Termite Control

Why Do Termite Queens Live Ten Times Longer Than Their Offspring?

Why Do Termite Queens Live Ten Times Longer Than Their Offspring?

 

Most insects do not live long lives, but queens belonging to groups of social insects live significantly longer lives than their offspring. Queens belonging to wasp, bee and ant colonies all live for longer periods of time than other colony members. Of all the social insects that exist, termite colonies possess the most impressive queens. Termite queens amaze people on account of their large bodies and their incredibly long lifespans. For example, queens belonging to the Macrotermes natalensis species can grow up to a full six inches in length, which dwarfs their tiny offspring. Termite queens can also lay up to seven thousand eggs per day and they can live as long as fifty years. Researchers have long wondered how termite queens can live for unusually long amounts of time. Now recent research is showing that queen termites age more gracefully than other termites thanks to antioxidants.

 

Japanese researchers have recently discovered that termite queens possess a unique antioxidant system that enables them to live much longer than non-reproductive termites. For the experiment the researchers compared Japanese termite queens to workers. The researchers examined levels of oxidative damage and they analyzed enzyme expression in order to find anti-aging mechanisms in queen termites. The researchers found that termite queens had less oxidative damage to their DNA, proteins and lipids when compared to workers. The researchers also found that termite queens and workers both possessed antioxidant-producing genes, but queens showed higher expression-levels for these genes. These two genes produce important antioxidative enzymes that are known as catalase and peroxiredoxin. These enzymes were more active in queen termites than workers, which helps explain the queen’s longevity. The researchers learned that queen termites possess efficient antioxidative systems that make use of enzymes that prevent oxidative damage to cells. Worker termites did not produce nearly as much of these antioxidative enzymes. These enzymes act as anti-aging mechanisms that are are expressed more frequently in queen termites than they are in worker termites.

 

Why do you think that king termites live much shorter lives than queen termites?

How Are Termites Different From Other Social Insects?

How Are Termites Different From Other Social Insects?

 

Although termites are social insects like bees, ants, and wasps, termites are not closely related to other social insects. All insects that live in social groups belong to the insect order known as Hymenoptera, except for termites. The Hymenoptera order includes bees and ants, but termites belong to an order all their own. This order is referred to as Isoptera. Surprisingly, termites are more closely related to cockroaches than any type of social insect. The social order of termites appeared on earth long before other forms of social insects. Although termites are not closely related to other social insects, there are still many similarities between Hymenoptera and Isoptera insects.

 

Unlike termites, social insects such as bees, ants and wasps hatch from eggs as larva before going through a sudden metamorphosis that is similar to how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. This metamorphosis brings bees, ants and wasps into full adulthood in just one step. Termite metamorphosis is more gradual, and is similar to the development of roaches, grasshoppers and many other insects. Termites pass through developmental stages by moulting. With each moult, a termite’s exoskeleton is discarded and a new stage of maturation is reached. However, termites are unique in that workers and soldiers do not moult beyond the juvenile stage. This is why termite workers and soldiers lack sexual organs as well as eyes. Eye development among individual termites can vary somewhat, but eyesight is, at the very least, weak. This lack of eyesight makes sense given the darkness of termite habitats. Termites do not require eyesight to function. Sexual organs are not needed since workers and soldiers do not exist for fulfilling reproductive duties.

 

Termites are also the only social insects that have kings in their colonies. Other social insects like bees, ants and wasps live in colonies that contain only a queen. These queens mate only once and store sperm for the duration of their lives. Termite bodies are also notably less durable than the bodies of other social insects. This may be due to the protection that termite mounds and underground nests offer termites. Other social insects live in nests that are not as well protected against predators. Beehives, for example, are well exposed to predators, which means individual bees must have durable bodies for defending themselves against predatory attacks. The stunted growth of termites makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint.

 

Have you ever heard of a social species of insect that was not a termite, bee, ant or wasp?

