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03/05/2018 12:04 pm

Are Those Ants or Termites?

Ants can be a nuisance, but do not cost property owners over two-billion dollars a year to eradicate. They also do not cause billions of dollars of structural damage every year either. Those estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refer to termite activity. Ants are often mistaken for termites, but discovering the differences in appearance can save property owners time and money

Rarely Visible

Ants are all over the place and are hard to miss. Their antennae are bent at a ninety-degree angle and the front wings are longer than the back wings. Because termites remain in the wood they are tunneling, very few people can identify them. For clarification, the antennae of termites are straight and their wings are almost equal in length from front to back.

Because these destructive pests are elusive most of the damage to the home, shed, garage, or commercial buildings is done before owners are aware there is an infestation. One way to check the building is to use a screwdriver, or something similar, to find hollow spots in exposed wood. If what appears to be a small pile of dust is found when wood doors are opened, that is a sign as well. The best thing to do is call a professional pest control management company to inspect the building.

ant control

Preventative Measures

Preventative measures against termites are most effective when done during construction. A concrete foundation is key. A space between the soil and any wood is needed for ventilation. There are also building materials infused with termite pesticides, known as termiticides. Metal mesh, sand, and metal pieces are used for proactive termite control.

For existing structures, it is wise to cover any exposed wood with sealants to prevent accessibility. Soil around the foundation needs to remain dry. This is typically accomplished with grading or proper drainage. If water begins to puddle, repairs may be needed to ensure better drainage. Fix any leaks as soon as they are noticed, and seal any cracks and areas where utilities pass through walls with grout or caulking.

Non-Chemical Options

People who wish to take a non-chemical approach to Pest Control can have physical barriers added to exposed wood to block access. There are also fungus treatments available that are successful biological controls for termites. Cutting back trees and shrubs so they are not growing against exposed wood will help reduce the risk of termites as well. Firewood should be piled away from the house to reduce risks as well.


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