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Do Termites Enjoy Greater Evolutionary Success Than Ants?

Filed under: Pest Control,Termite Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 2:32 pm October 19, 2017

Do Termites Enjoy Greater Evolutionary Success Than Ants?Carpenter Ant

Ants may have existed on this planet for a very long time, but the evolutionary history of termites goes farther back than most insects, including ants. Both ants and termites are eusocial insects, meaning they live within colonies, and adapt to the environment collectively. Some scientists theorize that ants may have developed into eusocial insects by mimicking the social behaviors of termites millions of years ago. Unlike ants, however, the general physical appearance of termites has not changed much since they first appeared on earth during the triassic period. Ants first appeared on earth millions of years later during the cretaceous period. Despite the fact that termites are millions of years older than ants, ants have managed to diversify into well over twelve thousand different species. Whereas there are only between twenty six hundred to three thousand different termite species in existence today. For some reason, termites have not evolved as rapidly as ants.

Are ants a more successful type of insect than termites since the number of termite species in existence is far fewer than the number of ant species? Probably not, as the number of species belonging to one type of insect does not necessarily indicate superior adaptive abilities. One reason why termites have not evolved as much as ants and other insects is largely a result of the adaptive success that termites have enjoyed since day one. Early termites were blessed with adaptive features that made them uniquely successful creatures. As a result of this success, termites have not needed to adapt to new environments as much as other insects have. For example, since many termites hide beneath the soil and feed on the cellulose in plant matter, large predators were not able to easily access termites. A termite’s living conditions have always provided shelter from enemies as well as sustenance in the form of plant routes in order to survive. Therefore, termites can access everything that they need to survive while rarely risking their lives out in the open wilderness. When compared to termites, ants are quite vulnerable to predators, therefore ants have adapted many different physical features that have allowed them to thrive within different environments.

Do you think that there exists any other types of modern insects that are better suited for survival than termites?

The Last Invasive Termite Family Was Found In America During The 1990s

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Termite Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 6:10 am August 18, 2017

The Last Invasive Termite Family Was Found In America During The 1990sTermites New Jersey

Many of you have heard of the eastern subterranean termite, as these termites cause more property damage than any other type of termite in the United States. Other termites that cause millions in damage each year include dampwood and drywood termites, and of course, Formosan termites. Since Formosan termites are invasive, and not as widely distributed within the US, then they must be the most recent termites to have invaded America, right? Well, not really. It is true that Formosan termites (Coptotermes formosanus) have only existed within America since the 1960s, but there is another invasive termite family that was found in Miami, Florida in 1996. I am referring to the Asian subterranean termite, or Coptotermes gestroi. Although many people often get Formosans and Asian Termites confused, due to their many similarities, these two termites are completely different.

Asian termites have not moved beyond the state of Florida. This is due to the Asian termites preference for more tropical regions. So far, Asian termites have not populated any regions that are farther north than Riviera Beach, Florida. However, these termites have been discovered infesting numerous structures and boats in Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Palm Beach, Broward County, and especially Key West.

Asian termites are frequently found on boats that are docked within saltwater. Formosan termites, on the other hand, have a much heavier presence heavy within Florida. Formosans are able to survive in more temperate climates when compared to Asian termites. Currently, west Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Riviera Beach are the only three locations in the world where both Formosan and Asian termite populations overlap.

These two termites are also notorious for their ability to quickly devour wooden objects, and other materials containing cellulose, in a relatively short amounts of time. Formosan termites are found in several more southern states, but, luckily, experts believe that Asian subterranean termites will remain most active in southern Florida. However, experts say that a northward expansion is likely for Asian termites.

Did you know that there was a difference between Formosan subterranean termites and Asian subterranean termites? Do you think that these two termites could successfully produce offspring?

Termites Will Eat Their Way Into Swimming Pools

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Termite Control — Tags: , , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 4:05 am August 14, 2017

Termites Will Eat Their Way Into Swimming Pools | Termite Control

We all know that termites love to chew through wood, or anything containing cellulose, such as various forms of plant matter. Different termites threaten different forms of wood. Some types of termites stick primarily to forests where they can take their time destroying trees. Other termites, mostly eastern subterranean termites, but many others as well, enjoy destroying the wood located within people’s houses. When it comes to other materials, such as plastic, rubber or vinyl, termites will obviously show no interest in consuming such materials. However, termites are thirsty creatures, and they will chew through any type of material in order to access large sources of water. Swimming pools, for instance, are not immune to termite damage.

