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Termite Home Attack Styles

Very industrious by nature, termites defy working hours by being active the whole year round. Most known pests like locust follow a pattern of feeding through mating cycles and black bugs known in Asian regions of rice producing countries swarms the farm during full moons.

Definitely, it's hard to say that termites are dormant at some point of time while active in its seasonal call. Tropically adapted termites are dynamically active for the rest of their lives, whilst in cooler climatic conditions they are less active. No known holidays for these destructive pests, instead that they are just slowing down. This means that termites choose no time for rest, thus their silence is not a sign of their absence.

Food resources is one of the factors affecting the termites visibility while considering climatic conditions that directly affects the food source and shelter. Every home shelters not only the owners but the termites itself. Climatic variation of temperature doesn't directly affect the dry-wood termites lurking inside your house. Ground termites in return, build their nests even up to 18 inches below to avoid the cooler temperature above ground.

Pests in focused

Efficiently adapted to its own way of survival, like living inside tunnels with glimpse of light or nothing at all, termite generally appeared to be translucent in color and in most species of termites they are completely blind.

Normally, warming of weather signaled the activity of many household and outdoor pests. Good weather condition prepares the area for swarmers known as the termite Alate. This typical termite has well-developed eyes, black pigmentation on its wings and a task to reproduce and mate. Both Alate of opposite sex must find a partner and settled down on a new acceptable home or location to mate until finally the female lays eggs in numbers to establish and populate its new colony.

Warmer period of spring to autumn accompanied by right rainy conditions brings you up-close to a swarming that is taking part in a peaceful horizon, then blocking your sight by the sheer density of a termite swarmer. Alates are quite fortunate compared to other termites in the colony but even the lightest blow of wind can break its wings and totally loose it.

Simple steps to do when swarming occurs

Swarming will only last for a while, thereafter, piles of dead insects are visible. When this happens don't panic and immediately apply chemical pesticides but follow these simple steps:

- Take a keen observation of the swarming insects to determine the right procedures to be done. Maybe you're thinking of termites but after all its just ants.

- You need to identify and collect samples. Swarming ants and termites are completely different but very alike and look confusing. The antennae of ants are shorter compared to termite Alates. The wings of Alates are straight, similar in size and shape.

- If you have history of pest inspection due to past termite infestation, review your contract and agreement for your warranty. Under your agreement and aligned to the existing warranty limits and coverage you can claim for a follow up work from them. Take note that your Home Insurance doesn't cover the extent of termite damage being done.

- Your collected samples of termites will be of a great use by presenting it to the new Professional Pest Control Contractor. This happens if the previous Pest Controller doesn't offer warranties. In this case, be sure to choose a licensed contractor and insure the quality of their work.

Termite's Question and Answer Review

Question: Are all termites the same?

Answer: Practically when we talk about termites, the only similar things we can see are its destructive attitude and our painstaking strategies to fight termite invasion. Studies shows that scientists named over a thousand species but only two of these worry the homeowners the most: dry-wood and subterranean termites.

Question: My house is newly constructed and therefore termite-free?

Answer: Structures made of wood are potential food source for termites, so even as early as two days from the date of building completion you can notice the termite presence. The best thing to do is to apply mechanical and chemical barriers to isolate your home from possible termite infestation.

Question: Like any other pests, what is the season for termite attacks?

Answer: No possible season for termite swarming and attacks, they are active the whole year round mostly on warmer climatic condition. Termites continue their activities as long as the condition warrants; moisture and food source.

Question: My neighbor just recently fumigated their home from termites, is it possible that termites will transfer to my house unknowingly?

Answer: The chance of infestation transfer is higher. But always remember that prevention is better than being sorry. Preventive measures include barriers of mechanical or chemical and even natural. Control the level of moisture in your house by drying and securing proper drainage, air-conditioning units must be keep dry and leaks on water piping must be repaired immediately.

Question: How will I know if termite infestation occurs in my home? What are the possible signs?

Answer: Often, termites can be detected when swarming occurs. Alates often leave their colonies to "start" a new colony of their own. These winged termites are bound to lose their wings once they start making. Moreover, the most visible sign of termite presence is the occurrence of mud tubes and tunnel-like structures on the wall surfaces, chimneys and all other house portions even your fixtures. Your weak and broken fixture made of wood maybe a sign and evidence of termites. The most noticeable is the piles of sawdust-like wastes on window jams and floors.

Question: I don’t see such things and signs, does this means that my house is free from termite infestation?

Answer: No guarantee about that. We know that termites are hard to detect because they usually spend most of their lives hidden inside your walls and roofs. For your assurance, let the professional pest control contractors check and inspect your home.

Michael Rozatoru :)

Termites – The Unsung Heroes of Serengeti National Park

You should have probably known already that termites aren't all that bad. They do certainly wreak havoc to your homes due to their incessant feeding time 24/7, but that's not all there is to them. There's more to termites than what meets the eye and more than just monster munching all the wood on earth. Termites have a greater purpose in the entire ecological system balance, that without them certain species will be compromised and would eventually lead to the imbalance of the web of life. This is probably the reason why no matter how much you would hate them having been destroying properties, you can't just simply take them out of the equation on a whim. Yes, you can take them out of your house, but you can't take them out of the world. Fortunately, there are just too many of them, that no matter how many termite colonies you eradicate within the urban premises of your subdivision, you are still not half of a single percent in taking out the entire species in the world. Termites, are so many that if you gather them all in this world and weigh them, they would weigh more than the weight of all human beings combined. However, an offsetting interesting fact also exists. It is that termites have done more damages than all hurricanes, tornadoes and fires have destroyed. Nevertheless, they are still important species in the planet.

But still, the importance of termites is still quite difficult to grasp in everyone's minds and hearts. You can't blame everyone though how they see termites, because of what can be readily and evidently seen in them when they start taking it on your properties. Therefore it would be best to give you a better demonstrative example as to how important termites are really in this world and hopefully it would take away that prejudice that has long been there against these insects. And there's no better way to take a more comprehensive perspective than to look at how they interact in their natural habitat.

The Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti national park is one of the most renowned national parks in this world and perhaps even one of the largest, serving as home to many species of the wild, including those that are already endangered. Serengeti National Park is located in the northern part of Tanzania, and southwest of Kenya in Africa. The establishment of the park was sometime around 1941, covering 14,800 square kms, or about 5,700 square miles of land area. The entire place is comprised of flat open grasslands, some rocky small hills called "kopjes" and certain woodlands and savannas in the western side of the national park. For some time, Serengeti has been the only park in Africa where seasonal migrations of many different animal species occur.

The park has been a home to more than 200 bird species and over 35 species of plain mammals, including zebras, lions, hyenas, cheetahs, leopards, giraffes and wildebeests. There are also gazelles and elephants inhabiting the area but they weren't that much prevalent until 1960's. The increasing number of human population residing in the surrounding areas and along with urbanization that deprived the animals of their natural resources, has eventually forced much of the gazelles and elephants into the protected park. At present there are now 200,000 zebras, 2 million wildebeest, 1 million gazelles, and some thousands of elephants inhabit the park. The wide plains of Serengeti have also been a home to the greatly endangered species of black rhinoceroses. On rainy seasons, usually between November and December, millions of animal species from across the continent will come into the park to graze. The grazing often takes place in the south-eastern plains. This part of Serengeti has only a very few bodies of waterand thus becoming excessively upon the end of the rainy season. This will practically force all the wildebeest, gazelles and as well as zebras to migrate to the western part of the park.

