Termites are a huge issue for homeowners! They often come in when you do not even realize it. Before you know it, they are eating at your house from the inside out! While it may become true that death by light can happen to termites, this does not necessarily mean the end will occur. It also depends on how long the exposure is and the type of light used.
Termites Need Water to Survive
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of death by light for termites is dehydration. Experts categorize termites as social insects, which make use of a caste system. Each colony has distinct roles that include workers, soldiers, and reproductives.
Worker termites gather food by chewing on wood or vegetation material. The soldiers guard the nest and look out for intruders or any kind of danger. The reproductives are responsible for creating new termites and additional eggs will become laid so the nest can expand its numbers.
While it may be true that death by light can happen with these creatures, their primary method of getting around is pheromones. Having an area in your house that termites infested means death from light exposure may not become the only issue. Termites need a source of water to survive. Often, you can find them in moist wood, and this is their primary food source along with cellulose materials.
Do Termites Die When Submerged into Water?
On the other hand, death by light exposure is not as effective when it comes to termites. Some studies have shown that termites do indeed die off when submerged in water even with the presence of light. One study carried out at Georgia Tech showed that death can occur within minutes! The reason for this is due to the life cycle of a termite and how wood-eating insects live. They breathe through their skin and rely on a moist environment to survive.
When death by light exposure occurs, this usually throws off the termites’ moisture cycle! They dry out and die as a result of dehydration since they cannot get enough water from wood pulp. Also, note that death could occur hours after the initial exposure.
Sunlight Dries The Moisture
In a study carried out by researchers from Brighton University in England, they found out that death by light exposure can occur after one hour. What was interesting is how the death occurred when exposed to blue and ultraviolet light. Since sunlight contains both of these, death can happen faster in comparison to a lamp!
UV rays in particular are what dried the moisture inside termites. It takes around 15 minutes from when death begins until completion with blue light alone.
Studies have shown that death by light does not happen with all species of termite. But primarily those who eat wood or vegetation material. For the most part, Subterranean termite colonies incorporate death through dehydration due to loss of moisture.
Some Termites are Attracted to Sunlight
The death by light exposure myth is a bit more difficult to prove. One study has shown that death does not occur in some types of termites after exposing them to ultraviolet light. The discovery is that death did not occur until a few hours had been spent under the light. This may become due to the origin of the termite species and how they have evolved.
In other words, death by light exposure can depend on sunlight rather than just placing a single lamp onto a colony of termites! Besides, know that some colonies become attracted to sunlight while others seek darkness and moisture underneath soil or vegetation material.
What Range of Temperature Do Termites Prefer?
Worrying about death by light means it is best to place an ultraviolet lamp onto a moist area of your home. This is where termites love to live and create colonies to produce more of their kind. When death does occur, this can provide you with the visual cue that death has occurred. You will not have to rely on just pheromones alone.
By killing off death by light exposure, you can check for termites living in your home. For instance, within the walls or upon wooden surfaces where termites prefer to feed on wood materials before moving onto other areas of your home.
A good indicator is a death occurring after leaving a lamp on overnight! This provides the best results when death has occurred, and this is not just due to heat. The death that occurs within five minutes under ultraviolet light has chances that death via heat alone will take over at temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Which Types of Termites Can Survive Above Ground?
Gain insights about four types of termites that you can find living above ground. Here they are:
These termites spend the majority of their time and resources on energy building and maintaining a colony. When a death occurs in this case, death by light exposure does not occur. Instead, death occurs within a few hours due to heat.
The existence of reproductive termites is essential to keep the colony thriving! Without them in every colony, there is a high chance that these subterranean insect populations will collapse with their demise. It would leave only males who do not produce offspring and eventually die out too soon when left unchecked. Studies show how this affects North American termite communities today.
Termites are social insects that create colonies. When the first reproductive termite of one colony is born, it becomes king or queen depending on its gender.
Worker termites are aged members of the colony. Since death by light exposure is not a factor, it occurs due to heat. They work on getting food for their colony and also ensuring death does not occur in their community. It is also by dying. You can call this process death altruism where the worker transfers its energy toward others within the colony while taking energy itself while at it.
Unlike reproductive termites who have blue blood, workers have red blood due to being less active with lower hemocyanin levels. This is responsible for preventing death from excessive heat compared to more active species that have higher hemocyanin levels. These prevent them from death when exposed to elevated temperatures!
Soldier termites are the first to death by light exposure when exposed to ultraviolet or infrared radiation. This is due to death being genetic in this species of termite. A worker caste, they have death receptors that aid death even when their body structure has not reached its full adult maturation just yet.
Death via light is essential for these soldier members of their colony! It can also affect other members’ chances of survival. When a death occurs, workers will seek out food sources while carrying soldiers on their backs. Death results from death by heat which means soldiers also die soon afterward. They only make up 1% of the termite population within a colony. But they are an important part of it regardless!
Nymph termites are young and highly active members of the colony! They feed on regurgitated food from workers who will death altruistically. Termites are social insects that live in colonies. The reproductive females, called nymphs, leave the colony to find a mate. They start their own families when they emerge from an egg laid by one of two types: kings or queens (the ruling caste).
In between molts is the time you can see how much this creature has changed! First, there is your typical hard exoskeleton with some extra protection for important bits like eyesight. But eventually, those layers wear away until all left with is these little nymph babies. They weigh about as much as two grains placed side by side on a scale pan.
Using Sunlight to Eradicate Termites
Since death by light exposure does not occur, sunlight is an amazingly effective eliminator of termites. Sunlight coming through the window will expose death to these annoying insects as they do their daily routines. This process can become beneficial.
It could also prove dangerous for those who use it often. Keep in mind that death by heat occurs within 32 degrees Celsius. This also includes death by ultraviolet radiation, which is at 253 nm wavelength on the electromagnetic spectrum. Getting death by this is unlikely though. Many factors could occur with sunlight exposure.
How Do You Effectively Eliminate Termites?
Death for these little bugs means you need to use a combination of approaches. By using sunlight exposure and heat, they will become eradicated from your colonies! When you want to get them eliminated from your home’s structure, the most effective way is by seeking help from an exterminator.
Death by light exposure does not occur within these termites. This is due to death resulting from heat only. Sunlight exposure becomes an effective way to eliminate termites from your property. Heat in the form of death via UV and death from heat will become your methods to use. That is when you want to get rid of these annoying creatures.
Termites are enemies of the sun, air, and extreme temperatures. Keep your house well-ventilated to avoid dark humid areas that termites thrive in. When you see any early signs, take immediate action, or call an expert termite exterminator for help.