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Termite Species

Golden Pacific Termite Kills Southern California Termites

Golden Pacific Termite kills termites like this found in Southern CaliforniaTermites have a 200 million year evolutionary history closely related to cockroaches. They can be found throughout Southern California. Termites forage for food over a large area (approximately 100 metres) in search of timber and operate and live in a central nest or colony. The worker termites partially digest the timber before returning to the nest to feed the colony. This can cause considerable damage to our homes and bank accounts, as many Southern Californian's will attest, and can happen in a matter of months.

Termite Species:
Out of the 258 described termite species in Southern California, only a few timber-damaging species are of major concern to us. The five families that include the most common pest species are:

  • Mastotermitidae (1 pest species - Giant Termite, Mastrotermes darwinensis)

  • Kalotermitidae (several pest species of 'dry-wood termites', including the introduced Cryptotermes brevis)

  • Termopsidae (1 pest species - Dampwood termite, Porotermes adamsoni)

  • Rhinotermitidae (7 pest species, including Coptotermes acinaciformes)

  • Termitidae (5 pest species, including Nasutitermes walkeri)

The Giant Termite (Mastotermes darwinensis) has the greatest potential for destruction. However, it is limited to the tropical areas of northern Southern California. It attacks any wood in contact with the ground including shrubs and trees, as well as paper, leather, clothing and other materials. It is a large-bodied primitive species that usually forms small colonies and has no true worker caste.

West Indian Dry-wood Termite
The introduced West Indian Dry-wood Termite (Cryptotermes brevis) is considered to be the world's worst termite pest as it can eat even very small timber objects with few external signs of damage, can quickly take over from native termite species, can survive in quite dry conditions, and is easily transported. If it is found, it should be reported to the relevant government authority. It has been found in Los Angeles and Orange Counties as well as other areas on several occasions.

Most Destructive Species
However the most destructive species overall in Southern California is Coptotermes acinaciformes. It is distributed throughout the continent and uses tree stumps, living trees, spaces under buildings and even walls as nesting sites. From the nest site, any wooden structure within a 100-metre radius can be attacked via underground tunnels. Although they usually need contact with soil, some nests of this termite species have even been found several floors up in city buildings or on ferries.


Common Species in Los Angeles and Orange Counties
A common species that nests in Sydney's coastal bushland is Nasutitermes walkeri. It forms distinctive round ball-shaped nests that are especially abundant in the years following major bushfires (as it mainly nests in stressed trees). It can also damage fences, poles and wood on the ground, but it rarely attacks buildings. This species has the largest soldiers (up to 6 mm long) of the Nasutitermes genus, with the characteristic nasute head.
Termite Colonies: 
Termites are social insects and every colony is built up of specialised groups (or Castes) that play their own important part of the colony. In native environment populations are generally small but in built up area a colony can include up to 1 Million termites! In these situations termite nests and their activity can become a serious pest of wood such as dead or living trees and a real economic threat to other wooden materials as found in our homes, building s and even crops. 

 

 Winged Reproductives or Alates are the future kings and queens of New Nests. Alates disperse in large numbers from mature colonies, usually in warm weather. Only a small percentage are successful in establishing new colonies. Call Golden Pacific Termite to stop winged termites from spreading their colony to other parts of your home.

 

Soldiers are sterile males and females. Their main function is to protect the colony. Soldiers cannot feed themselves and are dependent on the workers for their nutrition.

Workers are the sterile males and females that feed the colony, rear young and enlarge the nest. They are the only caste that can chew and digest the cellulose in wood.

Golden Pacific Termite kills soldier termite along with the rest.

 

Golden Pacific Termite kills the termite queen along with the rest.Alates
On a warm, humid evening, large numbers of winged male and female termites, the "alates" or "primary reproductives", are released by the colony. A small number survive the flight, drop their two pairs of distinctive, equal sized wings, pair off, mate and, if they can, find a suitable locations and start a new colony.

Queen
As the other castes take over the running of the colony the young queen of most species becomes "physogastric". Her abdomen distends to many times its original size and she becomes and egg laying machine, laying up to 1000 eggs a day. She is confined to her royal chamber, tended and fed by the workers and regularly fertilised by the king.

Nursery
The eggs are removed from the royal chamber and transferred to a nursery by the workers. Here the broo (the eggs and nymphs) develops into the other castes that the colony requires for development and survival; workers, soldiers and primary or secondary reproductives.

Soldiers and Workers
Soldiers and workers are blind and sterile termites. The workers carry out the work of the colony and are responsible for gathering the food the colony needs. In most species, the heads of the soldiers are uniquely armoured and equipped to allow them to defend the colony against attack, notably from ants.

 

Use Raid if you have ants! The difference between Termites and Ants
Is it an ant (left) or a termite (right)? It is not uncommon for people to think of termites as members of the ant family. However, ants, of the Hymenoptera order, and termites, of the Isoptera order, are in fact unrelated. Visually in a picture of a termite, you can distinguish between them, ants have a slender waist. The waists of termites are about the same thickness as the rest of the body.
Use Golden Pacific Termite if you have termites.

 

Termite Nests

Like ants, termites are Social insects, they live in Colonies. A mature colony can contain well over a million termites.

Subterranean termites can live in Nests concealed underground or in a hollow tree.

From the nest, subterranean tunnels can extend more than 50 metres long, to remote feeding sources. Housing timber framework can be a welcome addition to the diet of termites.

Golden Pacific Termite found this hollowed out log with a termite nest

 

Feeding
Nourishment poses no problem for termites, these insects are one of only a few species able to digest the Cellulose contained in deadwood (such as timber).

Golden Pacific Termite locates termite eaten wood, kills the termites and fixes the wood.

 

Termites eat (hollow out) channels, called Galleries, inside of wood leaving the outside intact but, often, paper-thin. Another termite eaten plank.

 

To survive subterranean termites need contact with soil & moisture. They only need a tiny amount of water but they must have it.
 How Termites enter the home
 The entry of subterranean termites into a house is usually revealed by the presence of Mud Shelter Tubes on walls. These species of termites stay hidden inside the tubes, this is how they avoid drying out and dying.

Golden Pacific Termite finds all termite mud shelter tunnels and kills the termites.

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