Role of Termites in Serengeti

Of course, along with the mammals that inhabit Serengeti, are also species of insects in different sorts that includes species of termites. As all of the other animals that live in the Serengeti plains play their role in harmonizing the ecosystem in Serengeti so does the termites that live in the area. The role of termites is quite important as they serve as decomposers of wood and other plant materials which in turn become the nourishment to the soil. Termites also aerate the soil which in turn making it more fertile to grow various forms of plants and trees.

Termites are known to build mounds that are several feet high off the ground. Inside these termite mounds are colonies of termites that harmoniously coexist with each other on a higher level of structural system and stratification. Also, inside the mounds are deep tunnels and vertical shafts that can be as deep as several meters into the earth. These holes provide sufficient ventilation for the colony. But the benefits of these holes don't only serve their creators, but also they serve as home to a variety of animal species. Animals like mongoose, snakes and wild mice are amongst the cohabiters of a termite mound. If you are a sane person, you would not put your hands inside a termite mound.

If you are in Serengeti, you would be able to notice that certain mammals like gnus (wildebeest) and or some predators like cheetahs or lions, often use termite mounds as posts for look-outs especially when they are out for the hunt. Of course, it could also be used for the other hand to look for any possibility of imminent danger and avoid it. A few feet of ground elevation can already be a crucial leverage in the wild, being able to spot detriments or food. Termite mounds also increase the propensity of habitat diversity by providing susceptible living grounds for certain specific types of animals.

Michael Rozatoru :)

Different Termite Products You Can Use at Home

Termites are those tiny wood-eating insects that make a living for thousands termite exterminators and factory workers employed by large termite control products manufacturing companies. Although termites are relatively very small to cause serious household trouble, because termites live in colonies composed of hundreds of thousands if not millions of members these insects have become capable of destroying properties reaching to hundreds of millions in value.

However, professional termite extermination and control can be really costly. This is the main reason why many homeowners prefer to exterminate termites on their own. They do this by using termite control products which are readily available both in pest control shops and in online stores. Here are some of the products which homeowners normally buy:

1. Termite Killing Foam Aerosols

Aerosols are quite popular to housewives because they are very easy to dispense. In the case of termite killing foam aerosols, the user just have to spray the cracks and crevices found along the walls and on the floor and the job are complete. The user can also spray termite tube and mounds with the aerosol for an instant kill. Most termite killing foam aerosols do not leave odor or stain so they can be used by anyone without having to worry about anything else. Of course, aerosol mists are also toxic once ingested. But compared to other methods of dispensing chemical, aerosol cans provide the safest method.

The most popular termite killing foam aerosol is manufactured by Spectrum Corporation bearing the brand name Spectracide Terminate. Other termite killing foam aerosols in the market are CB D-Foam manufactured by Waterbury, Termite Kill Foam by United Industries and Ant & Termite Killer by Terro. The active ingredient used in all these products is Deltamethrin. The price of each aerosol can range from $15 to $75 depending on the brand and the size of the aerosol can.

2. Termite Killing Stakes

Termite stakes are used as baiting systems. In plain words, the stakes are not so different with all the other stakes that we place around our house, only that these stakes are poisoned. When you "fence" your house with these stakes, termites will confuse them with regular and "safe" wood and feed on it. Since the termite workers also feed the soldier and the larvae in the colony, they also poison these other members with the poison that they got from the stakes. The poison found in these stakes is slow-acting thus giving the termites more time to spread throughout their colony and kill as many termites with them. Results may not be seen in weeks but the use of stakes in one of the most effective way to keep the poison out of your house.

The most popular termite killing stake product sold in the market is from Spectracide costing about $50 per 15 counts. Another popular termite stake product is from United Industries Corporation costing $20 per 5 counts.

3. Termite Killing Sprays

Termite sprays dispense liquid termiticides which are proven to be effective in killing termites on the spot. These products are especially useful when the goal is to simply exterminate termites that can be seen in plain sight. However, the major disadvantage with termiticide sprays is that these can only kill a very few members of the entire termite colony. If the infestation is already severe, all that termiticide sprays can do is repel termites from going into areas that can be readily seen, this means that they can still continue to damage the house structure by feeding on the wood materials of your house where you cannot see.

These termite control products are relatively cheap because of their limited effectiveness. Amongst the most popular termiticide sprays are Terro, Spectracide, Bonide, Orange Guard and Bayer. All of these sprays cost less than $10 each.

4. Termiticide Concentrates

Professional termite exterminators also use termiticide concentrates but in most cases they use termiticide concentrates that are not readily available to the general public. These professional exterminators use their licenses to operate and provide services in making their termiticide purchases, so if ever you are offered a termiticide concentrate that is not supposed to be sold to an ordinary person, you better back off because you might be just harming yourself. Termiticide concentrates that are available for the general public are usually manufactured to have lesser toxicity in order to avoid fatal accidents from happening. Nonetheless, these products have to be handled with extra care in order to really make sure that nothing unwanted happens.

Termiticide concentrates are often mixed with either oil or water. In most cases, termiticide concentrates mixed with water are less toxic than those mixed with oil. The containers of these chemicals bear three kinds of warnings depending on the poison scheduling level of the chemical. The cost of termiticide concentrates vary so much depending on their brands and the active ingredient used by its manufacturer. The price range is anywhere between $0.9 and $5.9 per gallon. Among the more popular termiticide concentrate brands are: Dominion, Termidor, Tengard, Cyper TC, Altriset, Phantom and Bayer.

There are so many termite control products sold in the market these days. Most of these products are marketed to make an average homeowner think that the product will be sufficient to solve the termite infestation problems that he or she is already experiencing at home. There are many instances when these products do not satisfy their users of their effectively but still get away with it because of good marketing strategies. It is still more advantageous for any consumer to take the time to find out more about the product rather than make the purchase without knowing anything.

When using termite control products it is also very useful to keep in mind that you are dealing and handling poisonous chemicals which can harm you as much as they can harm the termites. Proper care must be practiced all the time. It is also most advised if the user follows the instruction indicated in the label of the product being used.

Have a nice day,
Michael Rozatoru :)

Keeping Termites Away With Sand

Issues concerning termite extermination may definitely cost you quite a lot especially. It gets especially costly when you have decided to take things on your own, without expert counsel or guidance because you would have to go through the lengthy trial and error process before you can ever get the ultimate solution to your problem. One thing is for certain though; you are looking for a potent and effective deterrent to keep those termites away from coming into your house. But what could be when all things buyable in the market would definitely hurt your pocket considerably, even if some of them relatively cheap in different respects of application? You would have to pursue the ones that would almost not cost you anything at all. The question now is what is that termite deterrent method?

If you are out looking for the cheapest yet very effective pest termite deterrent, you need not to look further as the answer can be readily seen before you if you try to understand its nature better. This effective termite deterrent is sand. Yes, believe it or not, sand can provide your household the protection it needs against any termite infestation. If used properly, its effects in garrisoning your house from termites can par even effective commercial termiticides. And the upside is that, it is utterly cheap compare to any termite control and extermination methods available in the market. The reason why sand is a very effective termite deterrent is because termites cannot tunnel through sand. Sand then became quite popular to many household owners whom were acquainted to the effects and effectiveness the method. Since termites use their mandibles to create tunnels through the ground, they could only accommodate certain sizes of grain to lift thus they couldn't create termite colonies with sand.

But will the sand method work every time?

Actually, there are a number of individuals whom have found the sand method ineffective. The reason it is so is this.

Size Matters

Size is a very important consideration when applying the sand termite control method. Size dictates the method to work or not. You have to make sure that the sand grains aren't too small, otherwise, they might just be a perfect fit to the termites' mandibles and will be able to lift them over and tunnel their way through anyway. Make it a point to find sand that has bigger grains so that the termites wouldn't be able to move them along as they pummel their way through. An expert will be able to help you in distinguishing the sand you are about to purchase. He or she will be able to tell which sands have larger or smaller grains; hence, you will now know which type of sand to purchase.

