Subterranean swarming season is upon us…

Subterranean swarming season normally starts in March and ends in May.  This is when the Kings and Queens of the subterranean colonies swarm out to mate so they propagate to establish new colonies.

Subterranean and tree-nesting species primarily obtain their moisture from the soil.  They maintain contact with the soil in order to survive unless there is a constant above-ground source of moisture.  The type of soil has a very great effect on the ability of subterranean termites to flourish.  Subterranean termites generally prefer rather sandy soil over a clay base.  The can and do survive in many other types of soil.

Protection: Termites have relatively little resistance to drying out.  There are differences among the species, but all of them live in ways which protect them from desiccation.  One of the ways is to live inside of wood or soil or both with little, if any, exposure to outside air.  The termites tend to seal themselves into their workings by closing openings to the outside and by relying on finding sufficient moisture in their immediate environment.

They protect themselves from extremes of heat and cold by moving around inside the wood or soil in which they are nesting until they find the moist suitable temperature.  In cool climates, termites benefit from the heat energy provided by man in his structures, and they may remain active year around.  In nature, they cease activity at low temperatures.

Since they are soft-bodies, termites are very susceptible to attach by their natural enemies if they venture outside of their closed workings.  For this reason, they tend to wall off all possible access points for entry by ants and other enemies.  When, for example, dry-wood termites make an opening in the surface of the wood in which they are feeding in order to discard fecal pellets, they reseal the hole with fecal pellets cemented together with body secretions prix viagra ou.  If they invade a second piece of wood in contact with one in which they have become established, they fill the gap between the two pieces with cemented fecal pellets.  Dampwood termites tend to behave in a similar way, using soft fecal material and fecal pellets to seal all openings and gaps.

Subterranean termites often must forage far, sometimes above ground from their initial workings to find food. They move underground through tunnels.  Tree-nesting termites usually construct a nest well above ground on a tree or post.  Whenever these termites leaves the confines of the soil or the wood in which they are feeding, they construct shelter tubes in which to move from the soil to the wood or the above-ground nest.

When subterranean termites invade the wood of s structure that is separated from the soil by intervening concrete, masonry or other impervious material, they construct shelter tubes over the surface to the wood.  Periodically, they must return to the moist galleries in the soil to replenish the water lost from their bodies in the relatively dry air of their workings above ground.  There are instances where there is an above-ground source of moisture from a plumbing or rain leak or from condensation on pipes, etc.  This allows the termites to remain in the wood.