You may know termites for being pesky pests that will destroy your home, however there is much more to them than that. Though termites can be pesky and unwanted, the facts surrounding these insects are incredibly fascinating as well as impressive. Here at SOS Wildlife Control we have compiled a list of interesting and fun facts about termites. Continue reading if you are interested in knowing more about termites or just want to hear some impressive facts about these insects.
Not All Termites are Pests
There are around 2800 species of termites in the world! In fact, only 28 species of termites are known for eating infrastructures. Most species of termites are not interested in eating your home. Unfortunately, the ones that do destroy your home are certainly the pesky kind!
They are Beneficial for Ecosystems
Termites can be beneficial for ecosystems as they aerate soil with their tunnel systems and promote plant growth. Additionally, they clear the dead wood that is found in their surroundings. It has also been found that in dry climates such as savannas termite mounds can help prevent effects of climate change in these climates due to the nutrients and moisture found in these mounds.
Termites do not only Eat Wood
Not all termites only stick to wood in their diet. Some species of termites have been known to eat items such as fabrics and plastics as well.
There are More Termites Than People
One single termite mound can be host to millions of termites. The queen of the termite colony certainly work hard and lay around 30 000 eggs in one single day! These queens can lay 15-25 eggs per minute. That is a large number of termites.
Termites are Large in Numbers Compared to Other Insects
As mentioned, the queen termite can lay an incredibly high number of eggs and produce massive colonies. Termites are so large in numbers that they make up around 95% of all insect and soil biomass found in tropical regions.
Termite Queens Have Long Lifespans
Termite queens can outlive any other insect in the world. In fact, queen termites have the longest life span compared to any other insect on earth. It has been found that some termites queens can live anywhere between 30 – 50 years.
Termites Promote Crop Growth
Termites are helpful for the growth of crops. This is because their poop is rich is nitrogen and acts like a natural soil fertilizer. Additionally, their tunnels help aerate the soil and allows water to penetrate the soil deeply allowing plants to readily soak up more water.
Termites are like Architects
These insects are incredibly strong and hard workers. They build tunnels, move dirt and can build mounds up to 30 feet high. The colonies are able to create intricate tunnels and massive mounds cohesively in order to help their queen and colony survive and thrive.
Termites Bite Faster than a Cheetah Runs
Termites can move their mandibles at 157 miles per hour, whereas a cheetah runs at 76 miles per hour. Their bites are incredibly fast and are certainly effective in order to create their intricate tunnels.
Termites are Rich in Gut Bacteria
Gut bacteria is becoming increasingly more important in research concerning human health. Termites are host to as much as 1400 different species of bacteria in their hindgut – with 90% of this not found in other species on Earth. Scientists are incredibly intrigued by this and strive to harness these microbes to potentially make biofuel from plants.
Termites have been used for Health
In some areas people use termites as a part of a nutritious diet, such as in Singapore. People in the Amazon also burn termite nests and breathe in the smoke in order to care for the flu.
Termites can Build Their own Air Ventilation
Termites are able to keep their nests at a comfortable temperature through the intricate system that is their nest. They create a large chimney that is central to their nest and build a large mound that is above ground. This mound has tunnels that surround the main chimney, this then acts as though they are breathing air in and out, allowing air to flow through their nest.
Termites are very Social
Termites are very social and view their colony as a family. In fact, this “family colony” typically stays together for a minimum of two generations. The family works together to take care of the young and each other. They also work together to protect the nest.
Termites Clean One Another
As we know termites are very social and take care of each other. They spend a lot of time caring for one another which include grooming and cleaning each other. This way they prevent the spread of disease in their colony.
Termites have Roles
Every colony has a caste system. This system includes a queen, king, worker termites and soldier termites. These roles are determined by the queen and her pheromones. The queen feeds her young her feces, which has pheromones in it. Depending on the pheromone that is found in the feces and consumed by the babies, this will determine what type of role the babies grow into.
Queen and King Termites are Winged
When queen and king termites reach sexual maturity, they develop wings. They use these wings to fly away from their nest and colony in the search of finding a new area and new mate to produce their own colony. Once they have found the area in which they want to reproduce, they lose their wings.
Queens are Largest
In the colony, Queen termites are significantly larger than all of the other termites found in the colony. In fact, the largest termite species have queens that can grow up to 4 inches long!