Sometimes, sand may look to have large granules, however they are apparently riddles with smaller ones and this could become a setback in your termite deterrence approach. Termites will be able to break the riddle and reduce the granules to smaller ones and this could definitely compromise everything that you have worked for so far. Also, if your sand grains are riddles with smaller granules, it would leave openings that could become passages for termites to penetrate through the sand barrier and still make their way into your house. This would also mean, even if you have spent quite less on purchasing the sand you had for termite barrier, you would still end up wasting your investment by nullifying the sense of having the sand at the first place. Make sure that you acquire sand that has definitely larger granules so that termites will never be able to make it through any possible seams or cracks within the sand that you may not be aware of.

Seek Help If Deemed Necessary

If you think your personal attempts haven't been working out too well for you, it may not be such a bad idea to seek professional or experts help to install the sand barrier into your house. Employing professional help basically means you eliminate flaws in installation as much as possible. It ensures that the sand barrier is properly placed in the appropriate locations so that the termites will not be able to get through in anyway. You have to understand that a single gap created by a flaw in the installation of the sand barrier is all it would take for the termites to penetrate into your household. Termites happen to have instinctive keen senses that would enable them to detect openings and grab opportunities to infiltrate just to get to their goal of finding food source. Your house just happens to be the next nearest available depot of food and they will do whatever it takes them to get to there.

Having professional help would also entail a package inclusive if regular routine inspection before, on and after the installation of the sand barrier. If you extend your purchase of professional service package, extermination routines can also be availed. Yearly fees often include prevention methods as well. If you purchase an entire year package of professional termite extermination services, you will be able to save up more money rather than spending on individual inspections. Individual inspections often have relatively higher rates compared to having an entire year package. This has been a common incentive to any termite extermination companies once you avail of their professional services.

So now when you happen to have termites threatening the peaceful and safe-living environment of your home, you now know what to do in order to deal with them. Knowing what you will have to do in case these problems arise, will ensure that you will no longer have to worry eventual property damage caused by feeding termite colonies. All you have to fully understand is that no amount of termite extermination expenses will outweigh what you will lose if there is an infestation going on inside your house. Repairs for a termite-destroyed property is just mad expensive and you really don't want to have this instead of hiring professional termite extermination services.

Michael Rozatoru :)

More About Salt Usage as Termite Control Method

Many people in the world are looking for the most organic of ways to deal with most of the chore problems inside their house. Be it garbage disposal issues to pest control methods, people are always more often than not, finding the most conventional natural ways on dealing with the problem at hand. Well, you can't blame people for being like this considering the amount of damage the environment, the ecosystem has already suffered. Just a little more push and the system will fall right into the edge and life as we know it finally dawn to end. We humans would probably be history and that is if there will be anyone left to things into account anymore. Finding the best "green" methods in dealing with household chore and issue is not just becoming a trend these days but an arising necessity in response to the world's environmental issues. This is a way to encourage everyone, especially those who are indifferent about this huge planetary concern to take part and becoming proactive in saving our degenerating mother earth.

The same thing goes as well with dealing termite infestation problems as it is a household chore in itself. Any house would need to deal with termite problem at some point in time and it would be best to make it a point to use natural methods in addressing it. Of course there are a lot of commercialized termite control solutions out there and indeed they are very effective in executing solutions, however, the more effective and more commercialize they become, the more endangering they are as well to the environment. Toxic termiticides are often chemical based solutions that can definitely kill termites but could also dispirit your garden. Some brands could even produce greenhouse gas by-products that can detrimentally harm the ozone layer. This has been so dire that at some point even the government intervened and banned some of these brands that harm the atmosphere.

However, effectiveness isn't always contingent to how commercialized or potently toxic the material is. The alternative to such harmful approach is simply finding the solution that deals with a specific aspect. And when it comes to this part, if you are not critical and resourceful enough, it would be difficult for you to come up a creative solution. When you say creative solutions, is simply means at least not purchasing the direct products right away. Instead devising and improvising a solution of your own which will make things more cost efficient and environmentally friendly.

In the previous articles there have been tons of recommended methods offered to you delivered in a tip outline. In this page, you will be reading more about the usage of salt to address the termite infestation problem in your house. You would have probably already heard about borate solutions. Salt or brine solutions for termite treatments are somehow related to this methodology as they function in the same manner. They are even compounded to become more potent treatments against termites but at the same time still uphold the environmentally conscious essence.

The idea of using brine and borate solutions to deal with termites is probably derived from how salts can kill snails and slugs. The same process basically works with termites when salt is integrated to their system. But how does salt exactly work in killing termites and other animals alike.

The Process of Salt Fatality

The answer can all be summed into a single word - Osmosis

The process of osmosis is the process is simple the transference of liquid from one place to another. It can also be thought as the transition of concentration through a permeable boundary or membrane resulting to water equilibrium in both parts. Osmosis is the process that takes place in termites, slugs, snails and other animals that they die out just being in superficial contact with salt.

These types of animals normally have high percentage of water content in their body. Also, they have exoskeletons that are super permeable covering more than half of their entire form.

Since salt acts is a natural desiccant, once it comes in contact with animals or insects like termites, slugs and snails, the desiccant’s concentration increases in the exterior part of the insect. While this is happening in the exterior, the decrease of water concentration in the interior is also taking place. This is all taking place because the invasion of the natural desiccant has caused an imbalance in the liquid equilibrium of the subject's body. The natural response to this is to balance is back, which is why the concentration from the interior going outside. Since, this type of animals, have super permeable skins, the process of osmosis would be taking a straightforward pace.

The equilibrium may be eventually achieved, but losing that much water inside the subject system is indubitably naturally fatal. Of course, the insect would literally die out of dehydration.

Why Use Salt?

It's a no brainer to deduce that salt is highly cost efficient in any way it can be applied, salt solutions are also utterly environmentally friendly while being very effective at the same time. Salt doesn't produce when greenhouse gasses that can definitely harm the atmosphere neither will it by product any toxic wastes that would potentially harm the environment. There are also no known risks to the human system with salt. Whether in crystal or in solution state, salt remains to be completely harmless to anything apart from animals such as termites and alike. On top of that all is the sheer and utter convenience of accessing the substance anytime you want. Since salt is normally a food condiment, it can be easily found in your kitchen cupboard and use it at any time deemed necessary. Mass usage of salt due to severe termite infestation would require a different level of accessibility. However, nevertheless the question of accessibility is just simply out of the question. This should be more than enough to convince you why you should use salt in treating termite problems in your house.

Michael Rozatoru :)

Termites as Indicators of Climate Changes

Throughout time, people have believed that animals have the ability or instinct to tell bad things that will happen. Often these instincts are related to weather alterations or climactic changes due to an incoming natural catastrophe. It has been observed that animals' behaviors often become erratic in response to the upcoming omen. Earlier people often even use animals to detect early signs of an earthquake arrival or a brewing storm up ahead. They can tell by the amount of discomfort animals in the barn or any domesticated animals manifest. There is still no conclusive empirical basis on this phenomenon and researchers are still finding facts to truly explain such things from happening.

