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  Termite ControlDrywood Termites    December 13, 2018

Termite identification can be very important, as it helps you find out what kind of termites your home suffers from. Different species must be combated in different ways, and may be more or less damaging. Drywood termites are easier to get rid of than tunneling species, making termite identification vital as a first step to termite removal.

Subterranean termites are the most common in the southern part of the US. These underground termites travel using shelter tubes made of mud, and make up about nine tenths of the United States' termite infestation cases.

However, drywood termites are still a possibility if you live near the Gulf Coast or in southern California. These creatures don't need as much moisture to survive as subterranean species, and can live in much dryer conditions. It's possible to have both at once, requiring two separate treatments for control!

Another completely different type of insect that can be mistaken during poor termite identification is the carpenter ant. This similar looking insect also targets wood and does a lot of damage. To tell the difference, get out a magnifying glass.

A subterranean termite will be solid black. Drywood swarming termites will be solid red. Carpenter Ants are red and black, or may be dark brown. Body shape is also different, with ants having a thin neck and waist, and termites having a long body that doesn't narrow as much. Look up photos to help you tell the difference and choose the right treatment. Fire ants may also be confused with termites during termite identification.

You're likely to find swarmers, workers and soldiers if you see termites in or near your home. What you won't see are the queens and kings, which live deep in the colony and are responsible for producing more termites.

These termites cause different types of damage than subterranean termites. They cut across the wood grain, creating large hollow chambers connected by smaller tunnels. Tunnels and chambers in use by the colony are kept quite clean, with debris and waste being stored in chambers not in use, or even thrown out through openings in the wood. That means you may see fecal pellets in your home. These hard pellets are concave on the sides, with rounded ends.

It's possible to transmit these types of termites by carrying an infested piece of wood into a new place. Even furniture can carry a male and female, who will spawn a whole new colony. They can attack structural timbers, woodwork furniture, and just about any other wooden object. The good news is that colonies are much smaller and easier to control.

Spot treatment and structural fumigation are the major methods of controlling this type of termite. Spot treatments can be done if an infestation is limited, while fumigation is needed for larger, more extensive cases.

Correct termite identification will tell you whether or not you have tunneling termites or their less harmful cousins. You can then take all the appropriate steps to fix this problem and get rid of termites once and for all.

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