December 15, 2017
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The biggest part of fulfilling the American Dream is purchasing your own home. Once you have done this, the next step is protecting it. The satisfaction and pride of owning your dream home is something that can only be experienced. However, there are a few things that can interrupt that joyful experience and wood-destroying insects undoubtedly sits at the top of that list.
Termites are usually the first wood-destroying insect that comes to mind, closely followed by carpenter ants and carpenter bees. While they all three pose a threat to the home, the invasion, attack and severity of damage differs. Because of this, accurate identification is paramount in selecting the method of control and eradication.
While carpenter bees may stand alone with being easily identified, termites and carpenter ants are often mixed up and not properly diagnosed. However, there are a few traits of each that will make for accurate recognition.
Sports a rectangular shaped body with no waistline.
Have straight, beaded antennae.
Is equipped with four wings of equal shape and size that are longer its body.
In comparison, the carpenter ant:
Has a narrow, very defined and obvious waist.
The antennae of the carpenter ant are bent in an elbow shape.
The two front wings are noticeably longer than the hind wings.
Termites eat the wood as they burrow inside, building their nests and galleries. Carpenter ants dig into the wood but only to build their galleries. They do not eat the wood but rather push it out through the opening of the nest causing piles of sawdust to be one of the most obvious signs of carpenter ants versus termites. The carpenter ant prefers to work with moist, damaged wood while the termite will continue chewing and eating right into solid, undamaged wood. While they are both destructive, the wood-eating termite will do a greater amount of damage in a shorter period of time.
Carpenter bees are often confused with bumblebees. While they are of similar size and shape, the carpenter bees have an abdomen that is shiny black and hairless. They build tunnels and nests inside wooden structures. The preferred choice of wood is normally softwood that is free of stain or paint. Carpenter bees build their nests by burrowing into decks, porches, roof eaves, sheds and even wooden deck furniture. The destruction is gradual and increases over a period of time due to the same galleries being used each year with new and expanded tunnels. The female carpenter bees do have a stinger but rarely use it unless threatened. However, these bees fly around lazily and without much sense of direction, which could lead to them running into you.
The termite, carpenter ant and carpenter bee, each pose a threat to the integrity and strength of your home in their own way. The risk of damage is too great to rely on DIY techniques. Fortunately for residents living in the greater St. Louis, Mid-Missouri and Western Illinois areas, Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions has designed management programs to eliminate these wood-destroying pests and give you peace of mind by keeping your home pest-free throughout the year. Call Rottler today and schedule one of their state licensed pest inspectors perform a thorough FREE inspection of your home.