The most common animals that manifest this kind of behaviors are those that are typically but not limited to domesticated dogs, cats, guinea pigs, or barn animals like owls, cows, and or goats. Throughout time people often see them manifest this kind of behavior when something is up. Some people even believer they are harbingers of bad omen and they would resort to certain ritualistic practices to counter that bad thing that is about to come i.e. host sacrificing, pagan worships and what not. However, there are only too few of such practices being accounted for at present time. In the light of scientific approaches that are further being developed progressively every day, there is no longer a need for such practices to exist. However, the truth remains about animals being able to foretell and researchers are still finding the key answers to unlock the mystery of animals' sage-like abilities. They may not be able to tell you in words what’s about to come, but they could certainly act it out to let you know about it.

But would you believe that even termites can also manifest that same characteristic of foretelling things in happening. You might have been wondering how such puny brainless critters can be able to execute such a complex instinct. On top of that question is that considering their sizes, of just millimetres in length be able to paint the slightest semblance of a message to communicate their gut feelings about what’s about to happen. It is quite mind boggling indeed to think that termites are able to manifest such behaviors. Nevertheless, that is still somehow true as there has been a report accounted that termites are able to foretell climate changes and the search for further scientific explanations are still at large as of this very moment.

It may have crossed your mind as to how termites exactly behave when they are about to foretell something like climate change from happening. You would have thought they would elicited certain tangible reactions like disorganized behaviors within the colony or them consuming more wood than they normally do, like they have become more destructive than ever when there is a climate change. However, that is not so with termites as they can tell climate changes in a completely new and different level. In other words, they have another way of telling things to us about what's happening around.

Termites, as eusocial organisms have managed to develop a different level of communicating indications of climate changes. This is through the topographical locations of their colonies that we humans are able to read the signs of climate changes around us. However, this termite indications of climate changes is not readily seen everywhere in the globe. They are only normally seen on natural habitats of termites in certain areas in the world where they are more prevalent. Say for example, in Africa, wherein most species of termites in existence inhabit.

According to recent research in Palo Alto, California, upon using the most sophisticated type of technology the scientists in CIDGE or Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Economy detected that they are more than over 40,000 – 50,000 mounds of termite covering almost 200 sq. miles in the African savannas. Initially, they found that their prevalent and massive habitation in the savanna places are solely linked to the vegetation and potential food sources nearby the place. However, the strategic locations of the termite mounds also indicate another thing. The patterns of the mound locations indicate a pattern greatly associated with the annual rainfall in Africa. The study’s result elaborates on how the African savanna areas have evolved through time and unravelled the fact that termite territories can significantly predict or pre-empt certain ecological shifts in the system resulting from particular climate changes. Upon the revelations of the study, the research was published in Sept. 7, 2010; an online edition entitled the Nature Communications.

Termite mound-building rationale relies on the certain area condition factors that provide a highly conducive environment for habitation. Mounds are built in areas that are not too wet and not too dry, however still well drained. These areas are also located in the African savanna hills demarcations called sleeplines. The sleeplines are where water flows via underground passing through the sandy and porous soils and banks right up in areas abundant with clay. In this way, wood trees would likely grow on the thoroughly drained upper slope parts and thus the mounds would most likely be found. The grasses however, prevail in the areas down the slope where it is wetter.

The relationship of the mound and the specific locations in the African Savannas indicate and excellent proof of aspects in hydrology, geology and certain soil conditions. These conditions then in return affect the plants that grow in the area, hence the entire local ecology. The density and the size of the mound, as well as the multitude are perfect indicators of the healthy ecosystem in the area. This is of course in respect to the vegetation patterns present.

The termite-mound indications further indicates that amount of precipitation in the area making the scientists empirically aware of which areas vegetations could possibly prosper more. Furthermore, the shifts in seasons don't affect the termite mounds in anyway. They remain rooted to the original conditions of the eco system prior the season shifts and they remain as they are despite the fluctuations.

Michael Rozatoru :)

A Study on Nematodes as Termite Control

Termites are known to be symbiotic organisms to certain protists. This nature of termites helps them in their ingestion and digestion of wood in order for them to live. However, this also makes them highly susceptible to incorporating parasites into their system making them vulnerable to harmful microscopic organisms. Therefore, having parasites in termites' system can be used as a potent termite control method. It may not be one of the most of conventional ways to do about termite control but the fact that is effective outweighs the downside and will eventually eliminate the impracticality of its usage. Given the right cultivation, modulation and regulation, such methods will come to a point wherein it will be integrated in the market of termite control methods.

Among the most recent research and studies, the use of nematodes as a pest control method is establishing itself. Nematodes are among those microorganisms that once impregnated in another organism's system, can be fatal. This article will further discuss the nature of nematodes and how it will be applied as usable ingredients in controlling and exterminating termite infestations.

Disclaimer: As of this moment, researches are still ongoing and there are still no conclusive methodologies being devised in order to use them as usable pest control methods. This article's discussions are mainly hinged on delivering this interesting topic for the readers, in the hope of eventually utilizing the information into tangible applications. Amateur or DIY applications can be very detrimental. Nematodes as parasitic organisms can be potentially harmful to the human system.


Before moving on how nematodes can be used pest termite control methods, let us first know what they are.

Nematodes are more commonly known as roundworms belonging to the animal genera phyla. They are among the 37 animal phyla that exist in the planet and they are perhaps one of the most numerous, and perhaps the most diverse of the family. There are over 80,000 species of nematodes are scientifically named already. With respect to their numbers, they are amongst the most prevalent animals in the world in existence. Nematodes can be commonly found in three places: marine, terrestrial, and freshwater environments. They even significantly outnumber the animals coexisting around them, as well as insects. According to retrospective scientific findings, there are about 1018 or one quintillion to 1021 or one sextillion nematodes in the entire world.

Nematodes have long evolved into adapting in all sorts of environment in the planet. They thrive in consuming fungi, bacteria, and smaller protozoan. Some nematodes thrive in feeding on the contents of animal hosts. These types of nematodes are parasitic in nature. There are about 18,000 species of nematodes out of the 80,000 in existence are considered parasitic. Scientists that study nematodes believe that in actuality, there are more than 80,000 species of nematodes alive. Roughly 500,000 species of nematodes are believed to be roaming the earth, evolving and adapting into many varying and diverse environment. Parasitic nematodes have adapted to different types of hosts and have successfully evolved over time. As they grow inside their host, their length often increases. The length of parasitic nematodes varies from each other depending on the amount of benefit they get from their symbiote. As most people already know, nematodes or roundworms can be also be found in the human system as parasites ranging from a couple to several inches long depending on how long they have been inhabiting and how much nourishment they get from the human hosts. Of course, they could cause disease and are clinically deregulated from the human system. The largest sizes of roundworms were found inhabiting in the intestines of a sperm whale(s), with lengths ranging from 8.5m to 10m with 32 ovaries for mass reproduction. That is why in some cases, multiple roundworms are often found inside a host's system. Nematodes can reproduce themselves asexually; therefore there is little deterrence in them growing in alarming numbers.

Research has it that nematodes comprise 90% of the life forms in the sea. They often found even if in deep ocean trenches, where water pressure can be 100 times stronger than that of the pressure in the surface. Nematodes are also even found in the most uninhabitable environments such the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica where the temperature drop reaches as low as -60o Celsius or -76o Fahrenheit and wind speed exceeding 300km/h, making the place almost devoid of any level of moisture. Nematodes can still in such environments, settling with little moisture found in rocks consuming whatever little amount of bacteria that may thrive.

