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.
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 :)
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