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.
In the termite colony there are generally several generations present. The colony is made up of several castes (forms) (larvae, nymphs, secondary and primary reproductives, soldiers and workers), who carry out specific duties or functions.
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.
Termites often enter buildings through cracks and holes and expansion joints in foundations. Spaces around piping and wiring are also points of entry. These openings may be filled with either roofing-grade coal-tar pitch, sealers or similar commercial caulking products.
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.
The presence of shelter tubes over the surface of foundation walls is the primary sign of a termite infestation. These tubes are 6mm (1/4 inch) to 12mm (1/2 inch) wide, and can extend many centimetres in length until wood is discovered. These tubes protect termites form the drying effect of air, and maintain the termites` contact with the soil.
The subterranean termite Reticulitermis flavipes (Kollar) is probably the most destructive and widely distributed species in North America. This species has acclimatized to southern Ontario to such a degree that 27 municipalities report some degree of infestation.
The primary female reproductive (the queen), is very rarely found in Ontario, whereas secondary reproductives in the colony carry on extensive reproduction.
Termites and white ants is soft-bodied social creature of the scientific order Isoptera. They damage your home at a steady rate. It is easy to distinguish these termites from ants by comparing the abdomen base of the two. In termites, abdomen broadly connects to the thorax while in ants there is a slender petiole (connection) connecting these segments. Additionally antennae of termites are threadlike or beadlike whereas antennae of ants are elbowed. As termites feed primarily on wood, it is necessary to have some basic termite information or else they may damage your home.
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.