Worker and Solider Termites do not have Eyes
Although queen and king termites have both wings and eyes, many of the lower caste termites such as worker and soldiers do not have either. Worker termites are responsible for building tunnels, foraging and feeding others. They are the smallest caste of termite. Soldier termites are bigger than worker termites and they are responsible for protecting the nest. They have larger and sharp mandibles in order to execute and cause damage to any foreigners that may invade the nest and threaten their colony.
Soldier Termites Cannot Feed Themselves
Solider termites have one role, to protect the nest. This means they are unable to forage for food and feed themselves. Therefore, they rely on worker termites to provide them with sustenance. Worker termites do so by regurgitating cellulose that they have extracted from food sources into the mouths of the solider termites.
Termites Release Pheromones
Pheromones is not only a way to assign roles to termites, but it is also their form of communication. They use different types of pheromones in order to communicate what is going on in the nest, where there may be food, where there may be threats as well as other information. The pheromones are secreted from grands that are found around their chest.
Termites use Vibrations
Termites not only use pheromones as a form of communication, but they also use vibrations. If there is a threat to the colony termites will create vibrations in order to warn the others of the threat. They do so by tapping or banging their heads against the colony tunnel walls.
They Have Sensory Organs
As termites use vibration in order to communicate, they have sense organs in both their tibiae and the base of their antennae which allow them to feel any vibrations.
They Sense Food Sources through Vibrations
Termites are able to sense which food sources to search for and infest based on vibroacoustic signals that are sensed. The ability to sense vibroacoustic have been found to be specific to only some species of termites and not all termites possess this ability.
Termites do not Sleep
Termites do not sleep! In fact, they work 24 hours a day until their death. This brings a whole new meaning to worker termites!
Termites Have Competition
Termites and ants do not get along, in fact ants are not only competition for termites but are also their predators. If termite and ant colonies are found near each other, both colonies may even go at war in order to claim their territory and access to food. In these wars the soldiers castes of both species invade each other colonies.
Termites Produce Gas
Termites produce methane gas as they digest the wood that they have eaten. In fact, it is has been found that termites may release around 150 million tons of methane gas per year.
World’s Largest Termite Colony
The largest termite colony that has ever been recorded in history had over 3 million termites. This is the size of a large city!
Although termites certainly get a bad reputation, they certainly aren’t all bad. In fact, they are quite impressive creatures, and their work ethic is certainly unmatched! Although they are impressive insects, they can definitely become a nuisance in your life if you are affected by the wrong type of termite – the infrastructure eating kind. As mentioned, termites work 24 hours a day and will not stop to rest or sleep. Simply imagine what that would do to your home if they got their way into your infrastructure. If you are concerned about an infestation in or around your home, it is always best to contact the professionals before the situation gets worse. If you already have an infestation, here at SOS Wildlife Control we can eliminate the problem for you in a safe and responsibly manner. We always keep you and your family’s health and safety in mind. ! If you are concerned that you may have a termite infestation in your home or your office, contact us for safe elimination that does not jeopardize your health and safety.
If you have questions about your termite problem call us at (647) 994-9453 or 1-800-981-0330, we will do our best to help.
Rats are certainly unwelcome house guests; however, they can be sneaky and nestle their way into your home without you even noticing. You may not know it, but your home may be attracting rats to it. It is important to be aware of what things in your or around your home may be attracting rats to your living space. Read our list to find out what may be attracting rats to your home and what precautions you should be taking.
Leaving your garbage cans out without proper securement can attract rats to your home. Rats have a very good sense of smell, if they smell food around your home, they will find their way. When you leave out waste in a garbage can that does not have proper securement rats can easily make their way into them. Rats are sneaky and they will make themselves comfortable near your waste, especially if it is easily accessible. We highly recommend getting a secure garbage can in order to avoid rats being attracted to your home.
As mentioned, rats have a great sense of smell and when it comes to food they are determined to access it in any way possible. If you have a lot of food in your home that is not secured well, such as sitting in a plastic bag, unwrapped, or sitting in opened boxes, rats will make their way to it when they can. Rats do not discriminate when it comes to food, they won’t only go for human food they will also go for bags of pet food or bird seeds. Seal your food and put them into containers whenever possible.
If your pet uses your yard as a bathroom, it is important to clean it regularly. Even though waste may not seem like food to humans, to rats it is still considered a meal. Leaving pet waste in the yard will attract rats. Not only will they easily be able to follow the sent to your home, but they also will find this as a simple and accessible meal. Likely rats will hang around your home in the hopes of a new meal. They may even become brave enough to venture into your home
Holes and cracks – even small ones
Make sure your home does not have any holes or cracks that a rat can enter through. Be mindful that rats can enter your home through cracks as small as ½ of an inch. They are very good at squeezing through small spaces. Though we may be quick to seal large holes or cracks in the house, we may be slower to seal smaller ones. However these cracks are still accessible for rats, and you ignoring them will not do you any good – however the rats will appreciate it.