Villagers Bless The Ground To Keep Termites Away From A Newly Constructed Hospital

Villagers Bless The Ground To Keep Termites Away From A Newly Constructed Hospital

 

The world is full of superstitions, most of which may seem pretty silly. However, when it comes to the people living in the village of Tabernacle on the island of St. Kitts, a bit of superstition can bring a lot of comfort. For the past several years, the people of Tabernacle have not had access to a medical care facility. This lack of medical care resulted from a widespread termite infestation that was never treated in the village’s last hospital. The termite infestation eventually rendered the previous hospital uninhabitable. The termites destroyed so much of the last hospital that at one point the basement served as the only functioning part of the hospital. Obviously the basement was not adequate for the town’s population size. The basement did not last for long, as the entire structure was quickly demolished. For years the population of Tabernacle survived without access to medical care.

 

Recently the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis decided to fund the rebuilding of a medical center in Tabernacle. Understandably, the residents of Tabernacle became ecstatic when they realized a new medical center was going to be built in their town. In fact, a ground-blessing ceremony was held at the site of the new medical center. Many superstitious residents are blessing the ground with the hopes that the blessing will keep subterranean termites away from the soil that will soon lie beneath the new medical center. The blessing-ceremony included a large amount of participants despite the fact that the soil had already been treated heavily with insecticides. A vast area of soil at the construction site was treated with a large amount of insecticide solution that is specifically designed to kill subterranean termites.

 

The new medical center being built in Tabernacle is not a small-scale construction effort. The new medical center will cost nearly two and a half million dollars. The new medical center will include a daycare, exercise facilities, environmental health services, and of course, human healthcare service. This new hospital will provide relief for those suffering from terminal diseases, and children can finally be administered immunization shots. China’s Government donated one million US dollars to the construction project.

 

Do you think that termites will infest the new hospital after the ground insecticides wear-off?

 

 

Several Houses Will Have To Be Demolished Due To Extensive Termite Damages

Several Houses Will Have To Be Demolished Due To Extensive Termite Damages

 

Living in a home that is infested with bed bugs would be terrible. However, unlike termites, a bed bug infestation will not result in a home’s eventual demolition. Normally, termite infestations are eradicated promptly as soon as they are discovered. But in some situations, landlords may ignore termite infestations that are occuring on their property. This is never a wise idea, as unchecked termite infestations can eventually lead to entire houses being reduced to rubble. This scenario is becoming a reality for several landlords in the city of Bellaire, Ohio. After several months of issuing warnings, one inspector in the city is having several houses labeled as “condemned”. These homes will have to be demolished due to extensive damages. Termite infestations are to blame in many of these cases.

 

According to Dick Flanagan, a Bellaire Code Enforcement Officer, some homes may appear structurally sound despite being hazardous to the people living within them. This is why Flanagan believes that a home’s internal conditions should also be investigated during routine inspections. As a result of Flanagan’s relatively thorough approach toward home inspections, many more homes than usual are being deemed “unlivable”. Termite damage is often cited as one of the reasons for a home’s condemnation under Flanagan’s authority. In one case, Flanagan noticed a termite infestation on one questionable home while being interviewed by a local news station. In this case, Flanagan noticed the visible infestation before he entered the house. Despite the vast amounts of snow that draped the home, an active termite nest was still discovered from the outside.

 

Flanagan began citing several landlords in the city last fall for code violations. Many of these warnings went ignored by the homeowners. Now that several months have passed, Flanagan is having many of these homes condemned and scheduled for demolition. So far two houses and one commercial property have already been torn down under Flanigan’s watch.

 

Do you believe that home inspectors should take a hard-line approach toward termite infestations that are discovered in homes?

 

 

Researchers Revise The Theory Concerning The Mysterious “Fairy Circles” Made By Termites

Researchers Revise The Theory Concerning The Mysterious “Fairy Circles” Made By Termites

 

Before recently, researchers were unable to explain how a vast amount of circular land formations came to exist in the Namib Desert of southern Africa. These formations have been referred to as “fairy circles”. One of these previous blog articles specifically addressed the well supported theory that these circular formations were formed as a result of termite activity. But now, many researchers are beginning to question the initial theories concerning the origin of fairy circles. Most experts still believe that termites played a part in the formation of fairy circles. However, the process that caused these land formations may be more complicated than the initial termite-related theory had suggested. The most recent theory states that the circles were formed as a result of interactions between termites and plants.