Harmful Nematodes

Apart from the parasitic types of Nematodes which are undeniably harmful to any organism's health (apart from those few that can foster mutualistic or commensalistic relationship with them), there are also other Nematodes that are not only clinically harmful but also economically destructive. Some nematodes can pester farmers like no other and could result to damage of crops amounting to billions of dollars annually. They typically inhabit the soil of the farm and from there they will attack the plant roots. The Root-know nematodes are amongst the most sinister nematodes found in farms. They attach themselves into the roots and inject hormones that can eventually lead to swollen nodules in the plant root. Eventually that will rapture and cause damage to the crop and would serve as an open invitation to various dangerous bacteria that will cause the plant or crop to die. Other farm destructive nematodes embed themselves and burrow their way through the crop and of course the damage they will cause along the way will cause the death of the plant. Tomatoes and peppers are among their most favorite crops.

Beneficial Nematodes

If there were harmful nematodes, there are also that are considered beneficial because they help provide human convenience to some level. Most of them naturally occur in the soil. These nematodes normally feed on grubs and even some other nematodes. There are certain species of nematodes that are cultured to use in pest control methods. Pests like Japanese beetle, Common Chafer, Weevils, and Termites. These nematodes are applied to suppress the development of grubs and or larvae of these pests.

Michael Rozatoru :)

The Evolution of Termite and Flagellate Mutualism: Answering The Question "Which Came First?"

Termites would look typically hideous and gross on the surface. The gooey exoskeleton would tell you that it isn't worth any tactility at all. However, if you put these little pests under a microscope and attempt to examine its interiors you will find one of the most amazingly profound wonders of nature. Termites have a mutualistic relationship with a symbiotic type of protists inside its body that's doing all the metabolic works for the termite hosts.

Termites may be fond of eating wood. However, they are incapable of digesting the wood that they eat. The one responsible of digesting all the wood ingested by the termites are the protists that live inside their bodies. The reason why the relationship is mutualistic is that both organisms coexist harmoniously by benefiting each other in a metabolic level. Termites, while they eat wood are intolerant to the cellulose content of that they eat. Cellulose is a plant's (or in this case, wood) enveloping membrane. As they cannot munch their way to their intake's absolute ingestion, the protists, which likes all the cellulose membranes of the woods does the job for the termites. After the wood's cellulose is metabolized by the protists, the nutrients of the metabolized wood are then excreted to the termite's benefit and thus the mutualistic relationship between two organisms.

There are only a few living organisms on earth that thrive into existence with this kind of relationship which is utterly more than just a metaphoric symbiotic mutualism. The only sad thing about termites is that the general understanding of them is related to pests. When we talk about termites, we often relate ourselves with property destruction which is definitely a bad thing to any home owner. However, that's just true in some parts as there is only 5% of the overall species of termites that are considered pests and should be appropriately feared by any home owner. The rest of the species are natural habitat dwellers that are surreally found anywhere near a human residential area.

To some termites are even considered to be a blessing, especially with farmers. Farmers in some parts of the world have developed methods on how to cultivate and control the propagation of termites in their farms. This is because termites have the natural ability to aerate soil, breakdown organic matter which could later on turn into humus, a compose that could nurture the soil, improve soil fertility and could even provide a source of protein to some organisms that inhabit a farm. Not to mention the definite role it serves in the ecology's web of life.

Here's a question to Ponder:

Q: Now that you know that there is mutually symbiotic relationship between the protists and termites and that you know they need each other to live. The question now is which one of them evolved first?


A: That is indeed quite in an interesting question. Granting that there is a symbiotic relationship, and that the mutualism between two organisms is so tight that it can become fatal for each one of them when separation occurs, there is then a gap in between the evolutionary understanding of these two organisms that needs filling; which could have come first when one could have died without the other?

The answer is that they have coevolved in time. Meaning, they have invariably evolved simultaneously, that neither one of them are left alone to exist ahead of time before the other. They're predecessors may have been able to exist before them though.

The protists inside a termite's body that breaks down all the wood's cellulose are flagellates that belong to certain genera - the genera Trichonympha and Personympha. These flagellates ancient lineages have evolved and existed long before any insects have inhabited earth. But protists species themselves have not evolved before the termites did. They have in fact evolved simultaneously, or "coevolved".

It's greatly possible that the ancestors of termites didn't just eat woods in their era. Just like any other insects of time that belonged to the same genera, before and present, they thrived as herbivores and would invariably eat edible plant parts. There might be times they eat wood but that is just probably in passing and not on a focus diet basis.

At some point the termite-like ancestors have ingested the protists along, probably upon consumption of their plant material diet considering that these protists also do feed on plant materials. If at some point some of the protists were found inclusively dieting on wood, over time they would have also paved the evolution of enzymes that could break down wood cellulose. It is then highly probable that the ancestral pre-termite insects have ingested them as well as they sparingly forage indiscriminately at times.

Protists are naturally symbiotic organisms; therefore it should not be a surprise that they could reside inside a larger organism's system. The type of relationship between the host and the protists could be classified into three. The relationship can be commensal, wherein the resident protists benefit themselves without putting the host in danger. It can also be parasitic, wherein they gain benefit in return harming the host's wellbeing. And lastly, mutualistic, where both parties benefit from each other and thus they coexist in a constant cycle of benefaction. The kind of relationship that would come out is contingent to the natural genetic developments that will transpire from one generation to another in the two organisms.

At present, termites have fostered the residence of protists inside their digestive tract without harming their system. When the protists have thrived in the termite's gut unharmed, it should be that the protists have provided metabolic incentives for their hosts, enabling them to gain natural leverage over the other termite ancestors that have not ingested the protists. The ancestral termite-like hosts should have gained an energy advantage which would likely have enabled them also to procreate more and thus leaving stronger genes to replicate in the following generations.

The present termites have the characteristic to pass on their own gut flora to their larva in an early stage. This is by transmitting their saliva that contains the protists, orally to their offspring. This genetically controlled trait of termites is also crucial in the concurrent evolution of both the flagellate and termite.

And in a full evolutionary cycle, that once optional feeding of wood became the termite's primary source of diet as they become naturally selective to focus on that specific food source and thus, tied the mutualism between the symbiotic organisms.

Michael Rozatoru :)

More Types of Termites

Together with industrialization, human civilization has brought upon the need to face pest infestation in order for us to protect all our investments and one of those pests is the termite. The existence of termites could be traced way back to the prehistoric years and they are even much older than the species of cockroaches and ants. According to studies and scientific investigations, there are about 2750 species of termites living in the whole world. However, most of them have been pushed to co-exist with humans in order for them to continue living since their natural habitats have been compromised with rapid modernization. Like any of these insects, termites are also divided into different types depending on their habitat and modes of survival. The climate distinctions play a great role in the partitioning of termite kinds. Being able to identify the kind of termites that you are dealing with is very important for you to strategize the appropriate means of pest extermination. Thus, we would be tackling more types of termites including those that are not very common.

Most Common Types

I. Drywood Termites. This is the most common type of termites. They are also considered the original species since they are the ones basically feeding on wood. They devour on timbers, walls, floors or wooden frames of the roof. Moreover, they are very hard to detect that even professionals find it difficult to trace their entry points and find their colonies. These termites live above the soil and build their nests on woods or build their colonies within the house. There could be multiple colonies in just one building because they are relatively small and hidden between the partitions of walls or floors. They devour on different kinds of furniture as long as they are made of wood and they consume them from the inside. Therefore, you would not be able to detect the damage unless it has already been tremendous that signs are by now apparent. Since these termites devour from the inner part of the wood, they weaken the structure until it finally gives in and gets ruined beyond repair. They eat 24 hours a day and for this reason, the damage progresses so fast. Most of the time, repairing is no longer an option. The structure needs to be completely rebuilt. Drywood termites, however, are subdivided into smaller groups and two of the largest groups are the following;

a. Powderpost Termites. They are commonly called the furniture enemies and they inhabit in the southeast and middle parts of North America. These termite leave behind fine powdered wood that looks like sawdust.

b. Western Drywood Termites. Justifying their name, they inhabit the western parts of the United States. Their colonies are of the smallest size compared to the colonies of any other types.

