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What YOU Should Know About Termites

Do you know the difference between a flying ant and a termite? Hint: Look at the BODY!

 

Prevent Damage > Control Termites

I had a friend that called me from California. We met up at a pest control conference a few years back and managed to stay in touch. He told me a story about a home owner that he had visited and the homeowner was complaining that the ant control program he was doing wasn’t working. For the last two Springs the ants swarmed and they found their bodies all over the basement floor and on the first floor and they were flying around outside and just being a general nuisance. And every spring the homeowner would run to the local big box store buy a jug of ready-made insect killer and spray all around the house. Course next year it would happen again. So at this point he was frustrated and he figured he would call in a professional to take a look and see how they suggest eliminating these ants. Unfortunately for the homeowner he did not understand the difference between an ant and a termite. So for the last two years he had been spraying to eliminate these ants and he wasn’t doing a thing to stop the termites that were feeding on his house. It’s important to note that typically ants will swarm in the latter part of the summer. Not always but the majority of time we find that towards the end of the summer we have winged ants flying off to start new colonies. In the early spring when conditions are just right termites swarm. It’s typically when the moisture conditions are just right because termites are very moisture sensitive and without moisture they die pretty quickly. So this guy was running off to the store picking up bottles of insecticide spraying his entire finished basement plus the first floor of his home and of course he wasn’t doing anything except putting excessive pesticides down for an insect that has to be treated an entirely different way.

How to tell the difference between a Termite and an ant.

If you take a look at the picture at the top will see some key differences between an ant and a termite. Primarily and usually the easiest way to differentiate between the two is the fact that ant bodies have three segments. They have the first segment, the second segment and the third segment. The first segment is called the head. The second section is called the mesosoma and the third segment is called the gaster. We usually identify ants especially the tiny ones by the petiole numbers between the mesosoma and the gaster. Now you don’t really have to know this but what you should realize is that if you are looking at a small insect flying around the inside of your home that has wings and it’s early spring and the body is pretty straight and if you pull the wings off it certainly would look like an ant body it’s probably a termite. And if you have a termite issue and it’s early spring you should call us to fix it if you’re in New Jersey or New York or Pennsylvania.

Good Termite Control is Important

The main benefit of dealing with professionals when it comes to termite control is that we can give you the options that are available to you that will serve you best.  A lot of people want to go with a baiting system but you have to realize that in some cases a traditional treatment using traditional pesticides or even some of the new eco-friend injectable products is going to be the way to stop the termite damage that is occurring on a daily basis. Once you have that section under control then a baiting program is fine. But you have to realize that in certain cases baiting can take anywhere from a year to two for it to be effective. And there’s a lot of do-it-yourself kits out there that you can go out and pick up and hammer them into the ground but it’s not really a very smart thing to do and I’ll tell you why. How much do you know about termite feeding habits? How about termite behavior? How about areas that they would prefer over areas that they might stay away from? Termite control can be very complicated. Not all the time but there are certain times that I walk into a job and wish I didn’t. Because of the construction characteristics, soil composition, amount of damage or suspected damage, or the areas that were going to have to access to treat properly. These jobs can be very tough. These jobs can be very tricky. What you are doing basically as a homeowner is paying someone to take over your problem. Because once you okay that agreement your termite issue is now my issue. I am now responsible for preserving your home and protecting your home and stopping the damage. So remember if it’s a warm moist Spring day and suddenly the air outside your home or inside your home is filled with small flying insects that could be ants take a close look. Break out that magnifier. If you don’t see any segmented sections it’s probably termites. Pick up the phone call a professional company and have it diagnosed. Most companies will do this for free.

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