Termites are unfortunately a problem many homeowners and investment property owners face. If you are looking at investment properties for sale, or suspect your property has a termite problem, here are some ways to identify termites and the damage they cause.
Both ants and termites can have wings, but on termites, both pairs of wings are the same size. In flying ants, the front wings are much longer than the back wings. Another difference to look for is the “waist” of the insect. Termites will have no apparent “waist” or midsection between thorax and abdomen, while ants do. Finally, look at the insect’s antennae. Termite antennae are straight, while ant antennae are bent.
There are two different types of termites that can cause serious damage to a home: Drywood termites, and subterranean termites. Drywood termites usually cause less damage, as they work more slowly and have smaller colonies. They can be identified by the small, firm pellets of waste they leave behind, as well as their red bodies and black wings. Drywood termite damage will usually be found near the roof or wherever there are exposed beams.
Subterranean termites are more problematic, as they live in large underground colonies composed of elaborate tunnels. They usually work from the ground level up, often entering a home through a crawlspace or sub-structure. Subterranean termite damage usually appears in a honeycomb-like pattern, with tunnels woven throughout the soft inside wood. Wood damaged by this type of termite will break easily, revealing hollowed-out insides that are filled with mud or soil.
If you suspect that your property has termites, and you are working with a property management company, all you have to do is report it and they will take care of hiring exterminator to kill the insects, and a contractor to replace the damaged areas. To prevent future bug problems (including roaches, ants, and so on), your property management company can also arrange for regular pest control sprayings and inspections.
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