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Termites are pesky insects that cause worry for many homeowners.  What if that bug you just saw on your home’s foundation wasn’t a termite at all?  What if it was a winged ant?  Can you tell the difference?  Read on for more information on termites and how to tell the difference between them and other common household pests.

What are termites?

Termites are small, winged insects that can cause considerable damage to homes and other structures. They have a segmented body with an elongated head, straight antennae and two pairs of wings that are all the same size. Termites feed on wood, paper products and other materials containing cellulose.  They live in colonies with different castes such as workers, soldiers and reproductives which work together to build elaborate underground tunnel systems for nesting and protection from predators.

What is the termite life cycle?

The termite life cycle begins with a queen laying eggs that hatch into larvae. These larvae then molt several times before becoming nymphs, which eventually develop into workers, soldiers or reproductive adults. The workers search for food, build tunnels and feed the colony while the soldiers defend it from predators such as ants. Reproductive adults fly away from their colonies to find mates and establish new colonies elsewhere.

How to Tell the Difference Between Termites and Winged Ants

Termites and winged ants may look similar at first glance, but there are several distinguishing characteristics to note.  First, examine their size; termites are typically smaller than winged ants.  Next, take a close look at the wings; termites have two pairs of wings that are all the same size, whereas winged ants have two differently sized pairs of wings.  Fun fact: termite wings break off easily when touched or disturbed, but ant wings do not.  Finally, note any differences in their antennae; ants will have bent antennae while those of a termite are straight. Termite colonies have different castes such as workers, soldiers and reproductive adults, whereas ant colonies consist solely of winged females and males. Additionally, termites feed on wood, paper products and other materials containing cellulose while ants are primarily scavengers that feed on other insects and sweets.

So was that bug you saw a termite or an ant?  Either way you will not want any of them around your home.  Call the pest control specialists at Bricker Pest Control at 979-244-5811 to take care of the problem today!

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Pests are an all-too-common inconvenience for homeowners in South Texas. Though any home can potentially be attacked by a variety of pests, the type of pest and resulting damage to your property will depend on whether it is an indoor or outdoor enviornment. In this post, we’ll explore the differences between indoor and outdoor pests common in South Texas and how professional pest control companies combat them.

Common Indoor Pests

The most common pests invading homes in South Texas include cockroaches, bed bugs, spiders, ants, and rodents like mice and rats. Each of these pests poses unique hazards to humans living in infested homes. Cockroaches are known for spreading a variety of diseases to people through their feces and saliva; bed bugs can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions; spiders can bite or sting; ants produce waste that triggers allergies; rodents like mice and rats have been linked to numerous health risks including asthma and Leptospirosis. Professional pest control companies may employ a variety of tactics to help manage these pesky creatures including baits, traps, aerosols, fumigants, sprays, gels, dusts, and residual insecticides.

Common Outdoor Pests

When it comes to outdoor pests in South Texas, termites lead the pack. These wood-destroying insects feed on dead plant material found in soil around the foundation of your house or other wooden structures like trees or fences. They can also burrow into your home’s walls causing serious structural damage if left unchecked. Other outdoor pests common to South Texas include mosquitoes (known for carrying various disease-causing pathogens), ticks (which transmit Lyme disease), fire ants (which can cause painful stings), snails (responsible for damaging vegetation)and wasps (known for delivering painful stings). To protect against these unwanted guests from entering your house, professional pest control services may use baits systems around the yard and chemicals around the perimeter of the house, as well as outside barriers, such as screens over windows or vents, that prevent entry into your home.

By understanding the differences between indoor and outdoor pests common to South Texas – as well as familiarizing yourself with the tactics that may be used by professional pest control companies – you will be able to make educated decisions to protect your family and property from potential infestations.

Call Bricker Pest Control today at 979-244-5811 for questions about professional pest control and to scedule a pest inspection for your home.