Rare Types

I. Termopsidae - Rottenwood Termites. These termites compose the largest classification of termites and they greatly inhabit the western parts of the United States. They enter structural buildings through cracks; thus, being regarded as sneaky insects. They could even get through cracks that are as small as 1/16" wide and when they do, they could easily establish a settlement within the building. These particular termites are responsible with the damages in clothes, carpets, curtains and any fibrous materials, not limiting themselves with just the diet of woods. They create the most damages on basements and floors since they usually build their colonies underground just below the frost line and above the water table.

II. Hodotermitidae - Harvester termites. These termites are the most widely inhabited in North America. They are otherwise called the soil feeding termites and their diet includes any form of plant fibers such as leaves, fruits, bush roots and cotton. They build their colonies in any parts of the building but they could easily be traced upon sighting some wings lying about because they often shed their wings close to the colonies. Moreover, a certain colony could hold up to 5 million termites with the average of 30 to 40 thousand range and they could live up to 30 years. In addition to that, these termites move with swarm intelligence. They swarm in the spring months and they release a particular substance from their body to maintain communication among all individuals of the colony. This is to prevent invasion and to protect each other from any possible danger.

III. Macrotermes bellicosus - African Termites. These termites are the largest in the world. They can grow as long as 5 inches upon maturity. These termites are the only termite species that could live and survive in very dry regions. They live in desert areas of the southwest of the United States and into Mexico particularly Southern California, New Mexico, Western Texas and Arizona. They could make burrows in soil and feed in very dry conditions but they also build mud huts in structural buildings usually along the shelves or wood ceilings. Of all termites, the desert subterranean termites are the unique ones having a different biological structure. Their mandibles are slender in contrast to the stout wide ones of the other termite types. In addition to that, these termites are very small and could get into considerably small cracks that no other termites could enter.

IV. Odontotermes latericus -South African Termites. This type of termites has the biggest number and considered as the most destructive group. They could destroy a house in just a matter of few months and the damages are truly beyond repair the home owner would need to reconstruct and get rid of all the infested materials. In sighting one Formosan subterranean termite, it is necessary to call on the help of pest control specialists because their existence, no matter how few there are, is very serious. They could devour the wood foundations of the house quicker than any other types of termites could. They are even called the "super termites" by experts because the progress of the damage they create is very fast and before you know it, it becomes unstoppable that fumigating is no longer efficient enough. Furthermore, they build their colonies within walls, ceilings, floors or in the basement and one sign you could rely on is the visible bulge on your wall. A colony could be hundreds of feet long and could house thousand of termites since the queen of this particular type reproduces so fast and the reproduction process is incessant. Hundreds of eggs are being laid every day. To prevent the infestation, you should avoid any source of unnecessary moisture in the house because these termites are in dire need of moisture in order to survive. Make sure that all water drains and does not stagnate in any parts of your house. Frequently check all areas to see if there are any possible entries for these termites or any signs of their colonies. When you get to notice any signs of infestation, immediately call the experts to exterminate them before the damage gets worse.

Another amazing post by me,
Michael Rozatoru :)

Killing Termites through Heat

The use of toxic chemicals in exterminating and controlling termites has always been an issue amongst many homeowners. The fear of living in poison-treated homes grew even bigger when many termiticides have been judged unsafe for public use after compromising the lives of hundreds or thousands of people. For this reason, termite control approaches that do not involve the use of chemicals have been continuously developed by pest control experts. One of these approaches is called the "Heat Treatment".

In the same way that the right type of termiticide is determined to suit the type of construction of your house and the severity of the termite infestation, houses have to be assessed too if "Heat Treatment" will be sufficient to solve the current pest problem or a combination of chemical and non-chemical approaches have to be applied. In some cases, "Heat Treatment" has to be accompanied by a small amount of chemical termiticide in order to completely get rid of the infestation.

When is the use of "Heat Treatment" most applicable?

Dry-wood termites are often difficult to kill using liquid and powder termiticides because of their foraging behavior. These termites can feed on delicate wooden furniture that would surely be damaged when applied with liquid termiticides. Wood panels and flooring that might only get damaged when forced with a liquid termiticide treatment are also more appropriate for "Heat and Cold Treatments".

How does the Heat Treatment works?

As a quick summary, the treatment simply involves the introduction of heated air into the infested structure or wooden item. The air should be around 140⁰F. Normally, the temperature should be maintained for a couple of hours throughout the entire treated structure or item. Because termites have very delicate and soft exoskeletons, they will not stand this much heat and die.

How is a "Heat Treatment" performed?

The treatment has two main stages, these are:

1. Inspection - During this stage, the termite exterminator has to examine the specific areas or items in the house that needs to be treated with heat. The termite exterminator will also identify items in the house that has to be taken out in order to protect them from the possible damages that the heat might cause. Moreover, it is in this stage that the termite exterminator ensures that no unwanted occurrences will ever happen during the course of the treatment.

2. Heat Fumigation - The word fumigation refers to the use of gas in disinfecting. Although many people do not realize that air is a gas, the process of using hot air in "disinfecting" structures or items from termites is called heat fumigation. After the structure has been inspected by the termite exterminator, it is time for the exterminator to use a special hot air blower that will pump hot air throughout the entire structure. The least time required to kill termites in 35 minutes, however, this temperature must be between 120-140F and depending on the size of the structure being fumigated, the time required before the air temperature inside it reaches an equilibrium temperature within this range might be a couple more times longer than 35 minutes. For this reason, the pumping of hot air into the properly can reach up to several hours. However, compared to chemical-gas fumigation, heat fumigation takes less time to complete.

What are the major advantages and disadvantages of Heat Treatment?

The major advantages and disadvantages of using heat to exterminate termites:

Major Advantages

1. Termite eradication is strictly confined within the structure of item that is being treated.

2. In most cases, the aid of chemical termiticides is no longer necessary making the entire process chemical-free.

3. Treatment requires little time to complete as compared to other termite control methods. The entire process only takes about 8 hours.

Major Disadvantages

1. Materials that are sensitive to heat must be removed from the area being treated.

2. In cases when heat-sensitive materials cannot be moved or removed because of its structure or function, it has to be thoroughly protected before the treatment can commence.

3. Immediate cooling has to be performed in order to prepare the structure for re-occupation.

Important Checklist to Consider When Buying Your Own Heat Treatment System

While hiring a professional termite exterminator is still the soundest option to take when dealing with termite infestation at home, especially when the method of extermination is by heat fumigation, for do-it-yourself fanatics who really want to get the job done using their own hands, check the list below for the important questions that have to be considered before you make your heat treatment system purchase.

1. How much heating power do you need?

This is the fundamental question. Since you already know that you have to maintain 120-140⁰F, all that you need to consider now is the size of the property that you will be treating. The size of the property will determine the length of time that you will be needing produce a specific amount of heat in order to maintain the required temperature level throughout the properly. Heating equipments are rated by BTU per hour, by fuel usage per hour or by motor per horsepower.

2. How can you provide power to the heating equipment?

Most of the heating equipments used for termite extermination are all driven by electricity. However, although electricity is readily available, the right voltage rating of the equipment has to be met before you can make it work properly. Most industry grade heating equipments are driven by voltage levels that do not match the voltage level allocated for residences. To operate the heating equipment, a voltage transformer has to be purchased and use. The cost of this additional device should be put into consideration too.

3. Is the equipment too noisy?

Heating equipments use motors to produce heat. In many cases, motors produce noise when operated. The noise produced by the equipment has to be considered too especially if the structure to be treated is located in a place where houses are built close to each other.

