Fighting termites Chania. Microsome isopterous insects (3-5 mm the winged forms and up to 22 mm the winged) that are often confused with ants.
Fighting termites Chania
Appearance of termites in houses
Termites are small, isopterous insects (3-5 mm in the winged forms and up to 22 mm in the winged forms) that are often confused with ants. In Greece and southern Europe, some species have been endemic for many years that cause extensive damage to floors, frames, wooden furniture, pictures, books, etc. Often the damage is detected when the damage has progressed and often the damage is attributed to ants or moisture.
A characteristic morphological difference of the winged insect in all termite species (subterranean, drywood, and wetwood) compared to the winged ant that is easily seen with the naked eye is that the termite has equal wings (in length) while the ant has the forewings longer than the hindwings. Other morphological differences are found in the insects’ antennae (the termite has straight antennae while the ant has knee-shaped antennae), in their body (the termite does not show constrictions between the head, thorax and abdomen, unlike the ant), etc.
Like ants, they are social insects and form cohesive and cooperative colonies (societies). There are 3 castes depending on the existing needs of the colony determined by the queen and they are:
- Workers (90% of the population) responsible for guarding the eggs in the termite nest, building and maintaining the galleries, foraging and feeding all members of the colony. They are small pale yellow insects described by non-experts as white worms.
- Hoplites whose role is mainly defensive since they protect the colony from natural enemies such as ants. They are small pale yellow insects with a larger head and a darker colored head than the workers. They have a black pair of hard, pincer-like jaws that stand out even to the naked eye. A swarmer that comes out of the canals, its large population mainly in the spring and less in the fall (the most frequent sign of termite infestation) in order to expand the termite colony – nest. They pass through the earthen ducts by the dozen, leave the wings and come into coupling.
- King that inseminates the queen first for the first colony (central termite nest) and then for each subsequent one, until the end of its life.
- Queen who builds the colony by laying thousands of eggs every year until the number of insects of the whole society is sufficient.
Wood termites or wood termites mean the tiny insects of the class Isoptera, they cause damage to wood or wood or paper by-products and do not belong to the order Coleoptera (beetles). Termites (subterranean, dry and wet wood) live from 2 (termite – worker) to 12 years (queen) and the effort of each member is to protect the entire colony from temperature conditions and natural enemies, self-perpetuation, and supply with food reserves for the entire population. The main nutrient of materials consumed by termites is cellulose contained in addition to wooden frames, floors and furniture in paper (books), plant-based fabrics, veneer, plywood, melamine and particleboard (novopan). By eating the wood, termites, in contrast to other wood-eating insects, do not remove sawdust and excrement from the channels, so the damage remains hidden. They tear off thin pieces of wood with their jaws, swallow them and store them in the stomach for digestion, from where they share them with the rest of the “housemates” through bartering (transferring food or other liquids and between members of the colony from mouth to mouth or from anus to mouth). The infestation is betrayed by the appearance of winged termites, the dark color of the wood due to their watery droppings and sometimes the damage when only the varnish is left!
They have a preference for sapwood rather than heartwood due to the existence of a greater amount of starch and sugars (energy), although their damage is also observed in wood or paper derivatives. The most suitable conditions for the activity and development of termites (underground, dry and wet wood) is a temperature of 24-350C, while in colder conditions they hibernate and remain inactive until the temperature favors them. Because their body is soft and vulnerable to dehydration, they prefer humid conditions (eg leaking radiators or bathroom pipes).
Termites in Greece are divided into:
- subterranean termites (most common)
- wet wood termites
- drywood termites
Subterranean termites work underground by cooperatively constructing a large network of earthen conduits-channels (tubes) primary, secondary, ventilation channels to avoid high temperatures and for other needs of the colony (the termite nest). It is possible for channels to penetrate building materials using existing cracks and cavities or pipe passages and other openings.
Drywood termites and wetwood termites (wood termites) do not need contact with the ground, their populations are smaller, they do not do much damage and they do not build earthen conduits like underground ones. The establishment of termites in residences
occurs when swarmers enter accidentally, through an opening, vent or crack. A characteristic sign (apart from swarmers) is the small piles of droppings that are expelled from the galleries and resemble seeds. The droppings of wet wood termites are cylindrical and light in color while those of dry wood termites are dark in color and hexagonal. Wetwood termites infest wood with high moisture content, while drywood termites produce the moisture they need through their metabolism.
Update on the application methodology
We apply the modern and effective fight against termites with an insecticide formulation (Termidor) which as a mechanism of action uses the biological phenomenon that termites have, Metamorphosis. With the term “Foraging” scientists call the transfer of food or other liquids between members of a colony. Termites transfer food from mouth to mouth or from anus to mouth. This process is more advanced in social insects such as ants, wood termites, wasps and bees. We emphasize that Metamorphosis is not a method of control but a biological characteristic of termites which is used by extermination companies to combat termites.
The term was introduced by entomologist William Morton Wheeler in 1918.
The application is called Trap-Treat-Release (T.T.R). and the terminology was given by Dr. Timothy G. Myles in 1990 who used boric acid to control termites.
What insecticides do we use?
For termites we use insecticides of a special category, low risk, safe to use, odorless with water solvent. It is safely used in residential exteriors for termite control, with no risk issues for humans and pets. In the fight against termites, we are the only monastery that gives a 100% guarantee for the points where we applied the formulation.
Fighting termites Chania
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