It is a good idea to know what kind of pest problem you have when you call an exterminator, but how do you distinguish between termites and other wood-destroying insects? Well, winged ants are often mistaken for winged termites, but characteristics, which can be seen with the unaided eye, will help you differentiate the two insects. Ants have two pairs of transparent wings of unequal size; termites have four equal-sized wings. Also, the region of the body behind the wings is “pinched” in ants but broader in termites. Ants generally have harder bodies than termites.
There are other insects which cause damage similar to that of termites. It is important to distinguish the type of insect in order to choose proper treatment. Two common methods for determining the type of insect are finding a specimen of the insect and studying the insect damage.
Wood damaging beetles, carpenter ants, and carpenter bees are among the most common wood damaging insects. These insects attack wood and convert it into either compressed pellets, powder, or shredded fibers. Termites, on the other hand, leave small grayish-brown specks of exrement in damaged areas. Also, subterranean termites follow the soft grain of the wood while the tunnels of most of the other insects mentioned usually cut across the grain.
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