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Pest Behaviour – 2

sam3 clip image002 0005 1It is noites forage randomly and continuously by digging a network of tunnels and come in contact with food sources in the process. The foraging range of a single termite colony is difficult to predict. Some larger colonies may forage over areas the size of a football field. Swarm Tubes Foraging termites produt known exactly how subterranean termites locate sources of food but they are very good at it. They are known to find wood that is left lying on the ground in a matter of days. It is thought that the termce a variety of chemicals called pheromones that influence their behavior.

These pheromones are basically odors that send messages to other termites in the colony. While tunneling underground, the foraging termites lay down a trail of pheromone which they secrete from glands on their abdomen. When a food source is located, the odor trail is intensified to recruit other termites to the feeding site.

sam3 clip image004 0002Utility Tubes Subterranean termites frequently forage above ground for sources of cellulosic food like wood in homes and other structures. In order to protect themselves from predation by ants and maintain their connection to the soil while searching for food above ground, termites build long tubes out of mud and fecal material. Termite mud tubes are sometimes very easy to see and are one of the best ways to identify a potential termite infestation. Mud tubes become highways running from the underground termite galleries directly to the food source. They can cover long distances over the foundation of a building or along exterior walls to reach the wood inside.sam3 clip image006 0000 2







Moisture Needs

Subterranean termites are constantly at risk of drying out; this is why they must live in the soil. Soil has the capacity to hold water for a long period of time and keep the colony moist. When termites forage above ground, they must maintain their connection to the soil so that the workers and soldiers can return periodically to replenish their body moisture. The mud tubes provide the termites with this soil connection.

Nutrition and Feeding

Although subterranean termites can chew through and damage many materials, they can only obtain nutrition from cellulose. However, subterranean termites cannot digest cellulose on their own. In order to digest wood, subterranean termites have large numbers of microorganisms in their gut that convert the wood fiber into usable nutrients. If there were no microorganisms in the gut, the termite could eat constantly but still die of starvation. In the colony most food is shared mouth to mouth (a process called trophallaxis). Foraging worker termites feed directly on wood or other cellulose material then store the food in their gut. They then return to the nest and feed the immature termites, soldiers, and reproductives which cannot feed themselves.


sam3 clip image002 0006The German Roach (Blattella germanica) is the most common type of roach found in homes, apartments, restaurants, supermarkets, hospitals, and other buildings where food is stored, prepared or served. They eat food of all kinds and may hitchhike into the home in used or rented furniture and appliances, egg cartons, soft drink cartons, sacks of potatoes or onions, beer cases, etc. They can develop into large populations and live throughout the home, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. Roaches can foul food,


damage wallpaper and books, eat glue from furniture, and produce an unpleasant odor. Some homeowners are allergic to roaches and their cast skins. They can contaminate food with certain bacterial diseases that result in food poisoning, dysentery, or diarrhea. Cockroaches are the leading cause childhood asthma in urban settings.


Most cockroaches have a flattened, oval shape, spiny legs, and long, filamentous antennae. Immature stages are smaller, have undeveloped wings and resemble the adults. Adult German cockroaches are light tan to medium brown except for the shield behind the head marked with two dark stripes (separated by a lighter stripe), which run lengthwise on the body. Adults are about 1/2 to 5/8-inch long and have wings, but rarely fly. Wings cover the entire abdomen of females and all except the abdominal tip in males. The male is light brown and rather boat-shaped, whereas the female is slightly darker with a broader, rounded posterior. Young roaches (nymphs) are wingless and nearly black with a single light stripe, separating two black bands, running down about halfway of the middle of the back. Egg capsules are light tan and less than 1/4-inch long.


sam3 clip image003 0000 copyGerman cockroach females, unlike most other roaches, carry the egg capsule protruding from their abdomen until the eggs are ready to hatch. The case is then dropped in a secluded location, with the nymphs emerging within one day. A female may produce four to eight cases during her lifetime, each containing 30 to 48 eggs. Eggs hatch in about one month, and nymphs develop in 1-1/2 to 4 months. Female roaches live about 6-1/2 months and males live slightly less. The German cockroach produces more eggs and has more generations per year (three to four) than other roaches, and only a few individuals
are needed to develop into troublesome infestations. This roach is spread by commerce and transportation as well as mass migrations. It is the most prevalent pest in low income apartments in the United States. During the day, these roaches may be found hiding, clustered behind baseboard molding, in cracks around cabinets, closets or pantries, and in and under stoves, refrigerators and dish washers. If clusters of roaches are seen during the day, the population is large. Both nymphs and adults are very active and capable of running rapidly. German cockroaches have a high need for moisture and usually travel 10 to 12 feet from their harborage for food and water in kitchens, bathrooms, utility rooms, etc., preferring darkness. Without food or water, adults may die in two weeks, but can live a month with only water.


Control Measures

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

It is rarely necessary these days to “Spray” for roaches. Professional pest control companies primarily use a variety of highly effective baits as the primary control agents within an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) service plan. IPM is a systems approach that combines preventive techniques, non-chemical pest control methods and the wise use of pesticides with preference for products like baits that are least harmful to human health and the environment.
A Cockroach IPM plan will consist of an intensive baiting service followed by routine inspection and monitoring with sticky traps. Additional treatments will only be performed when new pest activity is discovered.  Other valuable Cockroach IPM tools include vacuum cleaners, insect growth regulators (IGRs) and flushing agents as an inspection tool for uncovering hidden activity.

Prevention and Sanitation

Clean areas beneath cabinets, sinks, stoves, refrigerators, etc. as well as cupboards, pantry shelves and food storage bins. Clean up spilled foods and liquids. Avoid leaving scraps of food on unwashed dishes and countertops overnight. Keep food in tightly sealed containers, rinse cans and bottles before putting in the trash, and transfer garbage outdoors into roach-proof receptacles away from the house. Leftover pet food should not remain in the feeding dish overnight.

Avoid used and rented furniture. If you believe you have roaches, act quickly and capture a specimen for identification. We Identify insects for free (samples should be placed in a pill bottle or other hard container that will protect it). If you live in an apartment you need to contact the landlord about service. It is almost certain that you are not the only resident with roaches. Commercial kitchens or other places of business should call us for a free evaluation. 



The Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus, also called the brown rat or sewer rat) is a destructive pest found in urban and suburban neighborhoods. These rodents eat and contaminate food, damage buildings and other property by their gnawing and burrowing, and may spread diseases that affect people and pets.