Rats like clutter as it provides a safe and hidden shelter. If it is outside in your yard or around your garage, they will use it as a shelter from the weather. Clutter in your home is also a great hiding place for rats. They may quickly make this their home and start breeding – increasing your infestation. If you have a lot of clutter in your home, this could certainly attract rats and allow them to stay since it is an inviting place and easy for them to hide from you. If you are concerned about an infestation, it is best to contact professionals.
Both indoor and outdoor plants can attract rats – especially ones that produce fruit. Plants provide shelter, soft soil, water and possibly food as well – a perfect nest for a rat to build its home. If you keep large or bushy plants in your home, it also is a good place for a rat to hide. As a bonus for a rat, because it is in your home it provides extra shelter and warmth. Check your plants often for any signs of rats.
A leaky pipe, hose, bird bath or outdoor water bowls for your pet can be attracting rats. A leaking hose outside in the garden may not seem like its causing harm, however, this constant source of clean water is attracting rats into your home. Rats will stick around areas where they can find food or water with ease. If your home is providing water for them, they will certainly begin to make themselves comfortable. Eventually, the rats may try and make their way into your home, where there is shelter, warmth and food. Keep rats away by ensuring you do not have any sources of clean water that they will find appealing to be near.
Comfort and Warmth
Your home is paradise for a rat. They crave warm and comfortable environments to sleep and to live in. Your home is likely an ideal environment for rats. Even if you follow this list thoroughly and ensure you keep all your food packed away, clean up after your pet, ensure that your home is not accessible, your waste is secure, etc. It may still be difficult to keep rats away, so it is important to be mindful and keep an eye out for any rats. If you are worried that your home may have rats, it is best to contact the professionals for rat removal services as soon as possible, to prevent the situation from escalating.
Taking the precautions to prevent rats is crucial in preventing a rat infestation. However, although you may be taking all the right steps and precautions, rats will still be attracted to your home. If they can make their way inside and make themselves at home, they certainly will. If you are concerned about a rat infestation, it is best to contact professionals before the situation escalates. Hire an experienced exterminator who has knowledge and experience in this field. SOS Wildlife Control cares about the health and safety of our customers. We provide long term benefits that prevent future infestations, all while keeping your health, your family’s health and/or the office’s health in mind – pets included! If you are concerned that you may have an infestation in your home or your office, contact us for safe elimination that does not jeopardize your health and safety.
If you find a rat on your property call us at (647) 994-9453 or 1-800-981-0330 or speak to a local pest technician immediately. If you’ve seen one there is probably many more.
Cockroaches are certainly unwelcome houseguests. They can quickly invade your home and infest your space. If they make their way into your home and get comfortable, they may reproduce quickly, increasing the problem. It is important to catch cockroaches early in order to prevent a large infestation from occurring. With our years of experience at SOS Wildlife Control, our experts have seen many tell-tale signs of cockroach infestations. We have created this list in order to help you identify your problem and seek professional help.
Although not all signs may be obvious, this one definitely is. If you see a cockroach (or two) in your home, this may be a sign that you have cockroaches. Cockroaches are nocturnal, which means they typically come out at night. This means the best time to catch a cockroach is at night. If you are finding cockroaches during the day, this can be a sign of large infestation occurring in your home.
Cockroaches shed their skin around 5-8 times in their life cycle. If you often find what appears to be the shedding of insect casing, particularly in similar areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, or around the garbage, this may be a sign of cockroach infestation.
Cockroaches reproduce quickly, meaning that it is likely that you may find their eggs, or the casing of the eggs called oothecae. The eggs and their casings are oblong in shape and brown in colour. It may be more difficult to find eggs with the unhatched cockroaches inside as often, they are hidden in areas that may be difficult to find. However, the casings that are left behind after a cockroach has hatched and left, are much easier to spot and are a good sign that there are cockroaches in your home, and they have made themselves comfortable. Places you may find oothecae are around pantries, in cracks, behind furniture, in books as well as other protected and sheltered areas.