Your termite control friend,
Michael Rozatoru :)

Natural Methods of Controlling Termite Infestation

Over the years, it has been clearly established that the best way to kill termites and stop them from destroying properties is through using chemical termiticides. Nonetheless, many people are still unyielding to the idea of using chemical "poisons" in and out their homes because of the infamous reputation of some banned termiticides that have killed hundreds of people and are still notorious for continually making thousands of others suffer. This article is all about the natural ways of controlling termite infestation. To understand why these natural methods work, we have to review the things we know about termites.

Facts about termites

They are considered pests and consisted by almost 2,500 species to which 2,200 of it are harmless to our way of living. Raging from agriculture, forestry to housing, termites cause considerable problem and cause damages.

Looking upon the pattern of damage on the tree or crop and observing the pests' behavior, you can identify the termite species and apply appropriate and right methods in controlling termite infestation.

Common termite families

Fungus-growing termites are considered to be the most troublesome. Though these termites eat decomposing materials, they would also feed on the cellulose present in live plants such as maize, millets and groundnuts when decomposing materials are scarce.

Arid areas are favorable spots for building colonies of other termite family known as the Harvester termites. Colonies are difficult to find because they build nests underground. Termites attack the wilting and damage plants, seedlings and crops by collecting the green plant materials.

Termites' Natural Task

Although termites are usually simply regarded as pests, they also play an important role in the earth's ecology. Here are some of the things that they do for nature:

• Mounds serve as a source of minerals for cattle that lick it.

• Releasing of organic matters through break down process as termites digest and eat soil.

• Soil fertility was improved as the termite created mounds which are rich in minerals and crushed it down into the soil.

• Because the microorganisms inside the termite's guts are very rich in protein, termites have also become rich in protein (as well as their excretion). When larger animals feed on termite mounds, they will benefit from the protein present in the mound.

• Termites burrowing activities facilitates soil aeration.

• While some countries, they make more resistant sun dried bricks from the clay of the mounds.

Natural or Organic Methods Employed in Termite Control

There are many organic termite control methods that can be employed in order to avoid the use of poisonous chemicals. Apart from being a sure alternative to toxic chemicals, organic termite control methods also have these benefits:

• These methods share no pollution to the environment. These methods benefit insects and animals (including humans) because they lessen their exposure to pollution caused by other factors.

• These methods do not have to be imported from elsewhere but rather aims to locally use the available resources.

• These methods are easy to perform and simply do not rely on professionals to handle it while cutting down the cost cheaper to almost nothing.

• Organic methods do not completely exterminate the entire termite colony. Termites play an important role in agriculture and their complete absence from the farming system can cause a great impact to genetic diversity and even termite mutation and adaptation to applied chemicals.

These methods of control must be used in conjunction with each other handling it with maximum use of local resources and knowledge to achieve its optimum effectiveness while considering the pests species, climatic conditions, crop species and factors like type of soil and local vegetation cover.

Increase soil's organic matter

The low organic matter content of the soil is thought to be related to termite attacks. Some termites grow fungi inside their colonies to meet their own need for cellulose, however, in most cases, the fungi that they grow in their "gardens" are not sufficient to feed the entire colony, this forces them to feed on live plant materials.

Adding manure from animal wastes and well-rotted biodegradable materials can greatly increase the organic composition of the soil.

Presence of termite predators

Spiders, flies, wasps, beetles and ants are some of the many predators of termites. Mammals like pangolins, bats, aardvarks and monkeys, as well as some frogs, birds and reptiles are counted as other termite predators also.

This wildlife must be encouraged to lessen and help reduce the termites' population. Many creatures that feed on termites find shelter under trees and other bushy plants so it is good if these natural habitats are preserved areas where the infestations take place.

Alternative food sources

You can reduce the damage caused by the termites by "feeding" them with organic materials in a specific contained area. When the amount of cellulose that termites get in a specific area is enough, they will no longer forage any farther. Avoid having dry and bare soil around the crops.

Nonetheless, this method is only a short term solution. Mulching dramatically decrease the attack of termites using manure, hay, wood ash, wood shaving and corn cobs. Moreover, "feeding" termites with organic material would definitely lead to the growth of the termite colony causing an increase overall damage to crops and trees.


New termite mound growing can be prevented by placing a strong magnet close to the termite mound. The magnet should have two poles in order to be effective. Magnetic interference is said to cause confusion amongst termites because they can be greatly affected by the magnetic lines produced by the two-pole magnet.

Queen removal and mound breaking

The manual and explosive destruction of nests tailed by the termite's queen removal is effective. Regular disturbance of the soils throughout an area where termite activity is suspected is also very helpful in preventing termites from expanding their colonies and building larger mounds. If mounds are already visible, breaking of mounds by different artificial means is most effective.

Physical Barriers

You can prevent termite attacks by building barriers around the building and nurseries. Basalt, volcanic cinders (crushed) and sand are amongst the materials that termites cannot "eat", making these materials effective as physical barriers.

Michael Rozatoru :)

Legally Approved Termiticides

Before termiticides are released for public use, manufacturers have to secure the approval of the state where the chemicals are to be sold and used. For example, all termiticides marketed and used in Australia should be approved by the APVMA (Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority). In the same way, termiticides marketed and used in the United States should be approved by EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) too. Listed below are five of the most popularly used termiticides both in Australia and in the United States.

1. Alpha-cypermethrin

Along with the other laboratory-produced pyrethrums called synthetic pyrenthroids, Alpha-cypermethrin is also used in repelling or killing termites. Like its naturally occurring counterpart, synthetic pyrenthroids kill termites and other similar insects by disrupting the sodium channels of the affected insect's nerve cells. The disruption of the sodium channels alters the salt balance inside the insect's body leading to severe nervous system damage.

Nevertheless, although alpha-cypermethrin is very effective in controlling termite infestations, its reputation is continually being marred because of its high toxicity not only to pests but also to unsuspecting mammals. The chemical can affect the central nervous system of a mammal causing muscular twitching and spasms. However, manufacturers of termiticides containing alpha-cypermethrin maintain their claim that their products are supported by a long-standing clean safety record. Experts also agree that the effects of alpha-cypermethrin are highly reversible and that alpha-cypermethrin poisoning is very rare.

Alpha-cypermethrin can be dispensed with water or with oil. The chemical becomes less toxic when it is dispensed with water than when it is dispensed with oil. In low concentrations, the chemical can cause skin numbness and irritations. It can also cause stomach-related sicknesses like diarrhea and vomiting. However, high dosages of alpha-cypermethrin can cause liver and kidney damages to some experimented animals.

2. Arsenic Trioxide

Arsenic is used in termite control through baiting technology or through direct nest application because of its high level of toxicity. Through these methods, possible public exposure is less likely to happen thus securing the public from the harmful effect of Arsenic.

If Arsenic is digested by a person or by a mammalian pet, severe stomach pains would be experienced along with vomiting and LBM. Through a series of laboratory experiments, scientists have established that Arsenic is easily absorbed by the intestinal tract right after it is ingested. Arsenic damages the liver and the kidney the most because 80% of compound passes through these organs before excretion. Only 20% of the compound is excreted through the feces.

Nonetheless it was found out that the human body also needs Arsenic to function normally. However, when the Arsenic in the body exceeds that of the required level, diseases are most likely to appear. It has been found out that a long-term exposure to high levels of Arsenic can cause skin problems that may lead to skin cancer. Furthermore, in other laboratory experiments, it has been found out that Arsenic can cause mutagenic effects (DNA alteration) to test animals.

