This is the second in a series of blogs I am writing to help educate the average homeowner, and/or commercial superintendent, about termites; their traits, habits, tendencies, and their innate will; to consume your wood based dwelling like I go after a fresh steak bone. I’m Hunter, Loyal Company’s exclusive Certified K-9 Termite Detective. Welcome to the 4th installment of my blog “What’s Buggin’ You?SM

Last time I went over basic information about the termite strain that inhabits our part of the country; the Eastern Subterranean Termite (EST). They live in colonies where the colony goal is to search and destroy, (consume) cellulose (a.k.a. wood). They are active all year round being primarily dormant during the winter; however, they feed most ferociously on spring wood when the ground they inhabit is moist and damp. They will eat 24/7, transferring from their underground colony site to their food source. They build mud tubes to cross over adverse conditions when necessary. When our Loyal inspectors spot these mud tubes, they know there is current termite activity. Immediate treatment is imperative to halt the destruction these buggers can cause.

Spring is upon us and those crafty little termites are raring to go. This is the time of year you may see “swarmers”. These are termites with wings. Not to be confused with flying ants, (flying ants have 3 distinct body parts, swarmers have 2 distinct body parts), swarmers are actually the founding fathers, and mothers, of new termite colonies. In pairs, they burrow into the soil after breaking off their wings. They mate and only produce a few eggs the first year. When a “queen” matures, she will produce 5,000 to 10,000 eggs per year. The queen may live many years. The “workers”, the wood consumers, may live for 1 or 2 years. It takes several years for a colony to reach a mature size of 60,000 or more workers. A few swarmers may be produced after 3 or 4 years. Swarming typically occurs during the spring, on mornings following a warm rain. And so begins another colony life cycle. EST colonies are typically located in the ground, below the frost line, but above the water table and rock formations. When a vulnerable food source is discovered by the colony; the party begins, and the ferocious gorging commences and continues until there is little left. For a homeowner, that’s a “Ruff” situation!!

In my next 2 blogs we’ll get into what methods and materials Loyal Termite and Pest Control use to take care of your termite problems; both, to avoid ever having a termite problem, as well as, what is done to eliminate an existing termite problem.

If you have any questions respond to this blog, call us at 804-737-7777, “Like” us on our facebook page,, Follow us on Twitter, @loyalpest, or fill in the contact section on our website,

Until next time, this is Hunter the Loyal K-9 Termite Detective, asking the question “What’s Buggin’ You?SM

Termites – Their Bad Habits in Virginia

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