If you are a homeowner, then may have encountered termites at least once. You would have found out they are certainly not like the average pests. As for those of you that do not know what termites are, let us take an overview into understanding them better. The main step is to figuring out whether or not you have a termite infestation in your home. As they have physical similarities to ants, it can be quite difficult to identify them. You do not only have to identify that these little buggers are but also their type of species in order to treat them.

There are a few things you need to keep in mind when differentiating between termites and ants. These will help you identify whether you have an infestation of ants in your home or whether you have the infestation of termites because only then will you be able to take the necessary measures in order to get rid of them:

  1. While termites have straight and quite beadlike antennae, ants have bent ones.
  2. Ants do not have an elongated abdomen whist termites do.
  3. Ants have a triangular section, known as the pedicle, between their abdomen and thorax which termites do not.
  4. While the front as well as the back wings are equal in size of the termite, the ant has front wings that are much larger than the ones on its back (Termites, 2010).

You must then look at the structural signs in your home to determine whether or not there is an active infestation. This raises the question as to where. Where do you find termites in your home? Most people assume termites can only be found where wood is present but this is not true. Termites’ feast on callouses which implies they love plant-based objects as their basic food source. We bet you didn’t know that. Well, now you do.

Did you know that in the US you can find approximately 50 different species of termites? Out of these 50, 20 are considered structural pests found in homes. The only state immune to their infestation is Alaska. Lucky Alaskans, huh? (Termite Control, 2004)

You are probably wondering what you did wrong that resulted in termites infesting your home. Well, there are many reasons for their existence. It is also possible that during a mating flight, a number of winged reproductive termites landed in your house. This would have led to colonies being built in your furniture as well as the exterior of your house. You must keep in mind that it is just wood that termites are attracted to, but any place that is moist and has a plant based object nearby (Termite Control, 2004).

It is also essential to keep in mind the presence of a termite is not enough to assume there is an infestation in your home. As termites are an important part of our ecosystem, it is possible they landed in your home and you found them. So, before you spend your hard earned money on infestation inspection, find out whether or not you even need it. This isn’t as hard as it looks and you can even identify the infestation on your own now that you know the difference between ants and termites (Termites, 2010).

First, you need to check the woodwork of your house, see if you can find a cluster of termites in one place. If you don’t, move on to the porch posts, or anything that comes into contact with the ground. Not only this, you will also have to check the stonework as termites are also known to build colonies there (Termite Control, 2004).

There are a number of remedies when it comes to this problem. Once you identify your home suffers from termite infestation, you can either treat it with boiling water, boric acid, rock salt, or cardboard traps. However, if you want the problem to be fixed by a professional, you can always ring up a certified professional but keep in mind the whole process will cost you slightly more as many dangerous chemicals as well as equipment will be involved. You can pick up one of the updated copies of yellow pages and ring up any fumigation service company you prefer for the job (Termite Control, 2004).

When it comes to owning a home, figuring out whether or not the house is infested with termites is quite important. An inspection during a real estate transaction will cost you about $65 to $100 after which if the house is termite free, the inspectors will sign a certificate stating so. This certificate will include two things: one will be the necessary precautions to keep termites away and the other will be the measures that you need to take should you discover termites in the future (Termite Control, 2004).

So, there you have it. These are some basic things you need to keep in mind as dealing with termites can be quite tricky. When left alone, the infestation will only fester, so even if you suspect their existence, it is best to get an expert opinion before purchasing a home. And if you already own a home, it is best to examine the colonies first before spending hundreds of dollars on fumigation. Not to mention that you are going to have to find a different place to live in while the whole process takes place.

Termites are pests that will destroy your home, so check your home now before you begin to run into structural issues within your dream home. The power is now to save your dream!

Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA

President and CEO