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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Termite or Terminator? Ways to Spot Termite Lookalikes

There are few things as frustrating as having bugs treat your home like it’s theirs. Even worse is when they don’t just move in — they decide your house is their next meal. Hardwood floors, wooden furniture legs, structural foundations. Nothing is safe from the wood-loving insects we call termites.

While termite damage is fairly easy to identify, a termite infestation is much harder to diagnose when you are seeing bugs but no damage. If this scenario sounds familiar, it’s possible that the creepy crawlies you’re seeing around your home aren’t termites at all, but some relatively harmless impersonators. So don’t panic! We’re here to assuage your fears and help you spot the differences between a Real Deal Termite and a knock-off wannabe.

The Imposters

The insects most commonly confused for termites are flying ants. The most common species of ants to take flight around your house are carpenter ants, but they’re by no means the only ones. Other would-be imposters include moisture ants, black garden ants and pavement ants. Nearly every species of ant has breeding adults that grow wings and come out to mate —creating new nests and scaring the bejeezus out of you.

The Differences

It’s easy to tell the difference between ants and termites by identifying a few key visual differences.

Antennae: Termites have straight antennae, while ants have elbow-like antennae with a bend in the middle.

Color: All species of ants are generally dark in color, whereas termites are light, white or transparent.

Body shape: Termites’ bodies are made up of two sections — the head and the abdomen. Ants on the other hand are split into three segments, which gives them that old Hollywood, hourglass figure.

Wings: Both insects have four wings, but while ants have shorter back wings and longer front wings, termite flappers are all of equal length. Termite wings are also more veiny and opaque than those of their ant friends.

The Solution

They may not cause structural damage, but termite imposters are still a major nuisance. Even if they aren’t eating through your floors, having swarms of nasty looking critters buzz around your house is anything but pleasant. Arrow is here to help you deal with any pest problem, big or small, so call us today to ensure that the only beings living in your house are the ones you want to be there.