What Are Termites?
Termites are soft-bodied insects commonly known as white ants. They are small in size (4-11 mm) and have three distinct body parts; the head, thorax and abdomen. Termite colonies have a number of different looking individuals known as castes. Each caste has its own duties within a colony. The largest member in a termite colony is the termite queen. Incidentally, it is also the longest living insect in the world.
Termites are insects from the order Isoptera. The name is derived from their equal sized wings, iso=equal and pteron=wing. The wings, when present, are long, slender, in two pairs and of similar size and shape. These are usually shed following a short nuptial flight after which males and females pair up to start a new colony.
Termites are social insects, characterised by the allotment of labour within the castes with the sharing of food, shelter and resources and cooperation in rearing the young. The castes include the worker, soldier and the reproductive ants. Social groups of subterranean termites are composed of both males and females, unlike most other social insects where the majority of members are females.
How Do Termites Enter Homes/Properties?
Termites are in constant movement in the soil in search of food. A property may be safe today but not tomorrow. They can crawl through cracks as thin as a piece of paper to enter our homes. These tiny creatures respond to environmental cues such as moisture and temperature gradients. For example, they sniff out weak points like foundation cracks, wall joints, gaps around plumbing and pipes, making them all possible entry points.
Although termites are thought to wander about underground at random, there have been studies that indicate otherwise. Termites search the surrounding areas utilising tunnels that spread out from the colony in a radial pattern. These search patterns divide and subdivide so that they are able to cover as wide an area as possible. In other words, sooner or later, if a property exists in the area they will find it.
What Are The Warning Signs of Termite Infestation?
Termites rarely come to the surface to feed. Most of the time, you will only find out that they are there when it is too late and damage has occurred. However, there are signs that one could look out for:
• Swarmers in or around the house, especially near light sources after rain.
• The presence of mud shelters on foundations or other walls running from the ground upwards in to the house.
• Stray wings left near doors and windows.
• Paint that has started to bubble on wood surfaces that sound hollow when knocked.
• Acoustic signals of termites gnawing on and knocking against wood surfaces.
SK Pest Management’s Termite Control Methods
Xterm Termite Baiting System
The Xterm Termite Baiting System is one of the most effective systems for termite control in Singapore. Termite baiting is an environmentally friendly way of treating termite infestations, using very small amounts of a pest-specific chemical in a non-disruptive low hazard application. Baits are ideal for all situations, even those sensitive to insecticide use.
Termite baiting systems capitalise on the natural behaviour of termites. As social insects, termites share their food in a process known as trophallaxis. This trait allows slow acting toxicants to be transferred through the colony. It is important that the action of the toxicant is slow enough to allow the termites to feed, travel back to their nest, and share before taking effect.
The key to this concept is the use of a system that attracts termites to a readily accessible feeding station containing a suitable bait matrix, which is then carried back to the nest. In time, the slow acting toxicant will have reduced the numbers to a level that can no longer maintain the colony, which ultimately falls “sick” and dies.
Above Ground Bait Station In Ground Bait Station
How Does Xterm™ Work?
The Xterm™ Termite Baiting System includes both Above Ground and In Ground components that utilise cartridges containing a bait matrix specially designed to maximise termite acceptance.
Xterm™ bait cartridges contain the latest insect growth regulator which provides fast eradication of subterranean termite infestations. It is easy to handle and install, works without having to drill and is environmentally friendly.
The bait attracts termites to the bait stations to feed even when there is a plentiful supply of alternative foodstuff in the area. The slow acting insect growth regulator within Xterm™ is then taken back to the nest and spread throughout the colony before taking effect. This allows the bait to reach even the Queen and the King. In other words, Xterm™ targets the heart of the colony, halting your termite problem in one quick swoop.
Xterm™ offers a professional looking and cleaner, non-messy formulation that is easy to install service and monitor.
Benefits of Xterm™
• Faster action
• Fuss-free installation
• Environmentally sound
• Unobtrusive bait station design
• Unique, highly attractive compressed cellulose formulation
For further inquiry, contact:
SK PEST MANAGEMENT SERVICES
9 Tagore Lane #02-12, 9@Tagore
Tel: (+65) 6699 3616 / 6459 0605 ext. 84
Fax: (+65) 6459 0655