Cockroaches have a large appetite and a fast metabolism; this means that you are likely to find their droppings as they digest food quickly. These pests basically eat what they can find, such as human food, plant matter, feces and dead skin. Likely if it is accessible to them, they will eat it. These pests and their large appetites often lead to them leaving a lot of droppings behind. Cockroach feces range in appearance such as appearing similar to coffee grounds, oval pellets, specks that resemble pepper and sometimes brown stains. If you are noticing there is a large amount of feces left behind, this is a good indicator of a large infestation. You may find these droppings in high traffic cockroach areas such as around sinks, in pantries and cupboards, behind the stove or refrigerator, as well as other areas where you may store food. Check these areas and remove any dirt, waste or food to prevent cockroaches from having access to food.
As cockroaches defecate, they leave behind a musty order which sends signals to other cockroaches to congregate. Although one cockroach alone can leave an odour, the more cockroaches there are, the worse the smell. This apparent smell can indicate a large infestation. Also, as cockroaches die and their bodies decompose, this will also create a scent, indicating to you that you may have a cockroach infestation.
Cockroaches that are attracted to water may leave behind smear marks. As they crawl through water, they may leave behind smear marks that appear brownish in colour. Check for smear marks around sinks, bathrooms, showers and tubs.
As cockroaches are not very polite houseguests and make themselves very comfortable in your home, they may leave behind signs of damage. Check areas where you keep food, food packaging, as well as books or leather. If you notice damage to these goods, this may be a sign of cockroaches.
Call the Professionals
Cockroaches are not pleasant houseguests and are likely causing damage or distress to your household, as well as pose risks to you and your families health. Although there are signs in order to determine if you have a cockroach infestation, it may not always be apparent. If you suspect that you may have an infestation, it is always wise to call the professionals in order to assess and deal with the pests. Here at SOS Wildlife Control we care about our customers and their satisfaction with our work. Our experts have the skill and experience to provide effective and efficient solutions for your pest problem. We pride ourselves on our work and the positive feedback we receive from our clients. If you suspect that you may have a cockroach infestation or require professional assistance in effectively removing an infestation call us at (647) 994-9453 or 1-800-981-0330 for all of your pest removal needs and we guarantee your satisfaction.
Finding a cockroach in your living space is certainly an unpleasant feeling. Cockroaches are considered pests that are particularly dirty, as they will feast on anything including feces, waste as well as dead skin. These pests are known to be dangerous for your health due to their unhygienic habits that can be passed along to humans. We at SOS Wildlife Control understand that a cockroach infestation can be a scary situation due to the health risks associated with them. If you suspect an infestation, call the professionals to asses and solve your cockroach problem.
Cockroaches are known to carry diseases and spread bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, as well as parasitic worms. They are can also be carriers of diseases that impact the intestines such as typhoid fever, cholera, dysentery and diarrhea. These diseases can be passed along if you and a cockroach have shared the same food or in some cases if you come into contact with them.
Cockroaches have an impact on individuals with allergies as well as asthma. They can trigger allergies and asthma as they are among common sources of indoor allergens. It is believed that the enzymes that are produced in a cockroach and excreted through shedding, eggs, saliva and excrements can cause allergic reactions among humans. There are some way to try to remove cockroaches by yourself, but its best to leave these to professionals as you never know where they are hiding.
Coming into Contact
Coming into contact with cockroaches can potentially pose a risk to your health. Although they do not bite, they can scratch. They have heavy leg spines which can pierce the skin and become infected. They could also transfer any diseases they may be carrying onto you.
Cockroaches and Your Pets
In most cases cockroaches view your furry friend as a threat and will typically flee to avoid contact with your pet. However, in some rare cases, if cockroaches are desperate for food, they may feed off of the skin of your pets. Your pet may have some discomfort and itching from the bites. They also may potentially get infections from the bites as well. Keep in mind that although it is rare, it is still possible.
If you are concerned that you may have a cockroach infestation, it is best to call the professionals as cockroaches can carry diseases which can be transferred to you, your family and potentially your pets. Here at SOS Wildlife Control we care about our customers and their satisfaction with our work. Our experts have the skill and experience to provide effective and efficient solutions for your pest problem. We pride ourselves on our work and the positive feedback we receive from our clients. If you suspect that you may have a cockroach infestation or require professional assistance in effectively removing an infestation call us at (647) 994-9453 or 1-800-981-0330 for all of your pest removal needs and we guarantee your satisfaction.
Termites are difficult pests to manage. Once you have an infestation you may feel as though you are unable to control the situation. Here at SOS Wildlife Control we want to offer some of our tips that may be helpful in managing termites if the situation is not too escalated. Continue reading to find a tip that may work for you!
