Author: Anthony Galz
A home can definitely do without carpenter ants and worker termites - two of the most destructive pests that can destroy a home. Identifying which is which however is important for you to get the right help and treatment. Although a specialist normally knows what a termite looks like, your early detection can help provide immediate and proper attention.
The Subterranean Termites
Being able to identify a subterranean termite from other termite species may just be the key to saving your home. Different termite species have different looks and this can muddle your idea of how a subterranean termite would look like. Subterranean termites however are the most common species found in homes. They usually feed on wood and paper based products and to the unaware, every termite looks like it can harm your precious library or furniture. Your major concern however should be the worker termites.
A termite colony can be composed of several groups: soldier termites, swarmers or reproductives and worker termites. Not every termite looks like a grain of rice but a lot of them do. Soldiers however have mandibles while reproductives have wings. The worker termite looks like a reproductive but is smaller and has no wings. They are the most numerous in a colony and are the main wood eaters.
Swarmer Ants and Termites
The presence of swarmer termites is usually one of the first signs that there may be a termite infestation in your home. This is because swarmers are the ones who propagate termite colonies. Some think that a swarmer termite looks like a flying ant. The truth is that there are major differences.
The body of an ant is usually divided into a head, a slim abdomen and a thorax. A termite looks like it only has a head and a straight body.
Ants and termites both have four wings. Ants however have longer front than rear wings and have apparent vein marks. Termites have four wings of equal length that are far longer than the body and do not have vein marks.
Ants also have slightly bent antennae that may end in some sort of a small club. Termites on the other hand have beaded antennae that do not bend and have no club-like ends and point away from the body.
Where Swarmers Stay
Swarmer termites outside your house does not call for much alarm. These swarmers may simply have been blown by the wind. Swarmers are also not the main termite wood eaters. You should be a little concerned though if you notice a number of swarmer ants flying away from your house and from cracks, windows and woodwork. You may have some form of termite infestation.
Termites are not easy to get rid of. Using an ordinary pests or insecticide may not effectively remedy your termite problems. You may have to ask for some expert help. Experts may use chemical treatment in which termicide is applied on wood and other house areas to prevent termites from invading the house structure. The baiting technique may also be used in which chemicals are spread throughout the colony through wood baits carrying chemicals.