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.
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.
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.
Soldier termites are similar in size and colour to workers, but have an enlarged brownish coloured head with large modified mandibles (large biting jaws), used for defense.
Carpenter ants, found in the Pacific Northwest, the northern Midwest, New England and southern Canada, are distinguishable from termites by their dark colour, narrow waists, elbowed antennae and when present, the large front and small rear wings. Carpenter ants rarely attack sound dry wood, preferring damp wood, foam or cellulose insulation, and do not use wood for food. They are more easily spotted than termites as they expel wood fragments from their excavations, and forage for food in the open. The presence of carpenter ants may indicate moisture problems in the building as they generally prefer already rotting wood.
Several species of powder post beetles are to be found in the U.S. and Canada. They vary in length from 1/16" to 3/8", but generally have flattened bodies, a prominent head and segmented antennae. True powder post beetles attack only hardwoods (particularly oak, hickory, ash, walnut and cherry) but other species of wood boring beetles attack both hardwoods and softwoods.
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 first method, common in the warmer climates of the southern United States, is called swarming. This occurs usually in spring, when large numbers of winged primary reproductives (alates) (top photo) emerge from a colony, fly a very short distance, mate and then establish a new colony. Although alates are found in Ontario, rarely do they swarm.
There are several natural methods available for combating termite infestation. However, these methods are not a silver bullet. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", a popular phrase applies to this situation. If there is no issue of termite problem at first place than there is no need to worry. One of the best ways of preventing your home from termites is to move the things first.
Winged termites are darker. Termites have six legs, all of which are short. On ants, the front wings are longer than the back pair and they don`t break easily. Termites have four wings of equal size (twice as long as the body) which do not break easily. Ants have narrow and defined waists. Termites have thick undefined waists. Ants have elbowed antennae. Termites have straight ones which resemble tiny strings of pearls. They do not have eyes unless they are winged termites. Termites are actually more closely related to the cockroach family rather than the ant family.