Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, May 19, 1984, Image 71

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    NEWARK, Del. It’s not just
the birds and bees that come out in
the spring. So, alas, do the car
penter ants and termites.
If you discover a swarm of
winged insects in your home, try
not to panic, says University of
Delaware extension agriculture
agent Derby Walker. Remember,
you house won’t fall down over
night. Whether your winged in
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termites ere swarming
nts an
sects turn out to be termites or
carpenter ants, the problem can be
Proper control depends on
correct identification. At first
glance, ants resemble termites,
but several differences are evident
when you look closely. Ants have a
pinched waist, and their hind
wings are shorter than their front
pair. An ant’s antennae are
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Termites have a straight body
with no waist, two matching pairs
of wings, and antennae that
resemble beads glued together.
If the swarming insects in your
home prove to be termites, it will
likely come as quite a shock. Until
they swarmed, you never saw
them because termites eat through
the inside of wood, rarely breaking
through the surface. When a colony
becomes to crowded, it divides.
The winged reproductive termites
swarm as they look for a new place
to live.
You can detect termites even if
they don’t swarm by inspecting
your house regularly, Walker says.
Termites locate their colonies in
soil, close to moisture. They often
build networks of mud tunnels
leading to sources of food - the
wood inside homes.
Lancaster Firming, Saturday, May 19,1984—831
Look for tunnels in your crawl
space or along the foundation of
your house. However, even if you
don’t find tunnels, termites might
be munching through your
woodwork. Sometimes they get in
through a crack in a concrete
block. Check for soft spots in
woodwork, then poke them with an
ice pick to look for signs of worker
termites or their damage.
If you find evidence, call several
reputable pest control companies
and ask for detailed estimates. A
county extension office can
provide a list of qualified pest
control operators.
If your swarming insects are
carpenter ants rather than ter
mites, you may be able to control
the problem yourself. Carpenter
ants don’t eat wood, but they do
tunnel through it to make their
nests. To avoid structural damage
to your home, you’ll have to locate
the nest and destroy it.
Look for a nest where moisture
can collect - around windowsills,
chimneys, and water pipes. If you
have patience, try placing small
crumbs of food in the general area
you suspect. Then watch where the
ants carry the food. If you’re
lucky, you’ll be able to locate the
nest. Destroy it with an approved