Why Do Termites Follow Ink?

A termite infestation is one of the last things any homeowner wants to deal with. Because they are so infamous for damaging homes, many people know of termites but their anatomy is a bit of a mystery to most.

Our Alabama pest control technicians have spent years learning about termites and studying how they move. Termites act in some strange ways, but one of the most baffling things they do is follow ink. That’s right. Termites aren’t just attracted to water damaged wood. They also follow ink wherever it leads.

The Reason Termites Follow Ink

Insects are driven by instincts and their senses. In the case of termites, the senses are limited. You may be surprised to learn termites actually can’t see, and they can’t hear either. They mainly rely on their sense of smell to get around.

Termites excrete pheromones that help them communicate and navigate. Other termites are able to pick up the pheromone’s scent with chemoreceptors in their antennae. There are a number of pheromone’s that are used for specific purposes like finding mates. They’ll also disperse pheromones to create trails. Without these pheromones blind, deaf worker termites would probably never find their way home.

The pheromones also tell termites how to get back to a food source from their nest. Some inks have a chemical that mimics the pheromone used to mark trails. But not just any ink will peak a termite’s interest. Bic and Papermate ballpoint pins with blue ink are some of the best at attracting termites.

After numerous studies researchers have found termites aren’t attracted to black or red ink. They also don’t follow ink from a felt pen or a rollerball pen. Scientists now believe a compound in blue ink called 2-phenoxyethanol is the substance that imitates the pheromone termites want to follow.

Unfortunately, creating a trail of ink isn’t a practical method for drawing termites out of your home. However, pest control technicians can take advantage of their trail marking habits. A bait system can be used to lure termites in then the termites will create a trail that leads their buddies right back to the bait.

Need to get rid of termites fast before they do serious damage? The ink trick may be a fun project, but a termite infestation is serious business. The longer termites target your property the worse the damage will be. Property owners in Central Alabama can give the team at Vulcan Termite and Pest Control Inc. a call. We’ve been clearing out termite colonies for more than 50 years!

Original Source: https://www.vulcantermite.com/pest-profiles/termites-follow-ink/