Posted on February 23, 2010 with 1 Comment
Finding and controlling termites and carpenter ants is no easy task. While they may be crucial to nature, these insects are causing problem after problem in modern homes. Carptenter ants are basically inevitable, they will at one time invade your home, but termites are a different story. They cause over two billion dollars in damage to homes every year.
There are two types of termites common to our area, dampwood and subterranean. These dampwood pests live in wood rather than underground chambers and are more common. The subterranean type feed on wood coming in to contact with soil, and may even create tubes connecting their homes to a nearby wood source. If these tubes are broken and removed, ants could get in and attack them, which is good for the homeowner. Wood should always be kept dry and rot free, and should also never be touching any part of your home. According to the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, it takes years for termites to infest your home badly enough for serious damage. If you remove or replace rotted sections of infested wood, it may temporary eliminate the problem.
In the Pacific Northwest, carpenter ants are much more frequent and do not feed on wood. Although they can be dangerous because their nests are difficult to locate, but will hollow the wood out, leaving behind frass (sawdust). One way to see if you ave carpenter ants is if these is frass or sawdust located on the floor. The NCAP recommends repairing any leaks, keeping shrubbery clear of exterior walls and foundation vents, and maintaining at least 12 inches of clean concrete between wooden siding and surrounding soil. Also, no wood should be kept underneath the home and gutters should be kept clean and clear. Follow these to save yourself from the hassle of termites and carpenter ants.