The harms that Arsenic can do to the human body are the main reason why its usage is strictly limited to direct nest application and to termite baits only.

3. Bifenthrin

Like Alpha-cypermethrin, Bifenthrin is also a synthetic pyrenthroid or a synthetized pyrethrum. It is proven to be very effective in repelling and killing termites.

Although Bifenthrin can affect the peripheral parts of a human's nervous system when ingested, it still considered as a very safe termiticide. The most that it can do is cause slight body tremors which can lead to walking difficulties. Over the years, Bifenthrin is known to have a very clean safety record.

In a series of laboratory experiments on animals exhibiting the same body characteristics as humans, it was found out that the chemical is simply excreted out of the animal's body without any change in its chemical composition. This means that the Bifenthrin is not absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract of the animal. Nonetheless, it was also found out that the chemical can cause skin allergies and irritations.

Bifenthrin also pose a very little threat to the environment. In fact, the chemical hardly mixes with water making it almost impossible for the chemical to bind with the soil.

4. Chlorpyrifos

Chlorpyrifos is highly useful in the field of agriculture because it can repel and kill many different kinds of insects. Chlorpyrifos is classified as an organophosphate insecticide, or a type of insecticide that kills insects by disturbing the normal activity of the insect's nervous system. As a result, the enzyme called acetyl cholinesterase becomes overly stimulated. The condition leads to the severe twitching of the insect's muscles which leads to muscular paralysis, then death.

Although Chlorpyrifos is easily absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract of a human body, it is still not considered to be a very dangerous chemical (when ingested by accident) because it does not linger long inside the human body. In most cases, it is simply excreted through the urine. Nonetheless, long exposures to the chemical is still dangerous because it can cause genetic mutations which can either cause problems with the reproductive system or cause cancer to develop in the body.

Moreover, Chlorpyrifos can be really harmful to the environment when not handled properly. Although it is not soluble in water, the chemical is easily absorbed by the soil which can lead to the death of the microorganisms in the soil that help in decomposing dead plants and animals.

Apart from the four termiticides listed above, the other termiticides that are legally-approved in both the United States and in Australia are: Fipronil, Hexaflumuron, Imidacloprid, Permethrin and Triflumuron. Although these chemicals are approved for public use, it should be noted that these chemicals are still poisonous and are supposed to be handled very carefully. To aid users on handling such chemicals, the "Standard for Uniform Scheduling of Drugs and Poisons (SUSDP)" has released an official poison scheduling of all termiticides. Three schedules are assigned for termiticide use, these are:

1. Schedule 5 - This is the lowest schedule level for hazardous chemicals. Anyone can acquire these types of chemicals. Companies manufacturing chemicals classified as Schedule 5 should be labeled with the word "Caution".

2. Schedule 6 - Such chemicals are more dangerous than Schedule 5 chemicals. These chemicals can be dispensed to the public too but containers should bear the label "Poison".

3. Schedule 7 - This is the highest Schedule level allocated for termiticides. These chemicals cannot be acquired by individuals without special licenses to handle highly dangerous termiticides. Schedule 7 termiticides should bear the label "Dangerous Poison".

Yours Sincerely,
Michael Rozatoru :)

Factors that Affect Subterranean Termites Consumption Rate

Termites are known to be very destructive insects on earth. They can destroy properties, even revert an entire household to dust in a nick of time simply because they are very skilled in what they do best, which is to eat wood as much as they can. It's seemingly insatiable when it comes to termites' appetite for wood. However, the truth is that they do have a limit to the amount of intake they can have in certain period of time. There are a lot of factors to consider when you assess the termites' appetite capacity. Considerations like the termite specie or genera or the environment that the termite is currently into. There is a calculable rate as to how much intake termites can consume. In this article, the rate of food intake of one of the most common household dwelling termite will be discussed.

Subterranean Termites

As what was said earlier, the rate of termite food consumption depends on what species of termites is being referred. There are also other factors that will be taken consideration like the quality of type of wood being consumed and the strength of a particular termite colony. Across United States, there are six species of termites responsible for most of the damages in homes and business establishments alike. Also, there is a seventh specie being forecasted to enter the ranks in the near future.

In the eastern and south western parts the most prevalent species of termites found to cause damages of such proportions is the Reticulitermes flavipes. Sometimes, species R.hageni and R.virginicus are found infesting the same structures within the area. Along the Westside, from British Columbia until Central California, the most commonly found structural specie of termites is R.hesperus. In the southwest deserts, Heterotermes aureus is the main type of subterranean termites infesting structures. The food consumption of each the species, vary negligibly with the species of worker termites in the R.flavipes and R.hesperus genera as they consume more in general than the other species.

In some areas, particularly somewhere in the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico as well as inland, a sixth species, Coptotermes Formosanus, more commonly recognized as the Formosan Subterranean Termites, causes formidable considerable damage to properties, houses, and business establishments in the area. Formosan termites tend to have larger and stronger colonies compared to the native species. What's scarier is that a quarter of their infestations are airborne and no particular relation to the soil. A comparable probability of aerial infestation is even expected over the locales granting they have similar climate conditions, i.e. humidity and rainfall levels in the area. However, the food consumption of these species are relatively lower than that of R.flavipes or R.hesperus. But then statistical shortcoming of rate consumption is quantifiably compensated by the huge number of colony members. The strong colony of Formosan Subterranean Termites would have dealt the same quantity of damage to the area as much as the other two species of termites would have they existed in the area as well.

A seventh imported termite species named Coptotermis gestroi which is also recognized under a junior synonym Coptermis havilandi, these Asian subterranean termite, established themselves in Miam, Florida. This took place sometime after its discovery in the year 1997. These species of termites the destructive potentials of the C.formosanus, and it is expected that its territorial dominion will expand further beyond Miami by the coming years. C.formosanus and C.gestroi is difficult to distinguish in the field. Howeer, the C.gestroi species of termites were later recovered, in the outskirts of Tennessee, within shipping crates transported from East Asia and now it is only a matter time that these termite species will become widespread all over the U.S.

The rate of consumption in termites again is varied in the possibility of a colony to exploit all the other food sources available to them. As recent finding of research discovered that termites don't just feed on singular food sources; it is their nature to forage and search for other areas to exploit for food and sustenance for one colony alone. Individual termite workers will travel a circuit connecting one food source to another. They would only spend ample amount of time on a particular source area and would not stay longer after ingesting a small amount of food from the source area. The food that they have eaten will not be immediately digested and converted into energy. It will eventually be broken down in time by the termite's gut fauna as they hike onto the next food source.

Termites take more time digesting than ingesting, that's why they tend to hike more rather than feeding. It is even evident in laboratory specimens of live termite that the hikes would tunnel through beneath the soil in their search of food sources, and as they relocate from one source to another. Tunnel burrows would seemingly create underground labyrinths in glass as they incessantly search for new food sources. This natural behavior of termites ensures their colony is in good condition, even at the peak of its health. However, it is distinctive that laboratory specimens of live termites are less vigorous due to the apparently confinement, limiting their area of coverage in search for food. Laboratory containers are far more limited, shorted and potentially prone to contamination.

As you can now see, termite consumption greatly depends on the type or species of termites being referred to. It is also important to underscore the given environmental conditions, such as climactic predispositions, food sources available, or the area of habitation itself are factors that could tip the graduations of termites rate of food intake. Even the food itself, Wood is an important consideration when it comes to distinguishing the rate of termite consumption. Having known all of these facts that affect the termites' consumption rate, you should be able to pre-empt possible situations and scenario that could incentivize the consumption rate of termites and avoid them as much as possible. Make it a point to bear this all in mind.

Michael Rozatoru :)
termite extermination