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Subterranean Termites

Subterranean Termites

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Reticulitermes Flavipes

subterranean-termite-command-pest-controlTermite identification often results in finding Subterranean Termite in South Florida. Subterranean Termites, Reticulitermes Flavipes, are usually a transparent, yellowish color. Workers have pale-colored bodies and can get up to 3/8-inch in length. Soldiers are light-colored with dark brown heads and strong jaws. They can grow up to 3/8-inch long. Kings and Queens vary from light to dark color and can grow up to an inch in length. The alate (winged) have two sets of long wings and can get as long as ¾-inch. Subterranean Termites are the most commonly encountered termites in Florida. They build large colonies with intricate tunnel systems and have as many as a million members.

Although Florida subterranean termites are more likely to swarm during the Spring months, small swarms occur year round. They are most attracted to warmer climates. Their colonies are typically found in soil as they require constant contact with a moisture source. They build mud “tubes” to reach food sources above ground. Floridian subterranean termites can build tubes up to 60 feet in length. They fill the holes they create with soil, in order to maintain a high level of moisture throughout the colony. They can even find cracks in concrete and brick in order to reach a food source! Note that when people engage in searching for termite identification themselves, it is very difficult. This is because Floridian Subterranean termites do not expel fecal matter. They leave the exterior of wood structures they are destroying intact. Therefore, detecting an infestation is a serious challenge! It is important to look for termite tubes around the perimeter of your home. In a well-established colony they can have both primary and secondary reproductives allowing the colony membership to grow very rapidly.

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