As their name suggests, subterranean termite colonies exist underground. They make their way up to their food source by building small tunnels known as shelter tubes, and are also often identified by piles of shed wings. Tips for preventing a subterranean termite infestation include keeping crawl spaces and attics ventilated and avoiding water accumulation in the sub structure since excess moisture can contribute to nesting sites.
This type of termite infests drywood, and is often identifiable by the presence of their fecal matter, which looks like small pellets, often found adjacent to small kick-out holes in the wood. Like subterranean termites, they may also produce piles of shed wings. It is a good idea to keep the landscape and home perimeter free of wood debris such as fallen leaves, tree limbs, or scrap wood. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the home. Additionally, keep exterior wood painted and/or sealed. This should involve caulking all cracks and crevices to deny entry points for drywood termites.
Did you know that carpenter ants are frequently confused with termites? Here are some tips to tell the difference:
Appearance – Carpenter ants have a well-defined narrow waist, bent antennae, and have four wings of uneven length. Termites have no waist, straight antennae, and its four wings are of equal size – much longer than its body.
Behavior – Termites eat wood, and the galleries they create may have mud or soil inside. Carpenter ant galleries however, are clean and can almost appear as if the wood has been sanded. Carpenter ants do not actually eat the wood, but rather chew on it in order to create nesting areas.
Evidence – Drywood termite frass (their fecal pellets) resemble course sand, while Carpenter ant debris looks similar to pencil shavings.
If you think you may have an issue with termites please call to receive professional help. ATCO is always available to assist you with any services you may need.