Termites may find their sustenance in cellulose from wood, but their powerful mouthparts are capable of chewing through synthetic materials if they are motivated to do so. Many pool owners have complained of what looked to be termite damage on their pools, but found such damage to be improbable. Unfortunately, termite damaged pool liners are not at all uncommon. What termites want is not a belly full of plastic or vinyl; instead, desperately thirsty termites are looking to satisfy their need for water, as termites require plenty of water in order to survive.

Pool owners may notice a gradual loss in pool water occurring over several days, or weeks, but initially, not much is thought of this water loss. After a while, and often after some inspection, tiny little holes can be found in various spots on above ground pools. Even pools built underground can be accessed by termites since many termites travel through dirt below the soils surface. Even below ground plastic pipes that are attached to swimming pools can become compromised as a result of termite damage.

Obviously, pools that are built with wooden materials are at even greater risk for termite damage. So resorting to wooden pool linings, over plastic or vinyl pool linings, will certainly not spare your pool from damage caused by termites. Just about any synthetic material can be penetrated by termites. If you should find that your pool has been damaged by termites, pest control professionals can offer anti-termite treatments that will end termite related pool damage.

Luckily, termites are not able to convert plastic into food, so termites are better off finding water sources elsewhere. But the astounding amount of available water within swimming pools must be an awfully tempting water source for parched termites.

Have you ever found termites floating within your pool? If so, did you later discover that termites had accessed your pool by chewing through its synthetic lining?

Termite Warning Signs!

Filed under: Termite Control — New Jersey Pest Control @ 5:51 am May 2, 2017

Termite Warning Signs! 

  1. Mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source) on the exterior of the home.
  2. Soft wood in the home that sounds hollow when tapped.
  3. Darkening or blistering of wood structures.
  4. Cracked or bubbling paint.
  5. Small piles of feces that resemble sawdust near a termite nest.
  6. Discarded wings near doors or on windowsills, indicating swarmers have entered the home or swarmers themselves, which are often mistaken for flying ants.

Researchers Identify Different Termite Personalities

Filed under: New Jersey Termite Control,Termite Control,Termites — Tags: , , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:40 pm November 9, 2016

Researchers from all over the world come together in Namibia every year in order to study the amazing white ants. White ants are not ants, in fact they are not even closely related to ants as they are actually termites. After carefully studying termite behavior, researchers were able to identify distinct personality traits belonging to different termites within a colony.Termite Control

White ants, like all termites, demonstrate advanced social behavior as well as advanced technological feats. For example, termites are able to control the temperature of their nests by using the wind to clear the nests of all the stagnant air that exists within the termites’ nest. While observing complicated social behavior, researchers noticed that different termites perform different functions for the good of their colony.

These different functions correspond with different personality traits. For example, some termites are “initiators,” which involves roaming around the nest to find lazy termites to recruit for construction projects. Other termites are tasked with providing members of the colony with water. Scientists are still trying to figure out if all this advanced termite behavior is a result of many robotic termites working together, or if termites, like us, have a soul and are not so “robotic” as we are inclined to think.

Do you think that termites are only intelligent when viewed as a collective society, or can individual termites demonstrate advanced social and technical behavior?

 

 

How to Tell the Difference Between a Carpenter Ant and a Termite

Filed under: Ant Control,Termite Control,Termites — admin @ 7:00 pm May 16, 2016

What are Carpenter Ants and Termites?

Carpenter ants, also known as sugar ants, reside in damp and decaying wood. They are mostly found in forested areas. They build their nests in woods, however, don’t consume them.

Termites, on the other hand, eat wood. The drywood kind are found in furniture and hardwood flooring. They thrive in warm humid climates and can cause moderate to severe destruction of property.

How to Spot the Difference between Carpenter Ants and Termites

Carpenter Ants vs Termites

Physical distinction between carpenter ants and termites

Carpenter ants are mostly black in color. There are some species that are red/orange and black in color as well. The wings on the front are larger than the hind ones and they measure anywhere between 1/2″ and 5’8″. The antenna is elbowed in the case of carpenter ants.

Termites have straight antenna and are either dark brown or black in color. They measure 3/8″ in length. The wings of termites are of the same size and easily breakable. The wings are longer than the body.

Where can you find carpenter ants and termites

Carpenter ants can be found on porch floors, columns and pillars. They can also be found in gardens where the wood is in contact with soil and branches of trees. They are easily found in firewood piles, stumps, window sills and sometimes even in appliances and electrical equipment.

Termites can be found on wooden floors, mud tubes and furniture. Termites can also be found in dark places of the house, for example, a dingy basement without windows, doorways, sills, porches and any surface in contact with soil. If you spot discarded wings or hollow wood around the house, it is likely that it is infested by termites.

