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.
The two wingless non-reproductive castes consist of the soldiers and workers. The soldiers defend the colony from outside attack, while the workers carry out all duties except defence and reproduction. For example, the workers feed the reproductives, larvae and soldiers, care for the eggs, and construct tunnels and shelter tubes. The soldier caste consists of sterile adults with large heads and pincher-like mouth parts. These soldiers make up 2-3 % of the total colony.
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.
Proper ventilation is essential to eliminate moist conditions. The main areas of concern are verandas and crawl spaces. The amount of ventilation will be variable according to regional and local factors, and must meet building standards.
The second method is called "budding". In this method, when a colony becomes sufficiently large, or a portion of a colony becomes separated from the main colony, new secondary reproductives are formed from larvae or nymphs and the nucleus of a new colony is established.
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.
When no further activity is observed in the bait stations, treated bait is removed, and replaced with untreated bait. Monitoring continues on a regular basis, and the procedure is repeated as necessary. Several companies offer products and services that are variations on this method of site treatment, although baiting is still a relatively new approach for termites.
Termite barriers contain a soil and a bait trap mixed with a high concentration of termite poison. When traveling toward your home, termites don`t recognize the difference between the soil in the barriers and the regular ground soil so they enter the poison barriers. Many new homebuilders choose to have a termite services company install termite barriers during the construction process as an additional amenity for the home.
Termites eat away at wood in the home and use their own feces and dirt to patch up the holes they make. If you look carefully, you might find some evidence of this. If you have painted, wooden surfaces you might see what appears to be bubbling under the paint. This can be caused by termites eating the wood. After termites have finished swarming, many shed their wings, which you can find on the floor of your house.
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.