Most people refer to termites as silent destroyers because they are known to secretly hide and thrive in your home without any signs of damage. The termites are known to feed on cellulose based plant materials. Termites can infest any home provided they can find something to feed on. This is why it is very important to know how to identify if you are having termites in your home. You must also be able to differentiate between a termite and an ant.
Termites are known to be detritivores and they feed on dead trees and plants and not forgetting the dead parts of living trees. The termites are capable of tearing woody materials and because of these they have become of great concern to human dwellings. This is because their feeding habit can lead to costly damage. They can feed on furniture, house foundations, shelves and books if not dealt with early enough.
Termites build subterranean homes in soil where they come up with molds. Within these molds the termites will come up with a good tunnel system which they use to access the food above the ground. There are those termites that live in wood and they are referred to as dry wood termites and these infest furniture and walls. Flying termites are mostly seen around doors and windows and they are highly attracted to light.
Flying termites are only visible when they swarm in a colony and they only swarm when provoked by warmth, heavy rains and humid temperatures. Swarms are known to occur when colonies produce winged female and male termites for reproduction to take place. After mating, the fertilized termites will shed off their wings and then establish new colonies. This then means that when you notice termites flying into your home then that is a mature colony.
However, you must be in a position to differentiate between termites and ants. This is because carpenter ants also swarm in order to mate and reproduce and at a glance the two may be identical. The difference is that termites have no waist, has straight and beaded antennae with four wings which are equal in shape and size. On the other hand the carpenter ant has a narrow constricted waist, bent antennae and four wings which are differ in size with back, hind wings being shorter.
Another difference between the termites and the ant is that ants are reddish or dark in color and can be seen in the open looking for food while the termites are transparent or cream white in color and do not like to be in the open. Therefore if you notice that your home has been infested with termites then you need to contact a professional to help you deal with this. In cases where you cannot differentiate whether it is a termite or an ant then you can take samples. The samples will be compared to the photos and graphic online for identification and to help the professionals in coming up with the right control measure.