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Check out some of the unique characteristics of common pests in our area. Send us a photo of your pest for better identification.
Eastern Subterranean Termite
The Eastern subterranean termite (Reticulitermes flavipes) is the most common termite in North America. They are the most economically important wood destroying insects in the United States and are classified as pests. They feed on cellulose material such as structural wood, wood fixtures, paper, books,and cotton. A mature colony can range from 20,000 workers to a high of 5 million workers and the queen of the colony can add 5,000 to 10,000 eggs per year to the total.
Because termites are social insects, they share a lot of their tasks. This can be seen through the caste system, where different castes take on different responsibilities for the good of the whole colony. R. flavipes cooperate in the rearing of young and also share their resources with the nest. Swarming is the sudden, dramatic appearance of R. flavipes alates in the daytime from February to April. After this behavior male and female alates lose their wings, pair up, and form new colonies.
Formosan Subterranean Termite
The Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus) is an invasive species of termite. It has been transported worldwide from its native range in southern China to Formosa, Taiwan, where it gets its name and Japan. In the 20th century it became established in South Africa, Hawaii and in the continental United States.
The workers provide the food, soldiers defend the nest, and reproductives breed the colony. The queen of the colony has a life span of approximately 15 years and is capable of producing up to 2,000 eggs per day. The workers and soldiers may live 3–5 years with caste proportions of approximately 360 workers: 40 soldiers. A colony is surrounded by an extensive foraging system consisting of tunnels underneath the ground, with a mature colony containing millions of termites.