First of all, remember that termites eat and digest wood. Carpenter ants do not eat wood but do tunnel in rotted wood to form its nests. That is a big area of confusion for a lot of people.

Both termites and ants have stages in their life cycles (or the life cycle of their colonies) that include both winged and non-winged adults. The winged types of both have four wings. The difference is that on the termite, both wings are the same size while the wings on ants are of different sizes.

There are several different types of termites found in the United States The most common type is subterranean termite so named because it establishes its nest in the ground. Drywood termites do not require contact with the moisture in the soil. Dampwood termites do not require contact with the soil but do require that the wood be damp.

If you find galleries in the wood of a structure i.e. house, barn, garage, you should contact someone (University Extension Service, for example) to get the problem properly diagnosed. Then you can make an informed decision on the proper approach to take in your area of the country.

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.

Types of Insects

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