Nobody wants their home remodeled without their permission, but that is just what will happen if wood destroying insects decide to invade your Virginia Beach home. The two most common species of wood destroying that invade homes and do their own version of remodeling are the termite and carpenter ant. Both of these species will invade the structural wood of homes, but for some very different reasons. The professional’s at Mitchell Pest want to provide you with some information about these two species in order to help you identify an infestation quickly and to help prevent them from choosing your home as their new breeding, nesting and feeding grounds. Both termites and carpenter ants prefer to invade wood that has been damaged by water; however termites actually feed on the cellulose of the wood while carpenter ants simply create tunnels through the wood to travel through and nest in;carpenter ants do not eat the wood. If left untreated both species can cause enough damage to wood found in homes to cause significant and costly structural damage; in fact termites are responsible for 5 billion dollars’ worth of damages each year to homes all across the United States. Carpenter ants are black, red or a combination of color and can grow to be 5/8th of an inch in length. Their bodies are hard, they have a bent antennae and a narrow pinched in waist. Carpenter ants are often seen outside of their nesting areas foraging for food within your home. Like other ant species carpenter ants feed on sweets, meats, and liquids that can be found in kitchen and pantry areas. Worker termites are the most numerous members of the colony and are creamy white in color, wingless and grow to be about ¼ of an inch in length. Worker termites have a soft body and are born blind. Termites are rarely ever seen by homeowners since they basically spend their entire life under the ground or on the inside of wood creating tunnels. Termites feed on the cellulose of decaying leaves, soil, and wood. In order to prevent wood destroying insects from moving into your home you should take some steps to deter them from your property. The most important step that you can take to discourage wood destroying insects is to reduce the moisture levels found around your home. Make sure that gutters are working properly and directing water away from the foundation of your home, remove and replace decaying mulch in garden areas, and fix outdoor faucets and hoses that are leaky. Inside of your home any wood that has had water damage should be replaced and de-humidifiers should be used in areas of your home like basements, bathrooms and crawl spaces. And of course it is also important to do everything you can to keep them out of your home by sealing cracks in exterior walls and foundations, caulk gaps around windows and doors, and seal openings around utility lines and pipes entering into your home. Despite your best efforts wood destroying insects may still decide to try and call your home their home, if this occurs and you find yourself with an infestation the quickest, safest, and most efficient way to get rid of them is with the help of a professional. Professionals like the ones at Mitchell will be able to identify the species, perform the correct treatment, and provide follow-up services to prevent future problems with wood destroying insects. We offer effective termite control and also have solutions for carpenter ants and other household pests. Don’t leave your next home re-modeling project up to ants or termites, contact Mitchell Pest Services to get rid of these pests!