 

The mysterious existence of fairy circles has long fascinated people all over the world. For decades several different theories have been proposed. Some of these origin theories even involve aliens and mythological gods. It seems reasonable to believe the initial origin theory that suggested termite mounds, which are circular at the base where they make contact with the ground, caused these ring-shaped ground formations. Since termite mounds contain more nutrients and water than surrounding areas of desert, permanent circular shapes remain in the ground long after the mounds erode. This theory was further supported by the fact that termite mounds are usually evenly spaced from other mounds, much like the remaining circular shapes found in the Namib Desert. However, two scientists, Dr. Pringle and his colleague Dr. Corina Tarnita, created a mathematical model supporting a new theory that suggests fairy circles were created by both termites and plants.

 

The model showed simulated plants growing around the moist outer ring of termite mounds. The plants grew in areas of desert that were picked by termites as ideal mound locations. The simulated model resulted in plant vegetation growing around termite mounds that were spaced at even distances. These distances were similar to the distances between the modern fairy circles. Some critics of the theory claim that this proposed explanation needs be field tested. Also, fairy circles were recently discovered in regions of Australia where termite activity is rare. This suggests that termites may not be a part of fairy circle formation at all. Ultimately, the new theory has pushed the origin of fairy circles back into the realm of mystery.

 

Do you think that the fairy circles found in Australia could have been made by ancient termites that are now extinct in the area?

A New Species Of Termite Was Recently Discovered

A New Species Of Termite Was Recently Discovered

Termites are well known for having lived on this planet for an incredibly long amount of time. Termites are one of the oldest living insect species that still exist today. Termites have had plenty of time to disperse into a multitude of different species. Nearly twenty five hundred different termite species have been discovered so far. And there are plenty more species that have not yet been described by researchers. The amount of individual termites that are living at this very moment is astronomical. You are probably aware of the fact that termites are relatively small insects. Most of them are not even as large as common ants. Despite their minute size, the total combined weight of all termites in the world would double the combined weight of the human population. It is understandable that many species of termites have yet to be discovered given their tiny sizes. However, discovering new termite species is more common than you may think. In fact, not so long ago an entirely new species was discovered in India. The new species is now referred to as Glyptotermes Chiraharitae.

The new species of termite was discovered in the Malabar region of India. Termites are particularly numerous and relatively troublesome in the country of India. But this new species is most likely not a pest to humans. This new species has already been determined to be a member of one of three different types of termites. These types include, subterranean, dampwood, and drywood. The new species belongs to the dampwood group of termites. Like most dampwood termites, Glyptotermes Chiraharitae termites do not require contact with the soil like subterranean termites do. This new species dwells solely on wood. These termites are especially numerous in areas of forest land where rotting and decayed trees can be found. Although the eating habits of this new termite species has yet to be determined, its relatives are known for feeding on mango, sal, banyan trees, Rhododendron, Artocarpus, silver oak, and jamun trees. Some experts believe that this newly discovered species is related to a notorious pest to tea bushes in Sri Lanka.

Do you think that the amount of termites that have not yet been discovered outnumber the amount that have been described by researchers?

Termites Are The Most Evolved Creatures On The Planet

Termites Are The Most Evolved Creatures On The Planet

Imagine what the world was like two hundred million years ago. Two hundred million years is an incomprehensibly long span of time. Dinosaurs were just beginning to conquer the world, and all other animals would be considered  bizarre looking to modern man. There are not many animals in existence today that lived alongside the earliest dinosaurs. Termites are an exception, as their existence began more than two hundred million years ago. Because of this, many experts consider termites to be the most evolved organisms on the planet today. Surprisingly, even the earliest termite species were eusocial. The complicated sociality of termites must not have taken long to evolve. One hundred million years after the first termites came into existence, Formosan termites evolved. Formosan termites altered the way in which termites behaved socially. Since then, termites became more ferocious and more willing to forage in unfamiliar environments, despite the many predators that surrounded them in these unexplored regions. This newfound boldness and change in foraging behavior is the reason why the termites of today do not hesitate to infest areas that are inhabited by humans. Modern termites have no fear when it comes to living off of humans. People’s homes provide shelter and food for termites at the expense of homeowners. But early termites were far more timid than the ones we know and hate today. So what changed?

