Nelson Ruiz No Comments

The Islands Within The Okavango Delta Were Created By Termites | Termite Control

The Islands Within The Okavango Delta Were Created By Termites | Termite Control

The world is full of remarkable land formations that capture the fascination of many people, particularly scientists. Some land formations are mysterious in that researchers have yet to understand how they were formed. Land formations that are commonly found to be awe inspiring stand a good chance of making it onto the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Unbelievably, termites are credited with contributing to two different types of land formations. These land formations include the famous fairy circles in Africa and the islands located in the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana. The fact that termite activity is largely responsible for these land formations has only recently been understood by scientists. The islands in the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana were not only made by termites, but the Okavango Delta was recently added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

In order to have a land formation be considered as an UNESCO World Heritage site the area must be deemed to have “outstanding universal value”, and the islands located within the Okavango Delta certainly qualify. The land formations are unique because they are essentially small islands located in a wetland in the middle of the desert. This particular delta is also strange in that it does not flow into the ocean. The islands could only have been formed by multiple ecological factors that rarely work together to create land formations.

When it comes to the formation of the delta’s islands, termites are the factor that scientists had never considered until fairly recently. The islands began as termite mounds that eventually grew trees and formed into islands. As the trees grew, more water and nutrients were brought up to the surface in order to nurture the tree’s growth. After awhile this process drained the delta of water, but the water was replaced by water from nearby floodplains. Researchers believe that most islands within Botswana’s deltas originated as termite mounds.

Have you ever visited a delta containing islands that were most likely formed by early termite mound building activity?

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

How Do Termites Successfully Escape From Predators?

How Do Termites Successfully Escape From Predators?

Since termites are relatively small organisms, you would think that they would stand almost no chance of surviving an encounter with a predator. Surprisingly, a termite’s small size affords them many advantages during predatory attacks. For example, subterranean termites, as their name suggests, spend most of their time below the ground’s surface where predators cannot reach them. Despite this advantage, subterranean termites still need to beware of predators that also burrow within the soil. Other types of termites, most of which are non-soil dwellers, such as many drywood and dampwood termite species, dwell within pieces of dead or living timber.

Termites protect themselves by avoiding exposure to the outside world as much as possible. Termite-built nesting structures, tunnels and mud tubes keep termites hidden from their predators. However, termites are sometimes attacked within the wood and nests that they inhabit. When termites are a

ttacked within these shelters, researchers cannot possibly observe their escape strategies. Luckily, the black-winged termite species is in a unique position to shed more light on the methods of escape used by termites under attack.

The black-winged termite is native to southeast Asia, and they are known for building mud tubes along the length of trees from the crown to the routes. Given this termite’s exposure to predators during mud tube construction, researchers are able to observe how this termite escapes from predatory attacks.

Past studies that focused on termite escape behaviors could only be conducted within laboratories. These lab studies showed that termites escaped from predators immediately, but the recent field study showed termites indulging in a “wandering behavior” in response to an attack. Wandering behavior has been observed in other animals under similar hostile conditions. Socially inclined animals that move in herds may take time to develop a team strategy for escape, and this can look like wandering to observers. An individual termite may feel restrained from escaping alone from a predator if the colony is still in danger. In a termite’s case, the survival of the colony is more important than individual survival. This may explain why individual termites escape at lower speeds than termites escaping in groups. In this case, the slow-moving individual termite may be more focused on serving or regrouping with its colony rather than successfully escaping from a predator. Immediately after a predatory attack, termites may also wonder in order to survey the outside conditions before making a getaway. Finding safe places in the environment to hide is a necessity for termites that were born and raised within nests.

Have you ever seen a group of termites fleeing in response to a disturbance?

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

Termite Warning Signs | Phoenix Termite Control

Termite Warning Signs | Phoenix Termite Control

Magic Pest offers the following signs that termites may be present in a home:

  1. Mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source) on the exterior of the home.
  2. Soft wood in the home that sounds hollow when tapped.
  3. Darkening or blistering of wood structures.
  4. Cracked or bubbling paint.
  5. Small piles of feces that resemble sawdust near a termite nest.
  6. Discarded wings near doors or on windowsills, indicating swarmers have entered the home or swarmers themselves, which are often mistaken for flying ants.

Phoenix Termite Control Experts. Call Today For A Free Inspection!

Phoenix Termite Control Experts

Swarming Termites Are Harassing Pedestrians Around The Daniel Boone Hotel

Every year toward the beginning of the summer season, winged termites vacate their nests in order to establish new colonies as queens and kings. Swarming termites cannot harm humans, but that does not stop them from annoying homeowners, tourists, and random pedestrians. Termite swarms are particularly easy to spot in the southeast, where the subtropical humid climate allows termites to thrive. As the month of June progresses, termite swarming activity begins to occur in more northern states.

For the past month, the internet has been constantly reporting on the unusually frequent termite swarms occuring in southern states this year. Now, these annoying swarms have reached the state of Kentucky where they are harassing pedestrians in one downtown area. In the town of Whitesburg, pedestrians are being rattled by swarming termites that are coming from one particular building. The historic Daniel Boone Hotel is currently being renovated, but that is not stopping termites from inhabiting the premises. It is in this hotel where many of the troublesome termite swarms have been originating.

One resident of Whitesburg, Medra Blair Bowen, posted a video to Facebook that shows numerous termites coating the outer hotel wall, as well as the sidewalk below the wall. Bowen posted a caption below the video that demanded something be done with the hotel so that downtown pedestrians won’t be forced to dodge termite swarms. Bowen is also concerned with the likelihood of her business succumbing to a termite infestation.

Bowen owns an insurance agency that is adjacent to the hotel, and she knows first hand how troublesome the termites have been for her customers and pedestrians in the downtown area. Bowen claims that she and many other nearby business owners called hotel managers in order to complain about the lack of pest control treatments being applied to the building. Initially, the managers did nothing in response to the several complaints. However, once she posted the video, pest control professionals were seen spraying the building the next day.

The Mayor of Whitesburg has stated that termite swarms are common and harmless in this region around this time of year, and that neither the hotel nor any other nearby buildings have become infested. Despite these claims, Bowen believes that buildings located near the hotel are still at risk for termite infestations since the termite spray had not been applied to the interior of the the Daniel Boone Hotel.

Do you believe that it is the local government’s responsibility to protect businesses from termite infestations in this case? Should the local government be able to legally require the owners of the Daniel Boone Hotel to have termite inspections conducted?