Agricultural Termites Can Destroy The Grass In People’s Lawns
If you find termites crawling around in your lawn then a termite infestation in your home is likely to occur, right? Well, not necessarily. You would assume that finding termites in your lawn means that your home is at risk of becoming termite food. However, it is not uncommon for some Americans to find termites consuming the grass in their lawns. These grass-eating termites are referred to as “agricultural” or “desert” termites.
It goes without saying that you should contact a pest control professional upon finding termites anywhere on your property. But luckily, not all termites are interested in wood. Agricultural termites are one such group of termites that feed on grass as opposed to other materials that contain cellulose. Agricultural termites dwell above ground and can travel as deep as four feet below the ground, where they prefer to spend most of their time. These wingless termites have white bodies, brown heads and their colonies can include thousands of individual grass-eating termites.
When environmental conditions are dry, agricultural termites will move to the surface of soil and build mud tubes over grass patches. Subterranean termites do not build mud tubes over grassy areas unless the tubes lead into a foundation where wood is located. Agricultural termites build mud tubes over areas of grass in order to protect themselves from heat and predators. These termites only build mud tubes when drought conditions force them to the surface of soil in order to locate water. This is the primary difference between agricultural termites and subterranean termites.
Agricultural termites are most common in regions that are dry and arid, such as Arizona, New Mexico and southern Texas. According to a Texas Cooperative Extension expert, Molly Keck, the termites that people find in grass are most likely agricultural termites that do not cause structural damages. Typically, agricultural termites are most prevalent in rural areas, but lately they have been appearing more and more in populated neighborhoods. Agricultural termites are being spotted more frequently in Texas especially. Since subterranean termites look similar to agricultural termites, only pest control professionals can tell the difference between the two termite species in most cases. If you spot mud tubes in your lawn, then you are definitely dealing with agricultural termites as opposed to subterranean termites. Since these termites can damage turfgrass, professional termite control measures are necessary when attempting to eradicate agricultural termites.
Have you ever noticed termites crawling through areas of grass?