Did you know that one of the most destructive pests in the United States may be hiding out in your own backyard? Often mistaken as harmless ants, these insects love to swarm and are capable of causing serious damage to your property, right under your nose. Need a hint?
We’re talking about termites! These tiny insects survive on a diet of dead plants and organic matter, especially old or rotting wood. Commonly found in Missouri woods, termites present a major threat to homeowners with exposed or vulnerable wood in and around their property. Though they may look pretty harmless, these hungry insects cause over $5 billion in damage in the U.S. each year, damage that is not covered by homeowner’s insurance.
Termites can survive cold winter months by living entirely off of wood in your home and may remain completely undetected unless the homeowner is proactive. Look for termite trails in logs and wood around the property and keep an eye out for eroded or damaged external structures.
Another way to detect these pests is by looking for swarms of flying termites that emerge during early spring months due to the wet, warm weather. While new termite colonies may emerge during warm months, a swarm may not be possible unless a colony is at least three to four years old.
Termites or Ants?
Unfortunately for many homeowners, flying termites are often mistaken for harmless winged ants and are not properly exterminated before they are able to cause serious damage. Knowing the physical differences ahead of time may allow you to call Mick’s and prevent severe termite damage before it even happens. Here’s what to look for:
- Constricted waist
- Antennae that bend at 90-degree angles
- Straight-sided waist
- 4 wings of equal size
- Straight antennae
What to do if you think you have termites?
If you have either seen termites flying in your home or a swarm occurs, this is a sign that you have a mature colony of termites invading your home. You should immediately contact Mick’s Exterminating, schedule an inspection, and use a Sentricon System treatment.