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.
Liquid chemicals sprayed on the ground around a home to poison termites, termiticides are one of the most common types of termite services. Many times, termites don`t live inside the wood of a home. They enter to eat and then leave to go back to their own home. When termites travel across soil sprayed with termiticides, it poisons them in a matter of minutes or a few hours. When applied correctly, the termiticide should remain effective for five years. Termiticides are one of the most popular ways to prevent termite damage.
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.
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.
Break the wood-soil contact. To little clearance between the soil and wooden structures often results in all of the physical requirements for a termite infestation being met (moisture, decaying wood, and food readily available). A general rule is that there should be a 45cm (18 inch) clearance between the soil and lowest horizontal members of the structure. If wooden lattice-work is used around verandas, there should be a space of 50 - 75 cm (20-30 inches) between the soil and this lattice-work. Other problem areas include veranda and basement steps, where the wood is in direct contact with soil.
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.
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.
The subterranean termite is very closely associated with the soil, which is its main source of life-sustaining moisture. Termite food consists of cellulose obtained from wood and wood products. Decaying damp wood is preferred but termites are also able to feed on sound, dry lumber.
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.
A typical termite family will include soldiers. These have long heads and powerful jaws. Soldier termites defend the family unit. If you can find some soldier termites, this makes it easier to know whether you have a termite problem. Solders only make up part of the termite population so you will have to look carefully for them. Most termites are workers. These are about 2/5 inch long and are recognizable by their soft, light-colored bodies. They look a bit like moving grains of rice.