Often shelter tubesconstructed of soil particles cemented together by excrement or secretions from the mouth are used to connect the outside soil to a building and for crossing a concrete or metallic portion in a structure. The presence of a shelter tube is generally the first physical evidence of a termite infestation.
Subterranean termites were first reported in Ontario at Point Pelee in 1929. It has subsequently been reported in Toronto (1938), Windsor (1950), Kincardine (1954), Oxley (1955), Amherstburg and Dresden (1968) and Guelph (1975). Presently in Metropolitan Toronto, the termite infested area extends through a radius of approximately 30 kilometers.
It is difficult to identify termites unless there is a reproductive swarm. Swarming termites do however resemble swarming ants. Some people call termites "white ants" but this is an incorrect term. Termites are often white but some are so clear you can see food in their gut. Their bodies are very soft.
Powder post beetle larvae cause millions of dollars worth of damage in the US and Canada annually, and are almost as destructive as termites. Adult beetles lay their eggs in the surface pores of wood. The larvae bore into the wood as soon as they hatch. Living in the wood, they create tunnels called galleries as they eat their way through the timbers. When the larvae are nearly full grown, they bore near to the surface of the wood and pupate. The adults bore out through the surface soon after pupation, pushing a fine powdery wood dust, usually a copper to yellow-gold in color, out of the wood as they emerge.
Some people think that termite identification is difficult but if you know what you are doing it is can be done easily. Termites live in large family units with between several hundred and several million family members. They work together in an organized system to find food sources.
It is useful to know for termite identification that almost every type of termite lives in the dark, apart from the winged ones that fly or any termite when they are constructing something. This means that you normally only see them when something is open or broken. When they are exposed, termites attempt to follow their scent trails to get home. If they can`t get home, they either squeeze themselves into a small gap or wander around looking lost until they find another termite.
Smaller versions of termite barriers, a termite services company will set bait stations in the ground immediately around your home. These small boxes filled with poison can help rid your home of termites as it attracts and poisons them. You termite services company will replace them with new bait stations when they begin to lose their effectiveness. Bait stations have become an increasingly popular way to control termites. The key is placing the bait stations in the most effective locations, so it`s best to contact an expert for placement and installation.
In contrast to termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood and other cellulose-based materials, but instead simply excavate living quarters and hatching chambers that are usually quite limited in extent.
Conventional treatment for termite control requires the services of a licensed exterminator. Several firms in Ontario are qualified, and your Yellow Pages or a Local Search will assist you in locating companies in your area.
Avoid storing fire wood directly on the ground. Care should be taken when obtaining infesting material (such a soil and discarded lumber) from known termite areas.