Perhaps the most dangerous pest
in Cyprus, termites can tear your house down if not treated by a
Termites are social and can form large nests or colonies, consisting
of very different looking individuals (castes). Physically the largest
individual is the queen. Her function is to lay eggs, sometimes
thousands in a single day. A king is always by her side. Other
individuals have large heads with powerful jaws, or a bulblike head
that squirts liquid. These individuals are called soldiers. But the
largest group of termites in a colony is the workers. They toil long
hours tending the queen, building the nest, or gathering food. While
other species of social insects have workers, termites are unique among
insects in that workers can be male or female. Surprisingly, termites
can be long-lived: queens and kings can live for decades while
individual workers can survive for several years.
As termites live up to twenty feet underground, problems with them stem
from the earth. They come into the house through cracks or dampness and
feed on wood. Some termites have wings, while others don't.
Signs of termite infestation include swarming of winged forms in fall
and spring and evidence of tunneling in wood. Darkening or blistering
of wooden structural members is another indication of an infestation;
wood in damaged areas is typically thin and easily punctured with a
knife or screwdriver.