How To Protect Your Home From Ground Termites

ground termites in hawaiiWhen it comes to protecting your Hawaii home from ground termites, it is necessary to understand how these insects do what they do. Examining the behavior of ground termites, also known as subterranean termites, gives vital clues to what works best to stop these wood destroying pests.


Most species of ground termite establish nests in the ground. This is where the queen lives, and where offspring are produced. Since it is in the ground, there is no way to destroy it with direct pesticide treatments. Indirect measures are necessary.

How Workers Travel

Worker termites are the life of a termite nest. They tunnel out from the nest, sometimes as much as the distance of a football field, in search of food. When they find it, they work together to consume the food source and bring it back to their nest to feed the other termites through a process called trophallaxis. Since they share the food they find, it is possible to use a poisoned bait to strike deep into a termite colony.

Nest Behavior

Termites are cooperative insects. While it can seem like the termite queen sends out telepathic commands from her secret lair, the truth is, all termites have a set of patterns they follow. These patterns are influenced by pheromone scents, the sound of workers clicking their heads on tunnel walls, and the behavior of other termites. If a poison works too quickly, the workers are wired to respond. This can cause a nest to go into a defensive posture to protect the queen. For a termite bait, or pesticide with bait-like chemical technology to work it is necessary for it to be slow-acting.

How Workers Work

Termite workers do not behave like ants. When they find a food source, they do not concentrate all of their effort on slowly breaking down one tiny area. Many workers will continue to scout. For this reason, bait stations left in the ground around a structure have a high probability of being found by workers. When workers feed from these stations, they share the food with workers on their way back to their nest, and give the food to other termites in the nest, including the queen.

The Importance Of A Queen

At the heart of every nest is the queen termite. Her primary job is to produce offspring. All offspring begin as worker termites, but have the ability to mature into other types of termites. If a nest needs more defenses, workers will become soldiers. If a nest is nearing maximum population, workers may mature into male and female alates, which will become the queens and kings of new nests. If a poison reaches a queen, her death will be the death of a colony. While her death will cause her to stop producing a pheromone that keeps female alates from developing into a new queen, the threat of the poison makes the nest unattractive to these potential replacement queens. If they manage to survive, it is more likely that they will flee and attempt to start a fresh nest. But, with alate numbers diminished by the poison, the likelihood of success is low.

What Does This Mean?

At Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions, we have two primary ways for neutralizing and exterminating termites. Both of these measures use the behavior of termites against their own colony. When termite come in contact with the products we employ, they take the product back to their queen.

The Sentricon Termite Colony Elimination System with its always active technology uses discrete bait stations to feed worker termites a bait that slowly works its way back to the queen. When the queen dies, the colony dies with her.

For direct termite control, and for ground or structure treatments, we may use Termidor. This is an "undetectable" chemical technology that termites cannot sense and are unable to avoid. When they ingest it or get it on their bodies, the product is transferred to other workers and eventually to the termites in the nest.

The experts here at Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions are industry-leaders who understand the habits and habitats of termites and other invasive pests. When you need the most advanced termite protection available, you can trust Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions. Contact us today to schedule a termite inspection and ongoing termite control. We look forward to serving you.