Termites of Ontario are the Eastern Subterranean Termites.
They feed primarily on dead and decaying cellulose, like wood, so they destroy many plant-based products, such as house frames, fence posts, wooden fixtures, paper, books and cotton. They actually eat and digest wood, they don’t just move it aside like a carpenter ant.
They are small in size and comparable to a grain of rice.
Termites are organized into three working roles. There is the workers with soft bodies, they are pale in colour (creamy white to greyish white) and have a waxy appearance, with mouth parts for chewing. Soldiers are larger and darker in colour, with hardened heads and long, black mandibles for defense. Workers and soldiers are wingless, but the reproductive Termites have four long wings of similar shape. They swarm, pair up, lose their wings, begin excavating a nest and mate becoming the King and Queen of their new nest.
A mature colony can range from 20,000 workers to as high as 5 million workers and the primary queen of the colony lays 5,000 to 10,000 eggs per day.
Workers and soldiers live approximately one to two years. The Queen can survive for over 10 years when conditions are favourable.
Termites groom each other and in the process they exchange fecal matter. This grooming exchange is beneficial in regulating the colony’s structure (quantity of termites designated to each role), in assisting in digestion with sharing gut microbes and most importantly in protecting the colonies against disease. They will groom their sick nest-mates significantly more then healthy ones, to prevent disease from spreading within the colony.
The Eastern Subterranean Termites live in moist habitats, they do not build mounds like Termites of other countries. They are subterranean and live in underground colonies or in moist secluded areas above ground. They build distinctive mud tubes for traveling, protected, from their colony to a food source. The mud tubes protect Termites from predators and dehydration, maintaining a damp and moist environment.
Mating season is from February to April, when they are most active. However, they will continue to be active throughout the summer and into late fall. They may slow and become less active during the winter months (Nov to Feb), but if the home they have invaded stays predominantly warm in certain areas, they will continue to thrive.
WHEN INVADING HUMAN LIVING SPACE
Termites are severely destructive when found in and around our living space and often their presence in human made structures can go unnoticed until a serious structural concern is discovered. A termite infested timber piece can appear structurally sound from the outside, while inside there could be a vast number of voids similar to a honeycomb pattern. Termites are typically located at, near or below ground level. Trim work, sub flooring, flooring, and framing timbers are the areas of a building most susceptible to Termite damage.
Termites have their place, their purpose and that’s in the forest, in terms of their contribution to environmental regulation. They play a critical role in maintaining the integrity of the forest floor, by assisting in the decomposition of organic matter, such as dead fallen trees and foliage.
Balson Termite Solutions offers a few management options.
Termite Inspection – performed by one of our licensed, experienced technicians. This inspection is non-invasive and is purposeful in detecting whether Termites are present in your home and if so, the level of activity/infestation. The inspection is completed on all floor levels of a homes interior and the full exterior of the home, including out buildings and select areas on the property ie. wood piles, gardens etc.
Termite Monitoring Stations – provide a visual measure in detection of Termite activity on your property. The monitors can be installed 8 to 10 feet from each other, capturing activity over a broader area of the property. They have a sturdy plastic, half moon, saucer like top that contains cellulose material and are inserted by hand into the ground with an attached, 8 inch long tapered wood stake. The cellulose in the plastic head attracts the termites (if they are present) and is easy to open for inspection, then snaps closed for security. A typical residential property could benefit from having 10 or more monitor stations installed.
Borate Rods – are used as an effective, safe and long lasting method of protection and prevention in wood. They are injected into wood products, such as fence posts, sign posts, deck posts etc. Borate Rods can be injected anytime of year. They are deadly to termites, carpenter ants, roaches, a variety of beetles and many other wood-boring insects. However, they are user friendly and environmentally acceptable. The concentrations used are not poisonous to humans or other mammals. In addition, Borate Rods are an active defense against fungal decay.
Once inserted into the wood, moisture in the wood causes the borate/copper complex in the rod to dissolve. As it dissolves, the preservative migrates up into the post. As moisture is drawn up into the post over time, the borate preservative will in turn be drawn up as well. The installation of Borate Rods is found to be effective in doubling the life expectancy of the wood and in preventing termites from foraging on the wood for up to 10 yrs.
Nematodes – a natural method used in Termite control. Nematodes are naturally occurring microscopic roundworms (living organisms) that are ingested by Termites, through their mouth, anus or body wall, by coming in contact with them. Nematodes will feed and multiply inside the dying Termite and will spread to other Termites within the colony during contact and grooming. When the Nematodes enter the body of a Termite, they release a symbiotic gut bacteria that poisons their blood and is effective within 24 hrs. Once Nematodes have consumed all Termites and other pests, they will die off naturally and biodegrade in the soil.
Balson recommends a spring (May) and fall (Sep) application of Nematodes to your lawn area. Nematodes require a minimum temperature of 10 degrees or warmer and a moist environment for a successful application. After an application has been performed, the area of treatment will need to be watered to ensure the Nematodes have a chance to burrow their way into the soil for protection. Preferred application would be during a light rain or before rain is expected. One treatment covers 3,000 sq feet. Home owners should avoid applying fertilizer for at least two weeks after a Nematode application.
Bora Care – Is a Termiticide, Insecticide and Fungicide concentrate for the treatment of wood, with new builds or new additions, where framing is open and accessible. Essentially when a home or commercial building is first being constructed. This pre-treatment is the preferred method in protecting against Termites and other wood boring pests. Bora Care is a proven effective method of killing and preventing Subterranean Termites from destroying your framework. We perform a treatment spray to the frame work and protect the important infrastructure of your home or building, instead of treating the soil around the perimeter. In a finished home or commercial building you can’t see the bones of your home or building. Pre-treatment during the framing stage, provides peace of mind, knowing what you can’t see is protected. Bora Care penetrates the wood and remains there for the life of the wood, providing residual protection. It will also kill and prevent algae and wood-decay fungi.
Altriset Injections – are a recommended Termite management option for well established homes or commercial buildings. Altriset injections into the soil can be performed in conjunction with a home or commercial building that was treated with Bora Care at the framing stage, as a form of population control on your property. Even more so, Altriset injections are meant as a treatment option for the homes or buildings that didn’t benefit from a framework treatment of Bora Care. In other words, the homes that don’t have their infrastructure already protected and the framing is not accessible for treatment. Bora Care protects your framework from infestation and destruction and will kill Termites that come in contact with the Termiticide, but will not eliminate the Termites that are living in the soil around your property. Altriset is injected as a barrier along the inside perimeter of your basement slab to ensure treatment of the expansion joint (an access point) and around the outside perimeter of your home or commercial building in the soil. Actively killing Termites that come in contact with the injected product and creating a barrier. Termites will not live to penetrate the injected soil. Altriset must be applied in a continuous treatment zone, with no voids in the treatment wall surrounding the home or building. If an area is missed (not treated with Altriset), a crack in the treatment wall for example, the Termites will find that untreated area and utilize that space as an access point to your homes framework. It is crucial that injections form a continuous treatment zone. Balson experienced and professionally trained technicians will make every effort to achieve a continuous treatment zone.