How To Identify Termites In Your Home

Learn How To Identify Subterranean Termites In Your Home

In the spring, ants will swarm with termites. Like flying ants, termite swarmers leave the nest in search of a new food source. It’s best to learn how to identify termites from flying ants. During this period of swarming, both ants and termites also seek out new nesting sites. Any wooden structure is a target.

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How To Identify Them?

Termite swarmers have straight antennae with a dark brown to black wide body. Flying ants have a pinched waist with elbowed antennae.

While termite and ant swarmers look similar to the untrained eye, swarmers may not pose a threat. We’ll get into that later. For now, understand that there is a difference between flying ants and termite swarmers.

Proper identification is best left for a trained pest management professional. He or she will quickly distinguish the difference between the two and propose a treatment plan if necessary. Again, just because termite swarmers are seen doesn’t mean they have entered your Philadelphia home or business.

Like winged termites, carpenter ants live in wood and may become destructive. While carpenter ants play a role in conserving trees, once inside a structure, they may cause structural damage.



Eastern subterranean termites live in the ground. The termite colony enters structures from the ground. Drywoods, another termite species, commonly enter a structure by flying out of a tree and entering a nearby window or door frame.

It’s important to note that drywood termites do not inhabit the Philadelphia area. These termites are common in the south. They are worth noting since cases of found in Philadelphia result from relocations where colonies get into furniture, picture frames and so forth.

Sometimes a colony will silently enter a home three years before any signs of damage appears. This is a scary fact to accept making annual termite inspections more beneficial than once thought.

A Pennsylvania licensed termite expert inspects structures for “visible” signs of termite damage. Inspectors will check basements and crawl spaces, bedrooms, living rooms and even attics for signs of activity. Visible signs appear as damaged or soft wood, termite droppings from Drywoods, old or active mud tubes, and pencil tip sized exit holes in wood or drywall.

To better prevent termites from entering your home, call a professional to inspect for signs of termite infestations and damage each year. If activity is present a treatment plan is in order. Once a termite treatment is complete it is best to have your home inspected each year.

To better assist customers, many pest control companies offer annual termite warranties in case another swarm occurs the following year. This type of insurance also helps homeowners avoid further financial disaster.


Subterranean termites love moisture. They enter structures where wood meets the soil. Sometimes termites will go undetected for several years before damage appears.

There are four fast tips for preventing termites from entering a structure. They are as follows:


  • Repair leaky pipes and hoses.
  • Remove water damaged wood.
  • Eliminate areas of standing water.
  • Remove wood piles near the structure.