Entomologists agree that termites have experienced dramatic evolutionary shifts over the long course of their existence. For example, termites love to feed on timber-framed homes because they subsist on cellulose, which is abundant in most modern homes. But the earliest termites were probably not able to digest cellulose. However, the first termites probably still fed on tiny pieces of rotting wood. The wood contained tiny microorganisms that are still in the guts of modern termites. These microorganisms caused wood to rot. Since the microorganisms caused the degradation of the wood, they also helped to break down cellulose that wound up in termite bellies. Eventually this led termites to feed exclusively on the cellulose in wood and plant matter. If the earliest existing termites had not occasionally munched on rotting wood, then the microbes contained on the rotting wood never would have found permanent residence in the guts of termites, and many people around the world would be much happier.

Do you think that termites are born with the cellulose destroying microbes in their bodies, or do young termites acquire the microbes from their colony members?

 

 

Termites Can Reveal How Our Ancestors Migrated Across Earth

Termites Can Reveal How Our Ancestors Migrated Across Earth

The regions of earth where modern termite species dwell has raised many interesting questions for scientists. Pinpointing modern termite habitats is not difficult. Scientists know where certain termite species exist today. However, signs of prehistoric termite activity have been discovered in regions where certain termite species are no longer located. In these situations it seems clear that certain termite species had, at some point, migrated to new regions of the globe where they are still active today. This is not necessarily unusual, as climatic conditions on earth have changed dramatically in the past. These past climatic changes have forced all animal species, living and extinct, to relocate to more hospitable environments. But you would not expect tiny insects to be capable of traveling great distances, especially over large bodies of water. The subterranean termite species known as Macrotermes gilvus is active in southeast Asia. At some point in the distant past, these termites managed to reach islands such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. So how did termites travel across the ocean? The answer to that question has also helped researchers understand how our human ancestors migrated to different parts of the world thousands, and even millions of years ago.

Today sea levels are much higher than they were when mankind’s early ancestors walked the earth. Due to lower sea levels, there once existed ancient land masses that connected modern islands with mainland continents. The Macrotermes gilvus termite species traveled these land masses to their farthest reaches over many thousands of years. These termites remained there after sea levels rose above the connective land masses. Researchers have recently found genetic evidence of these particular ancient termite migrations. Genetic markers in modern Macrotermes gilvus termites reveal the migratory routes taken by these termites when they dispersed two million years ago from a region that is now located in mainland Myanmar. Experts believe that our humanoid ancestors also took advantage of these land masses when searching for more agreeable habitats. These ancient land bridges have long been the go-to explanation for the modern existence of termites on islands. But only recently has this assumption been backed up by hard science.

Do you think it would have taken thousands of years and many generations of gradual travel for termites to reach areas of land that are now islands?

Green Termite Control

Termite Control, with no drilling, no use of large amounts of chemicals,

If you have a Termite problem or Think you might, call for your Free Inspection. Call Sureguard 972-406-8600 or 817-453-6133.

 

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Termites ! What are my options?

termites alatesThe other day one of my friends called and said I either found termites or magots. How can I tell the difference. I asked where did you find them. He was working in the flower bed near the home. I asked if the trash had been setting there. He said it was just a flower bed. That he was moving some decorative brick and these were right under it. I told him go ahead and send me a photo. This is the picture. I told him these are termites. You can see the worker termites and if you look at the longer white looking ones, they are Subterranean termite alates. They turn a darker brown in color and get wings. They are known as the swarmers or flying termites. They fly out typically in the afternoon on a warm and humid spring day. Many times property owners do not know they have termites until they see these. The best prevention is a good inspection. Sureguard offers free inspections for non real estate transactions. Call for more information on termite control or Dallas termite prevention.