Insect experts, such as academics, researchers and pest control professionals, used to be under the impression that subterranean termite colonies were contained within isolated nests where termites of one colony rarely made contact with those of another. Today, experts are aware that subterranean termite colonies are interconnected to form vast networks where termites of different colonies interact frequently. Termite colonies can also grow so large that they split into multiple colonies within a network. This discovery was a rough blow to the termite control industry, as eradicating termite infestations is much easier when the pests do not inhabit interconnected colonies. For example, termite baits lure individual foraging termites to poison, but before the poison becomes fatal, the tainted termites return to their colonies where they spread the poison to all other termite specimens, resulting in the death of all colony members. However, there is no way of telling if the poison would spread to other termites in connected colonies, and if not, termite infestations may persist. Modern bait systems have evolved to address this aspect of termite nesting behavior, and multiple baits have proven to be consistently effective, but many people remain unaware of how vast termite colony networks can be below homes and buildings in urban and residential areas.
A study conducted several years ago found three shared termite nesting galleries within one tree near Lake Charles. These galleries contained tunnels that led into the ground where they radiated in all directions over an area of 1.4 acres. While following these tunnels, researchers encountered the primary carton nest, which contained six separate queens. It had been assumed that only one queen inhabited a colony, and this is largely true, but today experts know that multiple queens can come to inhabit one single nest. The researchers in this study found that the gallery tunnels spread into numerous satellite nests within many trees and below ground locations, and all termites in this massive network of colonies shared the same food source. The gallery tunnels were located at depths ranging from 2 to 46 inches, and the primary carton nest was located 25 feet below ground. The fact that this large colony network shared one food source lends credibility to the idea that a termite bait station could effectively eradicate all termites inhabiting a vast area of land.
Do you think that the rate of termite infestations will continue to increase in the coming years?
Tags: J&J Exterminating, pest control, Termite Control