Subterranean termites are the greatest economic pest in the PHILIPPINES. These termites cause billions of pesos in damage each year to homes, historical structures, and commercial buildings. In addition to buildings, termites also consume valuable books, documents and photographs. Subterranean termites have existed for over 55 million years and are extremely good at what they do. A great deal of their success can be attributed to their cooperative behavior. Subterranean termites are social insects. This means that they live in family groups called colonies. Social insects are different from other insects (grasshoppers, cockroaches, or beetles) because each termite in the colony performs a specific job that benefits the colony as a whole. Most other insects work only for themselves. For example, each individual grasshopper will feed and reproduce itself independently of its siblings. In the termite colony, an entire group or caste of termites is responsible for feeding their parents and siblings, while another caste is responsible for reproduction. Because of this division of labor, the colony of individuals functions as a single animal. The following is a description of how a subterranean termite colony becomes established and how the different castes interact and communicate as the colony grows.
SPECIES OF SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES IN THE PHILIPPINES
Drywood termites are a group of termites that build their nests within moisture-free wood. They belong to the Kalotermitidae family spanning several genera, and are considered primitive termites. Drywood termite genera include the most distinctive and widespread; probably Cryptotermes. Drywood termites are sometimes called powderpost or furniture termites due to being found commonly infesting furniture. There is similarity between drywood and dampwood termites in that both nest inside wood. But unlike dampwood termites, which require moist wood in which to nest in, drywood termites need wood that is dry, and therefore, have adapted well to human habitation, finding an ideal habitat in the dry wooden frames, beams, and furniture in homes and buildings. Living inside wood that has no contact with water, drywood termites have this curious ability to metabolize water from the wood that they eat, absorbing and reabsorbing water from their feces, as needed. In humid conditions, drywood termites will excrete liquid feces, but in dry conditions, they reabsorb the moisture in their intestines, and excrete their feces as pellets (which are called frass). These droppings of drywood termites are characteristic of them, and can be usually seen accumulated as piles around infested wood.
Dampwood termites are the largest of all termite species and can range from 1/3 inch to well over 1/2 inch in length. Because of their large size and ability to damage wood more rapidly than their cousin subterranean and drywood termites, they are considered an important economic pest in areas along the Pacific Coast.
Dampwood termites live in moist wet areas such as fence posts, trees, wood siding in contact with the ground, rotten eaves, sheds and other similar areas. The moisture content in the wood has to be sufficient enough to be of interest to the dampwood termite, otherwise they cannot live. Dampwood termites are often called “rottenwood” termites because of their desire for very moist and rotted wood.
Dampwood termites require a constant water source or close contact with water and very rarely if ever can survive even in a high humidity climate without access to water. They require high amounts of moisture, humidity and access to water. For this reason, they tend to nest in trees, damp logs and untreated posts. Dampwood termites are also known to infest live living trees. The fecal pellets produced by Dampwood termites are hexagonal in shape, which means they have six sides. When the termite first excretes a pellet, it is hard. This frass is usually a medium-light brown color. Due to the moisture in the environment, the droppings do not hold this shape. Instead, pellets clump together, resembling a gluey paste. The more humid the termites’ nest, the less distinguishable the frass will be.
TERMITE BARRIERS AND TERMITE PREVENTION
A chemical termite barrier is a chemical barrier around the outside of your home. It not only stops termites from entering your property, its slow-acting formula allows time for one termite to spread the chemical to other termites so the entire colony is eradicated. While deadly to termites, a chemical termite barrier is completely safe for humans, pets and native animals.
Depending on the home and surrounds, chemical termite barriers can be very effective and affordable. Here are some things to keep in mind if you are considering a chemical termite barrier.
The termite chemical must penetrate soil around your home to a depth of at least 100 mm. To achieve this, Pest Criminal termite technician will dig a small trench. If the trench is not deep enough, the chemical will not give effective protection from termites that tunnel underground. We take great care to dig a trench of correct dimensions while avoiding damage to pipes and gardens around your home.
To get the chemical to the soil under concrete slabs we drill small access holes. This is difficult, time-consuming work. Some companies save time by drilling fewer holes. Pest Criminal Termite Specialist follows Guidelines and drills access holes no more than 12 inches apart and then plug holes after treatment.
Chemical Quantity and Concentration:
Termite chemicals are expensive. And to form an effective termite barrier you have to use a lot (e.g. the average treatment uses 500-600 litres of termite chemical). One way a termite company may attempt to make more money (or offer a cheaper price) is to apply less chemical or diluted chemical. While some companies may apply only 3 litres of chemical per metre, we use the recommended 10 litres of full-strength chemical per metre (100L/m3). With Pest Criminal Termite Specialist you can be sure you’re getting what you pay for – an effective termite barrier.
Type of Chemical:
Three types of chemicals are commonly used for termite barriers – Fipronil, Imidacloprid and Bifenthrin. You may know these by their brand names Domino, Novel, Premise or Biflex. These chemicals are completely safe for humans, pets and native animals but deadly to termites. Although all chemicals may be effective, some are more suitable for certain types of homes and surrounds. An application of the wrong chemical may be giving you false security and leave your home vulnerable to termite invasion. Pest Criminal Termite Specialist will conduct a thorough analysis and give you an expert recommendation on which chemical barrier will be most effective.
PRE-CONSTRUCTION SOIL POISONING
Soil poisoning is one of the very first steps in the building process.Prior to the laying of your foundations, the ground beneath your future home needs to be treated for subterranean termites. The soil poisoning process involves the drilling of holes – one meter apart – around the perimeter of the foundations. Termiticides are then pumped into the soil in order to saturate the ground.It’s crucial that this is done by a pest control company that’s licensed and registered. This will ensure that the treatment is done thoroughly, is effectively carried out and that chemicals that are non-toxic to humans and animals are used.
TERMITE BAITING SYSTEMS
Termite Baiting Systems. A termite baiting system is a series of Ground Stations placed around the perimeter of your home. These ground stations contain a special type of timber that is particularly attractive to termites. Once termite activity is detected, a slow-acting chemical is applied to the ground station. Because termites are social creatures (they feed and groom each other) they pass the chemical along and soon the entire colony is eliminated.
Here are some things to keep in mind when considering a baiting system:
Is It Really The Best System For You: While baiting systems can be effective, they are not ideal for all situations. Some termite control companies aggressively sell baiting systems because they require constant monitoring. This usually involves a monthly fee for the life of the system. It may be good business for the termite control company, but it’s not always the best for you. It can be very expensive. We will only recommend a baiting system when we genuinely believe it’s the best solution for you.
Type of Bait: As silly as it sounds, some baiting systems are ineffective because of the design of the ground stations. We only use ground stations that allow us to carry out inspections without disturbing the termites. If termites are disturbed during inspection they can abandon the ground station making it difficult to carry out treatment.
Bait Positioning: Ground stations (like chemicals) are expensive. Some termite companies may try to increase their profits (or lower their prices) by installing fewer ground stations than you need. To give effective detection and treatment we follow Australian Guidelines and install ground stations every 3 meters around the perimeter of your home. When a driveway is more than 3 meters across, we drill a small access hole and install a special concrete ground station. That’s one of the reasons we can guarantee to get rid of termites from your home.