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Pattaya Daily News

01 June 2010 :: 18:06:25 pm 23385

Discovering Termite Infestation

Infestation of termites are no joke and are commonly found around our homes with a need to be dealt with sooner rather than later due to their destructiveness. Many homes also have an ant problem, but these are less destructive although they do bite. An indication of termites in our home are small round or flat mud tubes that are approximately quarter of an inch in diameter on walls and wooden structures and termite holes can be found in old pieces of wood.
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Ants and termites are fairly similar in looks with many of us failing to distinguish between the two. There are the wingless termites known as the workers that live in dark conditions such as inside and under furniture with the winged versions that we normally see that can be found in any place where there is a source of food

Both ants and termites are social insects with each group forming colonies and each colony performing different tasks. It is quite difficult to distinguish between the two insects unless we take the time to take a careful look at their physical appearance. The ant is usually lighter in colour than the termite with the latter being darker. The antennae of the termite and ant are different, with the termite having straight antennae that look like a row of beads whereas the antennae of the ant are bent like an elbow.

The wings of the termite are a grayish white so the veins are not visible, while the veins’ of the ant is clearly visible due to the transparency of their wings.  The body of the termite is in two parts, the head and the straight body while the ant has three parts to it, the head thorax and the body. Termites are like a disease, a pestilence which moves from one place to another destroying everything in its path, continuously looking for new places to eat their way through causing destruction and thriving in dark damp areas.

The termites’ main source of food is wood, so where there is wood continual observance is required as they can and will make their way through our furniture. Ants on the other hand are found any where, mostly in places where they are not welcome and can feed on any foods ranging from grains of sugar, fruits and vegetables and other bugs and insects.

Termites are one of the biggest causes of damage to homes and property with most people not identifying the problem until it’s too late. These insects thrive in the warm countries wreaking havoc wherever they land. It is not always obvious that we have a termite problem until the damage is staring us in the face.  So, if there are no gaping holes or furniture falling down around us, then how do we know we have an infestation?

Look out for spots or blisters on the wood floors or furniture. If it can be scratched easily with a knife, then it could be a sign of termites. Any oval six sided pellets found near holes are usually termite excrement and are pointers to dry wood termites that have cleaned out their tunnels. It has been said that if signs of termite infestation has been discovered, one should knock on the wood and if you hear a knock in return, then it is a sure sign as the termite apparently bangs its’ head to alert others of potential danger, others have said, that the sound of return knocking is just an echo. It does seem odd that a little insect could knock hard enough for our hearing. Still stranger things have happened. Any little sign of a termite problem calls for expert inspection. The longer one waits for a sure sign, the more expensive it becomes.

Sarah Goldman

Photo : Internet   Category : Lifestyle

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