to be aware of what termites are and understand their pest behaviours!
Here are some important facts about termites:
Cockroach Ancestor: Termites are categorized as insects of the infraorder Isopteraea. According to recent phylogenic studies, termites evolved from cockroaches during the Triassic or Jurassic period.
Oldest Social Insect: Termites evolved from their cockroach descendants over 200 million years ago, making them one of the oldest social insects on the planet.
Three Species in Canada: There are more than 3,106 species of termites in the world but only three species are found in Canada, and these are the western subterranean termite (Reticulitermes hesperus), eastern subterranean termite (Reticulitermes flavipes), and the dampwood termite (Zootermopsis angusticollis).
Social Colonies: Termites build social colonies with differentiated casts. The three castes of termites are the workers, soldiers and reproductive. A termite colony can reach maturity in 10 years.
Types of Termites: The types of termites can be determined based on their moisture requirement. The three types are known as damp-wood termites, dry-wood termites, and subterranean termites.
Termites Appearance Varies: Worker termites are pale and soft-bodied, with chewing mouthparts. Soldier termites are darker and larger in appearance, and they have harder and longer heads than worker termites. Reproductive termites have wings, and these wings vanish right after they find a partner.
Detrivores: Termites are known to have wood-eating habits, but they are also considered detrivores. They feed on dead plants at any level of decay and thus contribute to atmospheric methane, produced from digesting cellulose.
Termites are Destructive Pests: The wood structure damage done by termites in the southwestern United States costs around $1.5 billion each year, while in Canada, the first economic damage of termites was reported in 1944. Worldwide damage cannot be determined as of the moment, but the only thing certain is that 183 known species of termites out of 1306 cause wood damage all throughout the planet.
For termite infestations or questions about termites, you can contact our pest control team in Toronto! At Advantage Pest Control we want to educate and take care of our clients!