I started in the pest control business doing a walking route in Brooklyn before I had my driver's license. Even back then, I remember my father saying to me, when the forsythia bloom, the termites swarm on Long Island. Ever since then when driving on the Northern or Southern State Parkways, and seeing the green forsythia turn yellow, I think of my Dad and termite swarms.
They call Long Island the termite Gold Coast; I'm not 100% sure why, but I believe it has to do with sandy soil which is conducive to subterranean termites and that is the species we have on Long Island. Subterranean termites live in the ground and can number up to a million in a colony. There are kings, queens, soldiers, winged swarmer reproducers, and worker termites, and it is the worker termites that are the troublemakers. The termite workers, which feed the entire colony, eat only wood -- no meat, no chicken, no veggies, only wood. Guess what our homes are framed with -- wood! Yum, yum, free lunch say the worker termites.
Termites cause more damage to homes in the United States than fires and storms combined. I have personally seen worker termites eat away floor joists, causing a kitchen floor to fall into the basement.
When the subterranean termite colony reaches maturity in the ground, winged swarmer reproducers leave the colony in the hundreds to thousands in the Spring and the Fall, sometimes swarming in basements, sometimes outside. These winged swarmers are actually new kings and queens leaving their home (colony) looking to set up new colonies. They are very poor flyers and don't fly far. When they land, they shed their wings; the females raise their abdomens and emit a pheromone for a guy termite to follow. They dig into the ground to set up shop and start building a new colony. Those that swarm indoors, which is pretty common, head to the light, usually windows, sometimes in the basement, drop their wings, and if they cannot get into the ground, they die. Swarmer termites in the basement and a large amount of wings are signs of a mature colony close by. .
How can you tell the difference between flying ants and termites? Call Arnie Fishon on his cell phone 917-417-5305. We don't charge for looking, only treating!
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