Biology Signs of
Sentricon Traditional
What is Termite?
Termites are social insects which behave similar to ants and bees. They live in colonies and divide their work among specialized members known as Castes. Due to poor abdominal sclerotization termites appear white. Although they look similar to ants and people often get confused and call them "white ants", they are more related to cockroaches, where both of them have protozoa in their digestive tracts. Just like cockroaches, termites are one of the most ancient insects. They appeared on earth about 200 million years ago.
Soldier on wood   Alate
Types of Termites
Termites can be broadly classified into three groups based on the location of their nests - subterranean, drywood and dampwood termites. Both drywood and dampwood termites form small colonies (with the size of about few hundreds individuals) and live entirely in wood without contact with soil. Drywood termites only attack dry, sound wood, while dampwood termites usually attack damp and decay wood.

Subterranean termites
build nests in the soil, they attack woods that are directly in contact with soil, and they also construct shelter tubes (mud tubes) when foraging above ground. These shelter tubes or galleries are made with saliva-moistened soil, partly digested woods and feces, and can be built over non-woody materials. Termites use these tubes to maintain moisture and protect them from predators. If the moisture of above-ground wood is high enough they can build sub-nests that are without contact with soil, most of these aerial nests can be found on the rooftop.

The colony size of subterranean termites is very large especially for Coptotermes formoanus. They can have more than million members in a single colony. They are also very active that they can forage over 100 meters from the nest. Due to their large population size and aggressive nature, subterranean termites are the most destructive pests.
Food Preferences and Damages
Any cellulose-containing materials like living or dead wood, paper, cardboard, fiberboard and cotton fabrics are the food of termites. In order to reach the food sources termites will try to penetrate and damage some non-cellulose materials including plaster, stucco, PVC pipe, underground cable, even some softer metals like lead, copper and aluminum.

In brief everything other than concrete in your house can be damaged by termites. However termites can pass through concrete by some small, pre-existing cracks and joints.
  Wooden doorframes and skirting boards in your home are favourite 'food' for termites. The resident in this flat does not know there were termites present in his home until this wooden doorframe is hollowed out by termites.
Damaged Door frame
Castes System
Termite colony consists of Reproductives, Soldiers and Workers
1. Reproductives
Alates or Swarmers are winged reproductives. They will become new kings and queens after swarming (moving in large number) in late spring and early summer every year. When they mate, the queens can produce up to 10,000 eggs per week. They live for a decade or even longer, so in their lifetime they can produce 30 - 60 million eggs! If colonies are large enough secondary reproductives exist. They are wingless, smaller in size and lay fewer eggs than the queens. However, every colony may have hundreds of secondary reproductives. All the reproductives are groomed and fed by the workers.
Thousands of alates swarmed out of their colony to light sources. Unfortunately, this was only a washing basin with water in it. This is one of the method to catch alates - old but effective.  
Swarming / sink
Alates swarmed out from a wooden skirting board. The dead bodies and wings left on the floor are signs of termite infestation.
The skirting was so badly damaged that it was replaced
after the swarming.
Swarming / skirting
2. Soldiers
They are wingless, blind and sterile with large and harden brown head. Usually, they are larger than the workers. In most species the heads are equipped with two very large mandibles for defense. Since their jaws are evolved they are unable to feed themselves, so they are also fed by the workers.
Termites in their nest: the larger ones with brown heads are soldiers and the smaller ones with white heads are workers.  
Worker / soldier
3. Workers
Worker is the most enormous caste. Similar to soldiers they are wingless, blind and sterile but with soft and white body. The workers are responsible for all the works including foraging food, constructing mud tubes, repairing nest, grooming the queen and larvae, and the most important one - feeding the whole colony. The success of Sentricon* Termite Colony Elimination System lays in making use of this habit to eliminate termites in your house.
Which castes do they belong to? Point to the diagram and see if you get the correct answer!
Life Cycle
*Trademark of Dow AgroSciences, LLC
Termites VS Ants
There are three major differences in appearance between Termites & Ants:
    Termites   Ants  
  1. Termites have straight bead-like antennae.   Ants have elbowed antennae.  
  2. Termites do not have waists.   Ants have waists.  
  3. Reproductive termites have two pairs of wings. Both pairs are equal in size and have the same appearance. This is why they belong to the order 'Isoptera' (iso means equal ; ptera means wings)   Ants have two pairs of wings. Their forewings are larger than hindwings.  
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