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.
The series of galleries (area hollowed out) created by termites in wood give a honeycomb appearance. These galleries follow the wood grain. Interior galleries contain greyish specks of excrement and earth, called frass.
Termites have a very thin cuticle (skin) and are subject to rapid desiccation (drying out) if exposed to the environment outside their enclosed habitat. In order to maintain a highly controlled environment, termites must live in a closed system. Colonies in wood are always contained within an outside shell of cellulose material. In this way, they are protected from exposure to the outside.
Suppression refers to measures intended to reduce and eventually eradicate termites from infested materials in a designated area. Suppression methods include systematic location and destruction of colonies not associated with buildings (such as in street trees), systematic inspection of wood products leaving an infested area to quarantine the infestation, burning of infested lumber and heat treatment of reclaimed lumber.
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.
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.
The third method of dispersal is through infested wood or soil being transported to a new location. As few as 15-40 larvae or nymphs contained in the infested material may moult to become secondary reproductives and begin a new colony.
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.
Improve the water drainage around your property. If the soil is constantly moist, optimum conditions are provided for the termites. Repair eaves trough, slope concrete walks away from the house and repair all leaks.
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.