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Pest control in Ibiza and Formentera: termites.

Nova Control, company specialized in wood treatments in Ibiza and Formentera

Termites: health risks and economic losses.

Subterranean termites.

Subterranean termites are social insects that form colonies of several thousand individuals. These colonies are located in the soil in relatively humid areas and close to their food source.

They have caste divisions, which are accompanied by morphological differences adapted to their functions. The colony has a king and a queen, however, with few exceptions, the reproductive function does not only fall on two individuals, but there are secondary reproducers.

These secondary reproducers have the capacity to replace the kings if they die. Similarly, as the colony increases in size, they can create new reproductive nuclei, which, if they become physically isolated from the rest of the colony, will found a new colony. This can occur, for example, because of a poorly carried out termite treatment that eliminates only part of the colony by physical measures, or an incorrect application of biocides that results in the partial elimination of the termite mound. This fragmentation of the termite mound will result in one or more parts of the colony remaining on the ground, and consequently the problem will persist.

Subterranean termites feed on wood with their powerful chewing and cutting mouthparts, a function that only nymphs and workers can perform. Soldiers and reproductive individuals are fed by workers and nymphs through a process called trophallaxis. This behaviour is also shared with other social insects such as ants and wasps.

They can also feed on cellulose contained in sources other than wood, such as cardboard, paper or certain types of insulation.

Termites are directly dependent on moisture, which forces them to develop mud-lined ducts to move from the nest to the food source. When there is a large infestation, these ducts can reach considerable size and complexity in the affected areas. They are photosensitive, i.e. they avoid sunlight, which means that these ducts also allow them to avoid light during their movements.


Dry wood termites.

Drywood termites differ from subterranean termites in that they do not build their nests underground, but inside the wood itself. On the other hand, drywood termites do not have workers, their castes are divided into reproductives and soldiers. They are photosensitive, i.e. they avoid sunlight.

Drywood termites keep the galleries they build inside the wood clean. To do this, they expel their droppings out of the wood through small holes. These droppings can help us to identify them because of their characteristic shape and consistency.

The drywood termite, before starting to excavate its galleries, will (generally) enter the wood through cracks, crevices or similar flaws in its surface.

Because of their ability to live and move inside wood, they have a greater capacity to invade structures from the ground to the ceiling, compared to subterranean termites. However, because their nests are located in the wood, they may be less complex to eradicate.


Termites and economic losses.

Termites are one of the pests that generate most anxiety when they make their presence felt, as they attack wood without mercy or rest in any of its forms: beams, pillars, floors, walls..... A termite consumes wood in the order of 2 times its weight daily.

Termites are a serious public problem when they attack historic objects and constructions, such as altarpieces, works of art, old buildings with structural elements made of wood, etc....

The lack of effective control of this pest can be accompanied, in the best of cases, by a great expense of restoration of the damaged elements once the pest has been eradicated; in the worst of cases, by the loss of the infrastructure or the affected object.

Termites and health risks.

Termites do not pose a direct health risk in the same way that, for example, rodents, cockroaches or mosquitoes do. They do not act as disease vectors, nor do they bite or sting people or pets.

However, they do pose an indirect risk by damaging structural elements of buildings, such as beams or floors, which may eventually collapse, with the consequent danger of personal injury.

It should also be borne in mind that termites can feed on decorative or culture-related items: sculptures, books, paintings... and that the loss of these objects, beyond their economic value, can represent a great sentimental loss for us.

Termite identification and control.

Identification of termite infestation:

-Detection of structural damage.

-Sightings (especially winged specimens during swarming season).

-Ducts or "mud tubes" in walls, beams, floors, etc. (in the case of subterranean termites).

Termite control by Integrated Pest Management (IPM):

-Preliminary inspection.

-Control of organisational measures.

-Control of structural measures.

-Application of biocides (installation of termite mounds).

-Scanning of damaged structures.

For a more detailed description of our work methodology, please consult the description of our Integrated Pest Control (IPC).


Termites plague in Ibiza and Formentera, main species.

Subterranean termites, Reticulitermes spp : Subterranean termites do not build their colonies in their food source. They are more dependent on moisture than drywood termites, which often leads them to build their nests underground, at a depth of up to 3 metres.

Their colonies usually have more than one breeding pair, with population sizes ranging from 200,000 individuals to 2-3 million. This gives us an idea of the tremendous destructive power of the subterranean termite, and the tremendous economic and material losses it causes around the world.

The fact that there are several breeding individuals in the colony, which do not necessarily have to be located in the same chamber of the termite mound, makes it necessary to be very rigorous and patient in eliminating the problem. Similarly, physical measures that "break" or "break up" the termite mound will at best temporarily reduce the size of the colony, but will never solve the problem.

The swarming season (roughly speaking) is late spring and early summer.


Termites are insects that eat wood. They are considered one of the most important pests economically. Reticulitermes lucifugus.



Drywood termites, Kalotermes flavicollis and Criptotermes brevis: both species make their nests inside the wood they affect, they do not have more than one queen per colony, although they can form fragments of the colony, which means that they can spread over the same area, making them look like a single colony.

It is important to make a good diagnosis before treatment to avoid eliminating only part of the problem.

Criptotermes brevis is an invasive species that originated in South America, but due to its destructive power, it has quickly spread all over the world.

They do not require a large amount of moisture in the wood to settle. The size of the colonies usually varies between 300 and 1000 individuals.

Although the weather and the subspecies may affect the exact date, they swarm (dispersal of winged breeding adults) in late summer and early autumn.

Termite workers of Kalotermes flavicollis species tunneling of an old and rotten carpet. Soft and pale colored body.


Nova Control has the professionals, resources and experience necessary to guarantee the correct control of pests and microorganisms both in Ibiza and Formentera, always seeking to cover the service in a discreet and professional manner.

At Nova Control, we always try to adapt to the needs and requirements of our clients, whether they are public, private or private entities.


For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us:

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If you have any questions or doubts, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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+34 604 04 82 98

Where are we

Calle Galicia nº36 bajo
07800 Ibiza (Islas Baleares)

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