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Termite Information: The 3 types of termites native to Louisiana
Termites are responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in damage every year in the United States. In the state of Louisiana we have a very high incidence of termite infestation in homes, commercial buildings, and industrial structures. These wood-eating insects are also found in living and decaying plants, such as trees, shrubs, and even agricultural crops.
Three types of termites
Three types of termites are the cause of most of the infestation problems in Louisiana.
- The first type is the native subterranean termite (reticulitermes) which is found state wide and is the species that is the target of most termite control jobs.
- The second type is the Formosan termite (coptotoermes) which is presently found in the southern most part of the state, especially in the New Orleans and Lake Charles areas.
- The third type is the drywood termite which is seldom found compared to native and Formosan types.
Termite castes and life cycle
Termites are social insects. That means they live in colonies. The colony consists of three castes. Each case member has a specific task. Worker caste termites are soft white-bodied insects which care for the other members of the colony by locating food, feeding the colony, and generally taking care of the housekeeping and rearing of the young. Solider caste termites have soft white bodies and large strong heads with big jaws (mandibles). These jaws are use to protect the colony from invaders and are used offensively as well as defensively. Reproductive caste termites have darker, hard bodies and have four wings. Their task is to fly away from the mother colony, drop their wings off and mate in order to start new colonies. This process is called swarming and is one sure sign that active termites are in the immediate area.
Reticulitermes and Formosan termites are controlled by applying termiticides such as Termidor to trenches dug around the building foundation and by drilling and pressure treating foundation void. This type of chemical application is designed to kill the termites that are foraging around the structure because it is undetected by the termite, and is brought back to the colony on their body parts and distributed.
Moisture sources in the building must be eliminated. With the moisture controlled and the lack of ground contact, the termites in the building will die. In some cases, secondary colonies in the structure will be treated directly either by gas fumigation or by liquid or aerosol insecticide injection. Drywood termites are controlled by tent fumigation or by directly “spot” treating the infested timber in the structure.
Tent fumigation is the process by which hard to reach insects are controlled. With this method, a tent is placed over the entire structure. A lethal gas is injected into the building and is contained by the tent for up to 24 hours. The fumigant has the ability to penetrate even the thickest wooden beams, giving 100% control.
If you have questions about termites native to Louisiana that are not answered here, please contact us today and we’ll do our best to help you find solutions to your pest control problems!
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At DIAL ONE Pest Control, we are proud of our strong community ties. Locally owned by Joseph and Gloria Lynn Azzarello, we are a true Louisiana pest control company — in business since 1969. Mr. Azzarello is a Board Certified Entomologist, one of the few working Entomologist in the Louisiana pest control industry.