Ants and Termites. What is in my house?
It’s Pest Management Awareness Month! The weather is warming up outside and all the bugs are crawling out of the woodwork!! Franklin Pest Solutions has worked with our friends at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) to talk about spring time pests and what kind of bugs we can anticipate throughout the summer. According to this infographic below, termites, mosquitoes and ticks are the worst pests we’ll face this year. And there’s one HUGE factor that they all have in common. They LOVE moisture. Read on for expert advice.
What the Bug?! What’s the difference?
So you found a bug in the windowsill. Maybe there are several. Is it an ant? But it has wings. Do termites fly? What is this weird dirt in my basement? Did a bug do this? Termites and ants have some similarities when you’re not used to seeing them at all. There’s a HUGE difference between the damage a termite can cause though and the habits of ant colonies. Let’s see if you can distinguish the difference between termites and ants in these next few images:
Carpenter Ant or Termite?
This wood destroying insect is a carpenter ant. They don’t eat wood, they chew and tunnel through it. Picture an ant farm only in wood. Yeah. That’s what they do.
Termite or Maggot?
Capable of more damage to homes each year than fires, earthquakes and tornadoes COMBINED, this is a subterranean termite. It has a similar appearance to a maggot. These silent destroyers are capable to reeking great damage and eat wood like no other.
Is this just a dirty basement wall or damage from pests? These are termite mud tubes. Sometimes difficult to notice, especially in unfinished portions or crawlspaces in basements. Mud tubes are one tell-tale sign of termites.
What are these vines growing through my basement floor? Another look at termite mud tubes. If you are seeing this on the outer structure walls, the damage has already been done. But it’s not too late to RECLAIM YOUR HOUSE! We have an awesome, green solution and it’s guaranteed as well.
What kind of spider makes this kind of web? A termite. This is also a mud tube. Termites have such soft maggoty bodies that they can’t be exposed to sunlight or predators or any number of things that could easily squish them. So they build these mud tubes to keep them protected, discreet, and then they can carry on eating your house with no one knowing!
Ant vs. Termite Visual Differences
Now that you’ve had a good look at mudtubes, let’s take a closer look at the insect that makes them. These are the noticeable- physical differences between ants and termites:
- Antennae shapes are bent on ants, curved on termites
- Ants have three body segments. Termites have two.
- Ants have two sets of wings; long ones closer to the head and shorter in the back. Termite wings are equal in shape and size.
- Termites’ waist is the same width as the rest of their bodies while ants have a narrow waist connecting their abdomen to thorax.
But why MY house?!
A pest issue is sometimes an indicator of structural damage. Moisture-retaining areas cause damage and will also attract pests. All of these occurrences can attract cockroaches, springtails, termites, centipedes, flies, ants and so many more unwanted pests. Good examples of water damaging issues are:
- leaky gutters
- water drainage flowing back towards the foundation
- flooding in basements
- the absence of dehumidifiers
- vegetation growing too close or onto the building
- mulch touching the foundation
Getting rid of moisture seeking bugs
Our homes should be a place where we can relax and recharge. Don’t let pests take over your home! Below are tips to help ensure that your home is not inviting pests to stay.
- Eliminate sources of standing water around the structure and clean clogged gutters to help reduce moisture.
- Seal any cracks on the exterior of the structure with a silicone-based caulk, paying close attention to where utilities and pipes enter.
- Keep mulch at least 15 inches from the foundation and keep tree branches and shrubbery trimmed back and away from the structure.
- Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the foundation and windows.
- Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry to avoid moisture buildup.
- Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
- Store food in airtight containers and keep surfaces clean of any crumbs or spills.
Protection 24/7 365 Day a Year
With a program like Franklin’s Healthy Home Maintenance Program PLUS SENTRICON, you receive protection from ants, termites, and all the other insects listed below. If you have any signs of pests throughout the year we will come and address the problem free of charge. Structure damaging insects can be very costly to your property, if you think you may have termite issues seek professional help right away.
Consider a free quote for mosquito prevention for your yard to keep yourselves and your pets protected against mosquitoes since they’re going to be so bad this year. The Mosquito Prevention Program for the whole season is more affordable than you think! Remember, Franklin Pest Solutions is just a call away. 800-GOT-PESTS?