Posted at: Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 by John Williams Home Improvement
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Quite disastrous, termites are considered as some of the most hardworking of insects whose hosts range from some fruit trees, corn, sugarcane, cotton, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tea, cassava, soybean and groundnuts. Numerous scientific research studies have been conducted and as such, there have been volumes of general termite information. Nevertheless, of importance is the damage associated with these insects. Wilting is the first disastrous sign that is dominant in any crop attacked by termites. A plant ends up dying as they tunnel through its roots, stem, and branches by which they affect nutrient movement in the plant’s vascular system.
Known to mostly feed on wood, termites also do collect seeds and some green grasses that they store in their nests’ granaries. The food is used to feed growing nymphs. The queen in each colony lays about five eggs and once hatched, the larvae are fed by her gastric juices. Expansion of the colony is accompanied by an increase in the number of eggs laid, and they are either in double or single rows comprising of sixteen to twenty four eggs bound together by a gelatinous secretion. The incubation period varies from species to the other and once hatched, the larvae undergo seven nymph stages, but this again varies from species to species.
Just like bees a termite colony, according to general termite information, comprises of four castes namely the king, queen, worker, and soldier. The Queen’s work involves laying of eggs and feeding of larvae. She is the largest termite in the colony and the king is always by her side ready to mate her. She has a capacity of laying up to one thousand eggs in a day. The soldiers have onion shaped, rounded heads which sport powerful jaws. They are known to emit a liquid when disturbed. However, outnumbering every termite in the colony are the workers. Theirs is to look for food, feed the queen, and take care of the larvae and constructing and general nest maintenance. Unlike ants, termite kings and queens can also be workers.
A farmer needs to know some of this general termite information, to avoid going into huge losses after a termite infestation. Termites love wood and have in the recent past contributed to the insertion of a termite infestation report in the overall evaluation before the sale of any house in the United States of America. The thought of the mites chewing away at ones largest investment is always a nightmare to many homeowners. Therefore necessary precautions such as regular spraying of homes is a must do for those living in wooden house lest they collapse on them. Some of the signs of infestation include swarming of the mites near light and construction of mud tube like passageways, which the insects use when shuttling between their colonies underground and the structure on which they are infesting. Homeowners are advised to leave the job of termite treatment to professionals, as it requires someone with skills in basic termite inspection.