Condo Media - March 2013 - (Page 32)

PESTS TERMITES: Early Detection is Key to Protecting Your Property THE HIDDEN INVADERS T ermite detection and control is a major component of pest control services in the United States. Condos, cooperatives and building associations can be protected from the scourge and expense associated with these destructive insects by hiring qualified and dedicated pest management professionals (PMPs). PMPs are familiar with termite biology and habits; building construction and inspection; and proper treatment, including pesticide safety. In addition they can help protect against other wood-boring pests. Termite Biology and Habits In nature, termites convert dead wood and other organic matter to humus, providing a great “recycling” service to the environment. Unfortunately, they become harmful to both wooden structures and humans when buildings near termite colonies fall prey to their destructive habits. Insects, including termites, do not differentiate between the wood found in forested areas and the wood found in homes, condominiums and apartment buildings. Termite Caste System Termites are social insects that live in self-supported colonies. These colonies are arranged by a caste system that divides individuals into three work groups: reproductives, soldiers and workers. The primary reproductives in the colony are winged adults known as swarmers. These termites leave the colony during certain times of year to mate, drop their wings and return to the sod to lay eggs and rear their young. Soldier termites defend the colony from intruders. Workers (also known as nymphs) perform many functions for the group, including building the colony, cleaning and gathering food to feed themselves, as well as the colony’s reproductives and soldiers. As procurers of food, the nymphs cause the damage to wooden structures that is popularly associated with termites. Termite Shelter Tubes Termites are drawn to the wood of your building structure, in addition to the moisture found there and in the surrounding soil. Moisture is necessary for termite subsistence, since all castes except reproductives are soft-bodied and lose water rapidly when exposed to dry air. Termites produce shelter tubes using soil, excrement, and saliva, and travel through these tubes from the colony, over exposed areas, to their feeding grounds. Shelter tubes provide a moist environment and conceal termites, protecting them from their enemies (principally ants). New England’s Subterranean Termite The most common species in New England is the subterranean termite, which lives in underground colonies. Signs of termites include winged swarmers and damaged wood. 32 Condo Media • March 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - March 2013

Condo Media - March 2013
From the CED’s Desk
Editorial Board
CAI News
CAI Regional News
Asked & Answered
Homeowner’s Corner
Vendor Spotlight
Industry Perspective
Self-Managed Association Boards
2013 CAI-NE Spring/Summer Service Directory
Classified Service Directory
Advertisers Index

Condo Media - March 2013