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Termite Eggs
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Are Those Termite Eggs?
By Frank Reece

If you see some small, white objects in your home, and are wondering if they're termite eggs, they're probably not. That's because termites and termite eggs can't really survive outside their tunnels. Adult termites of most castes have soft, pigmentless exoskeletons that mean they need moisture and dark areas. The eggs are also fragile, so if you do see some outside the colony, they're already unviable. However, the bigger worry is the termite eggs you don't see.

The primary queen in a colony has been said to be able to lay as many as two thousand eggs in a single day. That's a lot of termites! These eggs hatch into nymphs, or juvenile termites, which then develop into one of the three castes - workers, soldiers, and reproductives. Worker termites are the ones responsible for destroying homes, since they bring food back to the colony. They also take care of unhatched termite eggs and feed nymphs, soldiers, and reproductives, all of which aren't able to eat on their own.

In good news, you don't have to worry about spreading termites via their eggs if you can expose them. Whether you're using mulch or compost that came from termite infested wood, moving soil where a colony has been, or otherwise reusing materials, termite eggs can't survive outside the colony. That means you can safely reuse any material that can be exposed to the air. Wood isn't too much of a problem, either.

Termites don't live in the wood - they just eat it. Their nests are actually in the damp soil below the house or other structure. In very rare circumstances, a colony can live above ground, in a structure. However, the solution to this is easy. The only reason they're able to live there at all is because conditions are incredibly damp. Remove the source of moisture, and the termites will have to flee. Any area that's wet enough to support termites will be noticeably damp, even from the outside.

Remember that poisoning a colony is difficult, and almost always ineffective. That's because you have to kill all the members of the colony in order to get rid of it. If a queen and a few workers remain, they'll repopulate. In the absence of a queen, a worker or soldier will become one, find a reproductive male, and begin producing termite eggs. That means that termites are best discouraged, rather than trying to eliminate them.

Termites are tenacious creatures that can be bad for your home. However, termites and termite eggs are also fragile and susceptible to damage by sun and dryness. That means that correcting the conditions in wet, dark areas can help you get rid of these insects, without having to resort to costly treatments. Of course, for serious infestations, you should still talk to a professional. Learning everything you can about termites is the first step to dealing with them, however. Find out everything possible, then take the best course of action for your situation.

Frank Reece has been in the industry for 25 years. You can find his articles on www.linkmyarticles.com.

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