New Jersey has one kind of termite, the eastern subterranean termite. While there is only one type, it happens to be extremely destructive. Reticulitermes flavipes is destructive because it is hard to control. They live underground and come up to devour wood and other cellulose-based materials within your building.
Are Eastern Subterranean Termites Active in Winter?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes. Because the eastern subterranean termite lives underground, they are protected from even the harsh New Jersey winters. Their tunnels are well below the frost line. They enter via small cracks in the foundation and once established, they go to work. Within the heated spaces of your building, they become active and will work 24 hours a day eating everything from wood to paper.
Do You Need a Stern Termite Professional for Your Business?
The fact that these termites live underground makes infestations difficult for most people to spot. Furthermore, DIY control methods are often ineffective and you will never be certain that you have eliminated the threat. Termite control professionals from Stern Environmental have the skills and tools to identify and eradicate this dangerous and persistent pest.
Termites often swarm in the spring and summer, which may lead to the mistaken perception that they are a warm-weather problem. While they do thrive in warm weather, they are active no matter the season. This means that termite control should be a year-round endeavor on your property.
This is swarming season for termites and carpenter ants in New York and New Jersey. If you see what look like puddles of white or gray-winged flying ants milling around in the garden or lawn of your business, you most likely have a problem on your property. Insects close to the building foundation or discarded wings on window sills or near doorways typically mean insects have actively invaded the structure.
Once the ground warms in the spring, both termites and carpenter ants produce winged reproductives. These specialized insects crawl from their underground nests to the surface where they pair up and fly off to mate and establish new colonies. Poor flyers, the females frequently land on the same or nearby properties. Biting off her wings, the female tunnels into the ground to establish a new nest. It takes about 5 years for a termite colony to reach maturity which means that considerable damage may already have occurred by the time winged reproductives are observed.
In their reproductive phase, both carpenter ants and termites look like winged ants. Both have 4 wings, 2 on each side; however, termite wings are all equal length and longer than their bodies while carpenter ants have longer forewings than hindwings.
It is estimated that termites cause about $30 billion worth of damage around the world every year, not including the amount of money that is spent on pesticides to eliminate them. Most of the termite removal techniques that are being practiced today involve the use of toxic chemicals, which can be detrimental to other animals as well as human beings.
Mark Bulmer, a termite expert from Towson University, discovered a way to kill termites in a more affordable and non-toxic way. According to him, termites have a natural protection against a type of fungus that is deadly to them, but that natural resistance can be undermined by a small sugar known as Glucono delta-lactone (GDL). This sugar will prevent certain enzymes in termites from causing damage to the fungal cell wall in their bodies, and this will make them more susceptible to fungal pathogens.
GDL is not harmful to humans, and it can be found in honey and wine. It can be used in combination with the fungus as food bait for termites, and it will kill them before they start to cause damage.
The best time to detect termites is during springtime. The winged adult termites will come out of hiding to get some sunshine, and they will mate before they return to their underground colonies, probably for the rest of their lives. Termites can easily establish colonies in homes and buildings, and they can be there for years without being detected.
Termites usually build their colonies behind walls or paneling, or under floor coverings. They feed on wood, and they can cause great damage to wooden furniture or fixtures in your home. It is not easy to detect the damage done by termites because these creatures do not leave obvious signs of their activities. They usually form galleries inside wood structures, and they will feed on the spring wood and leave the outer surface intact. When you find out the damage that they have done, the wood structure is most likely irreparable.