It’s that time of year again. It’s almost like clockwork. The weather gets a little warmer, The Gasparilla Parades, The Strawberry Festival…and another yearly event….Termite Swarms. We’ve seen numerous termite swarms and received calls from clients about black bugs with wings flying all over their houses and yards. They wanted to know how they could tell if it was ants or subterranean termites.
So here’s what to look for:
Signs Your Home May Be Termite Infested
As with many unwanted houseguests, there are signs that they will be arriving soon. There’s a phone call that warns you of their visit, or perhaps a knock on the door. When it comes to termites, you won’t get that phone call or knock on the door. They show up completely unannounced….and they bring 1000’s of their family members.
Eyewitness – Termites or Ants??
Swarming termites or Ants??? That is the question. They look very similar and are often mis- diagnosed by homeowners. If you want definitive signs you have termites…or it’s just ants, let’s look at the distinguishing characteristics of both.
1. Ants have bent antennae that are often bent to nearly a right angle, while the termite’s antennae are more curved to straight.
2. Ants have a midsection that is narrow, while a termite’s is broad, like the Planter’s Peanut man.
3. Termites have 4 wings that will extend well past the body and will be of equal length. Ants also have 4 wings, but they are not equal in length and will just barely extend past the body.
Often, termites are white when they are larvae and are darker in color when they begin to get older. These organisms are often no bigger than a grain of rice and will move away from light sources such as a flashlight.
When it rains, you might notice a swarm of termites flying around your window sills or doors. If you notice this kind of swarm, you will want to call Chet’s office at 813-935-7554 pronto.
Mud Tubes & Exit Holes For Termites
If you suspect you have termites, do a little investigating to find out if your suspicions are true. Go get in your crawl space to get a look at the foundation… Or you can call us and we’ll send a highly trained termite expert out to do it for you…free of charge. If you notice cracks in the foundation, you might want to start looking for small tubes of mud that are about the size of a pencil in diameter. These tubes can be within the masonry itself or free standing on the foundation. Termites will travel through these little tubes to get to new sources of wood and moisture. These tubes will actually originate in the soil from the outside of your foundation and move all the way into your home as they discover more food sources.
Realizing that you have termites is only the beginning of the solution. Once you notice these little creatures, you might already have a serious problem. This generally means that termites have infested your home for years.
Termites cause billions of dollars in damage each year. It’s best to have your home inspected for termites and other pest at least once a year.
When was the last time your home was inspected for these wood destroying organisms?
Call my office at 813-935-7554 and we’ll send a highly-trained termite specialist to your home for a FREE inspection.