Damage caused by carpenter ants and termites

Carpenter ants looks for decayed wood and then make their way to sound wood in homes and businesses. They chew but do not eat the wood. Once they are done chewing, the texture appears almost sandy. Damage is hard to spot, however, if you spot ants regularly around a structure you should seek professional help.

Termites cause more permanent damage to property than carpenter ants.  Homes primarily constructed of wood are not the only ones that are threatened by termites. Other materials can cause termite infestation as well since they are capable of cutting through plaster and can be found feeding on floors, ceilings, walls, cabinets and wooden furniture. It is sometimes difficult to spot the damage as it can be internal and until severe damage is done, it can go undetectable. In that case, a professional pest control company’s help should be taken to assess the situation otherwise it can lead to severe damage.

If you find a swarm of either of these insects in your house or business place, you should immediately seek professional help before the situation worsens. For effective New Jersey termite control and New Jersey carpenter ant control, trust Horizon!

Carpenter Ants vs Termites: How to Tell the Difference

Filed under: Ant Control,Termite Control,Termites — admin @ 12:42 pm March 22, 2016

People often confuse carpenter ants and termites, and for good reason: both are tiny, black wood-eating insects that swarm inside of homes. However, termites can cause significantly worse problems for your home than carpenter ants. This is because carpenter ants usually isolate their activity to their nesting area, and mainly search for already damaged wood. In contrast, termites can eat through any kind of wood in any part of your house. For this reason, it is important to know the difference between carpenter ants vs termites.

How to Tell the Difference

TermiteThe main difference between the two insects is in their appearance: the insects’ wings, antennae, and bodies are distinct and therefore discernable. Both termites and carpenter ants have four wings each. However, the front set of termite wings are noticeably longer than the pair in the back, and will always be the same size on any termite you come across. The wings on carpenter ants, in contrast, come in all sizes and are evenly matched in front and back.

Another, slightly more detailed, way to dell the difference between carpenter ants vs termites is in the antennae. While carpenter ants’ antennae are crooked in the middle, termites have straight antennae that appear to be beaded. Finally, the two insects’ bodies are distinct and allow identification. Carpenter ants look similar to any other ant: they appear to have segments because of the thin waist in their middle. In contrast, termites are not narrow at all, and can be identified by their straight bodies.

Carpenter AntIf you are not able to find any of the insects, another great way to tell if you have an ant problem or a termite problem is to look at the clues around your house. Since carpenter ants do not actually eat the wood they burrow in, you should be able to find wood shavings or sawdust near their nesting area. In contrast, termites will leave trails of mud and other debris as they work to eat away the wood in their nest. If you find remains of other kinds of bugs, this is a good sign that your house is host to carpenter ants vs termites, since termites do not eat other bugs.

While the above tips are a great start to identifying carpenter ants vs termites, it is important to take care of the infestation problem regardless of which insect your house is host to. For effective NJ termite control and NJ ant control, you can rely on Horizon Pest Control. Call us today!

 

Carpenter Ants Vs Termites

Filed under: Carpenter Ant Control,Termite Control,Termites — admin @ 12:27 pm March 11, 2016

Carpenter ants and termites both can be very destructive, and they’re responsible for many pest problems each year. Both of the pests are wood destroyers, which can be devastating to a home. However, many people confuse the two, which is a problem because they must be eliminated differently. That’s why it is important to differentiate between carpenter ants vs termites.

Carpenter AntPhysical Differences

While carpenter ants and termites are very similar in appearance, there are ways to tell them apart. They both have small wings and bulbous chitin shells, which is why many people confuse the two. However, if you take a closer look, you’ll notice that carpenter ants have a head, thorax, and an abdomen, while termites only have a head and thorax. You’ll also find that ants have smaller wings, and termites have wings that are much longer than their body. Of course, if you’re unsure about their appearance, you can always have a pest control company identify the pests you have in your home.

What They Eat

Both carpenter ants and termites munch on wood, but termites actually use wood as a source of nutrition. However, carpenter ants are not able to digest the wood cellulite. They simply munch on wood to create shelters for their nests. Keep in mind, both of these pests require water access and do well in moist environments. In fact, carpenter ants require moisture to be able to eat small bits of food, since they are unable to eat solids.

Where They Live

The carpenter ants and termites both can live within the wood in a home, and they’ll chew away at wood until it becomes hollow. Carpenter ants like wood that is rotting or molding, since it offers humidity and darkness. Termites tend to make their homes in mud mounds that are below or above the ground. However, they may make do with wooden infrastructure inside homes as well.

