Termite identification is an important part of determining how bad your pest problem is and what needs to be done to eliminate it. First of all, you need to know whether you’re looking at termites or ants. If it is termites, you need to know which type of termite you’re looking at so you’ll know best how to get rid of it. After all, no one wants these animals living in their homes, but you don’t want to spend a fortune on getting rid of them, either. Instead, identify them specifically so you’ll be able to target your approaches at getting rid of them.
Performing Termite Identification
When it comes to termite identification, before you look at anything else, you should make sure you actually have termites, and not just ants. While neither pest is pleasant, ants are easier to deal with than the great and might termite. Avoiding drywood termites can be done when you do this identification, you’ll need to find an insect and look at it carefully. It may be easier to find a dead specimen for identification, or to use a microscope if you have one handy.
Termite identification depends on several characteristics: wings, abdomen shape, and antennae shape. Since the termite and the ant look very similar from a distance, and even from quite close up, it’s these little characteristics that will identify them. The termite has two sets of wings that are equal in length, a straight abdomen, and straight antennae. The ant, on the other hand, has one set of wings larger than the others, a sharply defined “waist” to his abdomen, and antennae that are bent, or elbowed, in the middle.
Once you’ve proceeded with termite identification long enough to know that your problem is, in fact, termites, you’ll want to know which type of termites you have. Some of this identification will come from looking at the bug, while some of it will depend on where you live and what your home is made out of.
The subterranean termite is the most common type in the United States. These bugs live underground and travel through mud tunnels to get to a home. Common types are the Eastern and the Formosan, though the Arid Land and Western also exist. However, drywood termites also exist in the United States, especially in Southern California and along the Gulf Coast. They don’t need moisture to survive, but instead live in and feed off dry wood.
While there’s no way that an amateur can determine exactly the type of termites he has, some identification is usually possible. For instance, many subterranean termites that swarm have a black body and white wings. Drywood termites that swarm, on the other hand, often have a red body and black wings. These are just general statements, though, so it’s good to leave this detailed identification to the professionals.
What to Do After Termite Identification
Once you’ve performed a termite identification and you have a pretty good idea what sort of animal makes up your pest problem, it’s time to find a solution that will work for you and eliminate the critters. After all, no one wants to live in a home swarming with insects, nor in one that could fall down around your ears anytime. You can get the names of extermination professionals in your area from this site, as well as their contact information. Some of the may even have websites that you can use to make first contact.