Liquid termite barrier
Liquid termite barrier is a type of liquid poison. In this method you spread the liquid outside across the perimeter of your home, near the base and the foundation. Once a termite is impacted by the poison it is slow affecting, meaning the impacted termite can spread the toxicity to other termites in the colony before it dies. This slowly works through the colony. However, this method can be costly considering the amount that needs to be used across the perimeter of your home. It also is not an effective method for drywood termites or for infestation inside the home as it is meant for the outside of the home. It also could pose health risks to your family or pets if you are not careful.
If you are struggling with a termite infestation inside the home, you may need to use a direct chemical treatment. Many are offered as foam which is much more effective for termites than spray. This method also kills both subterranean and drywood ants. However, there could be health risks involved if exposed. Additionally, this method is unlikely to be effective to kill the entire colony.
Bait is a great way to attract termites towards their doom. When termites are attracted to the poisonous bait, they bring it back to their colony where the rest of the termites feast on it until their demise. However, although this may sound simple, it is not effective against drywood termites. There is also the risk of poison that is associated with poisonous bait. We recommend being very careful with poisonous bait, especially if you have any small children or pets.
Boric acid is a powder and it is not as poisonous or toxic as the other options mentioned. This is also a low-cost method for dealing with termites. It impacts the termites by affecting their digestive system over the course of 3 – 7 days. Simply spread the powder around the impacted area. However, this method does not last very long and needs to be reapplied often. If using this outside it is important to remember that if it rains it must be reapplied as the rain will impact the effectiveness. It also is not very effective in dealing with a large colony of termites and will likely be ineffective in the long run if the colony is large.
This method is the best choice for natural removal of pests and is completely non-toxic. It works by impacting their exoskeletons and leaves their bodies dehydrated which will eventually lead to their death. Simply spread the dirt around the affected area. Although it is a great way to manage a small colony, it will not be effective for a large infestation. Additionally, it is only effective for above ground termites, not subterranean termites.
This is another method that is natural and non-harmful for humans. These nematodes are small roundworms that destroy harmful insects by invading its body and feeding off of it. They breed and multiply while they are feasting on the termites, which means more nematodes to destroy the termites. This particular method can only be used outdoors and cannot be used on termites that are inside the home. They are also unfortunately not effective on drywood termites.
A simple and cost-effective way to manage a termite problem. With a couple large strips of cardboard, wet them and stack them on top of the affected area. The termites will be attracted to the wet carboard and feed off of the cellulose. Once the cardboard is overtaken with termites, bring the cardboard to a safe area and burn it. You may need to repeat the process multiple times to make a dent in the colony. Although this method may not be effective for removing the entire colony, it is a quick way to remove many termites at once.
If you have wooden items or furniture that is infested, you may be able to salvage it by placing it outside on a very sunny day. Termites thrive in darkness and humidity; therefore, the heat and the light of the sun can kill them. It is best to let the item sit in bright hot sun for 2 – 3 days. Although this method may be effective for salvaging an item, it is not effective for getting rid of large infestations.
If you are not in a sunny place or the season is off, freezing termites may work just as well. The freezing temperatures can kill of the termites that are feeding off of your wood item or furniture. However, this method does not work for an entire termite colony. In fact, termite colonies are not dormant in the winter, they typically hide underground and remain active in the winter. Be careful not to assume because it is winter that your termite infestation will go away.
Call the Professionals
Although there are different methods to get rid of termites, not all of them are necessarily effective, long lasting or particularly safe. It is important to consider the health and safety of yourself and your family when looking at treating termites. You also need to consider the effectiveness of the treatment to avoid increasingly difficult infestations that can completely destroy your home and pose safety risks to you and your family.
Termites are capable of causing real damage to your home. This puts you and your family’s safety at risk. Although we may want to take care of the situation ourselves, the methods are not always effective and are not always effective. It is important to catch termites early to avoid infestations becoming too severe and dangerous for your family. We highly recommend that you hire an experienced exterminator who has knowledge and experience in this field. SOS Wildlife Control cares about the health and safety of our customers. We use eco-friendly materials to remove the infestations in order to counter any adverse effects of chemicals. We provide long term benefits that prevent future pest infestations, all while keeping your and your family’s health in mind – pets included! If you are concerned that you may have a termite infestation in your home or your office, contact us for safe elimination that does not jeopardize your health and safety.
Call us at (647) 994-9453 or 1-800-981-0330 if you have any questions regarding pest removal.