Termites are the most common and most destructive pest that we treat.
Termites are social insects that live in a colony like ants or bees. Their sole diet is cellulose so they seek wood, cardboard and paper. The only member of a termite colony which can actually eat timber is the worker caste.
They are present throughout Australasia.
Termites live in a colony. The colony is made up of separate castes, each of which has a specific role:
- workers; and
Each of these castes play a specific role in the development and continuing life of the colony. The individual tasks of each caste are coordinated by a complex system of communication.
One caste of the termite colony has two pairs of equal length wings. This alone makes them unique in the insect world. Although many other insects have two pairs of wings, none other than termites have two pairs equal in length.
Termites are often referred to as white ants. This misnomer comes about by the fact that termites approximate ants in their size and general overall appearance and that they are white, or creamy, in colour.
Termites are generally classified in either of two ways:
- the moisture content of their food
- the scientific classification of termite species
There are three types of termites:
- subterranean termites;
- dampwood termites; and
- drywood termites.