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Termites are often known as hidden threats because they can damage homes from the inside, sometimes with few external signs of damage. If left untreated, a termite colony can cause damage that is very costly to repair.

Regular home inspections from a termite specialist can help identify signs of termite activity and structural damage. Based on inspection findings, a termite expert can customize a treatment plan to specifically target areas of your home that are most susceptible to activity. Preventative treatments can help reduce the risk of damage.

Since termites often can be mistaken for flying ants – and termite damage mistaken for water damage – it is important to hire a trained professional for help identifying these pests.

 

Identification of Termites and Termite Damage:

 
Termite swarmer

Winged Termites

Winged termites have no apparent waist and straight antennae. Their wings are equal in size and are shed soon after they emerge from their nest in an event called a swarm. Winged termites usually swarm in the early spring when it is warm and rainy.

 
Flying ant

Flying Ants

Flying ants have narrow waists and bent antennas and often are mistaken for swarming termites. They have two sets of wings, one larger than the other, and usually do not shed their wings. Depending on their species, flying ants may swarm at different times of the year.

 
 
 
Carpenter ant

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are wood-destroying insects that often are confused with termites. Carpenter ants may or may not have wings, and those with wings tend to have the same basic characteristics as other flying ants. Compared to worker termites, carpenter ants are much larger in size, with hard – rather than soft – bodies, and a generally darker color.

 
Subterranean termite wood damage

Termite Damage: Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites create a distinctive honeycomb pattern in damaged wood, forming tunnels inside the softer spring wood and leaving the external grain intact. Seriously damaged wood breaks easily to show the inside of mud- or soil-filled termite galleries.

 
 
 
Drywood termite wood damage

Termite Damage: Drywood Termites

With their smaller colony size, drywood termites typically cause slower, less severe damage than subterranean termites. Drywood termite damage often is first identified by the piles of small, hard fecal pellets the termites leave behind, called frass.

 
Dampwood termite wood damage

Termite Damage: Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites rarely attack structures. When these termites do attack a structure, little damage is visible to the eye.