Types of Damage

You can often tell carpenter ants apart from termites by looking at the damage that is left behind. Check out the damaged wood and you’ll notice that ants leave wood very clean. They remove wood chippings and insect remains from their nest, which means you’ll find some small piles that look like sawdust near wood that has been damaged. Termites aren’t as clean and they leave behind mud, insect parts, and remains, so wood damaged by termites has a rugged, messy look.

TermiteDifferent Treatments

Treating carpenter ant or termite infestations is essential, but these pets require specific treatments. In most cases, the pests you see are only a fraction of the pests in the home. Since these pests operate in different ways, specialized treatments and equipment is needed to eliminate them from your home. For this reason, it’s important to turn to a professional for your extermination needs.

Do you want to know more about the difference between carpenter ants vs termites? Call 888-612-2847 today for FREE consultation!

Termite Control for Your Home

Filed under: Termite Control,Termites — admin @ 5:56 pm September 11, 2015

Termite Control

Termites are scary because they can make light work if your home in just a short amount of time. They eat a lot, and the costs of their hunger add up in a lot more ways than just lost money to rebuilding.

Swarming is not a pleasant thing to think about, but it’s the best way to tell if you have termites. They’re mostly quiet, so don’t expect to hear them gnawing away within your walls. Swarms don’t happen for very long, but if you do find a pile of wings very near or within your home (most likely the basement or crawl space), then it’s likely from termites. You may also see tiny mud tunnels around your walls, which basically leads the termites back to food (the wood in your home.)

Termites are most often found during construction and inspections, often too late for people who are unknowingly trying to sell or buy an infested home. It’s understandable that people miss termites, but it still means that the damage will have to be dealt with. If you find any type of hollowed out wood in your home, then that’s obviously another red flag.

So what can be done about this? There are things that you can do with chemicals to pre-treat your home or to place baits around the outside of your home to lure the termites to them so that they feed and die. Chemicals can be dangerous and don’t last for longer than a few years, so it’s recommended that you approach that solution with great caution. The baits may not be enough to get them to leave your often much more inviting home, but the technology for baits is getting better every year.

You can also call the professional termite control companies if the problem has already progressed to the point where you can’t handle it anymore. Horizon Pest Control has been handling them for quite some time, and they have the expertise to stop them fast. Millions of termites live in a colony, so it’s understandable that they’re a lot to deal with (for anyone.) Termites can happen to anyone, but being more aware and on top of prevention can help save you from a nightmare.

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Importance of Checking For Termites

Filed under: Termite Control,Termites — admin @ 1:39 am June 16, 2015

Termite Control

 

There is a common misconception that termites only affect people with houses that are made out of wood, but in reality, it doesn’t matter if your house is made of wood, brick, stucco, or other materials. Termites are not only attracted to wood; they are also attracted to materials that contain cellulose, like the cellulose insulation in your home, drywall, and the framing timbers all over the house.

Despite their small size, termites can be very destructive because they live in colonies of millions. Not only are there a lot of them, each termite can eat up to 3 percent of their body weight, and they can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Having a termite infestation in your house can be a very expensive problem for a homeowner to have, which is why it is a good idea to get your home checked for termites on a regular basis.


What Are The Signs of A Termite Infestation?

 

Termite DamageThere are some common telltale signs that let you know that you have a termite infestation, some of the most common are:

 

• The presence of mud like materials that usually start from the ground, and are found on walls, leading to wood. These are generally referred to as mud tunnels and are the size of a pencil. They usually connect the nest to the food source, but sometimes they are there for different reasons. The tunnels that start from the ground and don’t connect to the wood are there for exploratory reasons, while the tunnels that originate from the wood and touch the ground are known as drop tunnels, because they help the termites get back to their nest.

• The presence of a swarm of insects that look like flying ants around light sources. This usually indicates that a nest is nearby.

• Piles of wings on the floor in your home without any insect bodies indicate the shedding of wings, which is common with termites.

• Tiny holes in wood or damaged wood is generally a good indicator that you have a termite problem. You can easily tell if a piece of wood is damaged by tapping a hammer on it, which should produce a hollow sound, or by probing the surface with a pen knife.

 

If you notice any of these things, it means that you have a termite infestation in your home. In this situation, the smartest thing to do is to call a pest control specialist to come check out your house to find out just how badly infested your home is, and to treat the problem. They are professionally trained, and will be able to find the termite nest more easily that you will be able to, and they will also know the most effective way to get rid of the termites.
 
It is not necessary to treat your home for termites every year, but it is recommended that you have a specialist come and check your house for termite infection every year. That way, they can catch it on time, in the event that you have it, and prevent serious damage to your home. If you notice your neighbors getting their house treated for termites, it is also a good idea to have a specialist come check your house after, to make sure that the termites from your neighbor’s house migrate over to your home and cause damage without you knowing.

 

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