There are red, black, and brown ants, but is there such a thing as a white ant? Ants, in general, are an essential asset to the environment by contributing to natural processes such as decomposition, soil aeration, and pest control. Ants can be pests in their own right but are sometimes blamed for the escapades of other insects and the damage they cause.
If you are having a problem with what seems to be white ants, you may be surprised to learn that white ants don’t exist. The white ant name and description are misconceptions that are used to identify termites. Termites are sometimes referred to as white ants, further compounding their misidentification. Learning all about termites and how they can affect your house will help you to protect your family and home.
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White ants and termites are the same things. Termites are wood-eating insect that can devastate your home or business. Termites prefer to live in large colonies and can do considerable damage to wood and wooden structures in a relatively short amount of time. These pests are one of the most dreaded by home and business owners due to their ability to cause extensive damage that can cost thousands in repairs.
The three types of termites are subterranean, damp wood, and dry wood. Dry wood termites live in dry wood and are less common in the United States. Damp wood termites typically live in heavily forested areas. Subterranean termites are considered to be the most destructive of the three types and need a moist environment and are mostly found living in the soil.
Termites become active in the early spring, appear in swarms, and can be mistaken for flying ants. They will be most active through the summer months and will remain active until the winter season starts. Dealing with a termite infestation is best left to the professionals. If you fear you may have a problem with termites, contact a professional pest control agency.
There are seven common signs that result from termite activity. If you find any or all of these seven signs, you likely have a termite infestation on your hands. These signs include:
Termites make a distinctive noise as they work. This sound is a quiet clicking that can be heard coming from infested walls. The cause of this sound is when the termites shake their bodies or bang their heads against the wood. This is a means of alerting the rest of the colony of a potential threat when the colony has been disturbed.
Dry wood termites are known to eat wood from the inside out and will consume all they can, leaving a thin outer layer of wood or paint. When this wood is knocked on, it will sound hollow or papery.
Reproductive swarms of termites will be seen when they have reproduced and are leaving the nest to form new colonies. Flying termites are often mistaken for swarming ants or vice versa. They can be seen swarming at night or during the day, depending on the type of termite. Dry wood termites will swarm after rain during certain times of the year.
Either of these two issues could be a sign of termite activity. The moisture that termite colonies create during their normal activities can cause swelling and warping to occur in door and window frames.
A common misconception is that termites are white ants. If you think you have white ants, you are dealing with termites because they are one and the same. The fact that termites are called white ants only complicates things further when trying to identify which pest you are dealing with.
This is the feces and other waste products from termite activity and will be noticeable in small piles near walls and other areas where termites are active.
The tunnels that termites create are also called galleries and are typically concealed unless a piece of damaged wood is broken or you can view the damage from outside your home.
Getting rid of termites is often more than an individual can handle without assistance from a professional exterminator. If the termite infestation is caught before it has become a significant concern, a few DIY methods you can use include liquid sprays, termite baits, termiticides, and pesticides. You could also create chemical and physical barriers to fight against intruding termites.
Liquid sprays, termiticides, and pesticides require you to use caution and to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. These liquids can be applied inside and outside of your home, and it’s recommended to use them in both locations. Using them in this manner increases the effectiveness of the liquid termite killers and helps to eliminate the threat.
Termite bait is the most used DIY method due to its relatively low cost and ease of use. These baits reduce the use of hazardous chemicals and pesticides that can be toxic to humans or pets. Baits can typically take up to two weeks to work but are highly effective. The best way of dealing with termite infestations and prevention is to hire a professional exterminator that can diagnose the issue and put a plan into motion to eliminate the current threat and to prevent future invasions.
Prevention is your best weapon against termites, and having a professional pest control agency on retainer is the best way to keep your home protected. Many mortgage companies require homeowners to provide a termite inspection certificate when purchasing a home and through the subsequent years of the mortgage agreement. Remember that most insurance companies won’t cover the damage inflicted by termites, making it your responsibility to keep your home and your family protected.