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Termites! Part 10

termites

Termites.  I hate them.  I’ve gone mano-a-buggo with these little bastards before, and lemme tell ya somethin’—they are tough.

Basically, there are four types of termites: Dampwood, Drywood, Formosan, and Subterranean.  And I want to rain destruction down on all of them.

But before I degenerate into a work of apocalyptic bloodlust, let’s look at how these little monsters work.

First off, they are often mistaken for ants—which I think is on purpose.  It’s like they go to a costume shop and rent out all of the ant costumes just to sneak into our homes.

ant (http://www.flickr.com/photos/snapr/sets/72157594290565420/)

So, if you see ants in your house, take a moment to study them.  If you look closely, you’ll notice that termites have only two body segments as opposed to the three possessed by ants.  Also note that the wings of termites differ from those of ants in that they have two sets that are identical—ants have two sets that are different in size.  Termites also vary in color depending on caste; worker termites are white, soldiers yellow-brown, and breeders black.

How do you know if your house  is infested by termites?

The most common signs are random piles of sawdust—which actually contain more than just sawdust.  As the termites consume the wood to make these tunnels they . . .well, for lack of a better word, they poop.  The poop, along with saliva and mud (sounds yummy, yeah?),  blends in with the sawdust to create the little piles. 

The piles allow the reproductive termites a means to leave the tunnels and do what they do best, if you get my meaning.  Subterranean termites are the exception as they create elaborate mazes out of mud near the foundation of the house.

Now you know a little about what to look for.  But if you are the victim of a termite infestation, what steps can you take to rid yourself of these critters?

Termites! Part 2 comin’ up in a few days!

by John Barker

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