Termite or Ant? How to Know & What to Do

Avoid cardboard boxes for storage

Termites love to feast on cardboard. Use only plastic containers for storage.

You may not think termites are a concern during warm weather because they are most active during winter. However, adult termites swarm and build new nests in the spring and summer. It’s important to take note of termite swarms to prevent serious damage to your long term rental home in coming months.

This time of year, it’s easy to confuse termites with ants. Adult termites often look like winged ants. Making it even harder to distinguish between the two is the fact that there are, in fact, winged ants. Typically, termites have straight antennae, wings of equal length, and uniform body length. This contrasts with winged ants, who have curved antennae, uneven wings, and a segmented body.

If you see a termite (or a swarm), it may mean there is an underground termite nest nearby. Check your yard for any areas likely to harbor a nest, such as wooden fence posts, decks, tree stumps, or landscaping timbers.

If you find adult termites inside of your home, an infestation may already exist in or under your home. In either situation, report the potential termite sighting to your Tenant Portal.

Many times, a swarmer has simply been drawn indoors by lights and will die—causing no further damage. Nonetheless, it’s best to let your property manager know.

When you log in to your tenant portal, create a service request. In the request, detail which area of the home is experiencing swarmers. Your property management team will then formulate a course of action with the property owner and keep you informed.

If the property owner has a Termite Bond, the pest control company will schedule an appointment to inspect and treat the home.  If the property owner does not have a Termite Bond, your property management team will request that the owner has a pest control company perform an inspection and possibly treat the home. Of course, it is the property owner’s choice as to whether he/she treats the home.

To help prevent termite infestations from happening, implement these simple steps this summer:

  1. Clear all leaf debris, wood piles, and trash away from your home’s foundation.
  2. Use only plastic boxes for storage, not cardboard, which serves as a food source for termites.
  3. Move the A/C drainage pipe as far away from your home’s foundation as possible. Also, make sure you don’t have leaky pipes, as the moisture invites termites.
  4. Keep your laundry off the ground. Cotton clothes contain cellulose, which termites eat.
  5. Don’t use wood mulch in your garden, but choose other materials termites don’t like to eat.

For any other issues that arise, contact the Southern Residential Leasing  team.

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Tags: Home maintenance Southern Residential Leasing Termite prevention