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Termite and Carpenter Ant Pest Control: It's a Dirty Job, but Somebody's Got to Do It

Perhaps you've recently seen strange winged insects in your home or garden and you've wondered if you have carpenter ant or termite trouble. Before you splurge on economy-sized cases of pest control spray, you should first determine whether your mysterious visitors are carpenter ants or flying termites. Depending on the type of insect, you can take several steps to first identify your problem and then carefully work to ensure your winged nuisances stay away for good.

Do You Have Termites?

Flying termites have proportionate wings, antennae without joints, and soft bodies. Unlike carpenter ants, termites actually feed on cellulose material in your house's wood, which can cause destruction. In fact, termites are the top wood-damaging pests in the country. Drywood termites infest fresh, dry wood and live above ground while dampwood termites nest in wood that is buried in the moist ground. Typical signs of termite infestation include swarming of winged insects in fall, winter, and spring, and visible tunneling in the wood of your house.

Or Maybe They’re Carpenter Ants?

Carpenter ants' bodies have pinched waists, and their antennae are bent halfway along their length. They hollow out the wood in your house to use it as nesting grounds. Wood damaged by these pests has a series of smooth, hollowed-out passageways. Termites are messier, leaving behind debris. Carpenter ant pest control is relatively simple: do not give them a bridge between the soil and the wood on your house, and keep a sharp eye out in late winter through spring for their swarms.

Prevention of termite or carpenter ant infestation is ideal, but if they are already living with you, you need to find an exterminator or pest control expert. Exterminators are experts at finding possible points of entrance for carpenter ants and termites, and they are familiar with all of the latest techniques for pest control and removal. Together with an exterminator, you can come up with a game plan to prevent these destructive insects from ever coming back.

Sources

Louisiana State University Ag Center, "Formosan Subterranean Termite Identification and Biology"
BobVila.com How To Library, "Prevent Damage from Carpenter Ants" and "Termite Control"

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