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  1. #1
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    Default Termites or something else...

    I did an inspection yesterday and found what I thought was termites. However, after doing research I am confused. I work in northers PA. They were found on a second floor balcony on relatively dry wood. No mud tubes. There were 3 or 4 that I saw flying around. The exit holes were around 1/16" and the frass on the floor was very fine. I read that the termites around here have a course frass. I can email anyone interested. Any ideas?
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    Last edited by Ben Mangus; 06-21-2013 at 05:18 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Jun 2013
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    Virginia
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    Default Re: Termites or something else...

    Hard to say from the picture. A species of carpenter ant would be my initial guess. Camponotus pennsylvanicus is one of the more common for the east coast. Typically black in color with an abdomen covered by yellowish hairs (not sure if thats what I am looking at).

    Termites vs. Ants

    Termites antennae are not elbowed.......... Ants are.
    Termites have two pairs of wings that are equal in length.......... Ants have two pairs un-equal.
    Termites eyes are absent............. Ants have visible eyes.
    Termites have a thick waist.......... Ants waists are thin (pinched).

    Not sure if that helps.. But thats all I have for the moment.

    Best Regards,

    James Kollhopp
    We Inspect It, LLC
    We Inspect It, LLC | Virginia Home Inspections in Fredericksburg


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Termites or something else...

    Howdy Ben,

    Termites have two body sections, head and torso.

    Ants have three body sections. termite vs ant pictures - Google Search




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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Termites or something else...

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Howdy Ben,

    Termites have two body sections, head and torso.

    Ants have three body sections. termite vs ant pictures - Google Search

    Additionally, termites have relatively thick waists and relatively straight bodies so they can digest the cellulose material of the wood they eat, whereas ants have distinct body parts connected by very narrow waists.

    When you see vary narrow waists connecting the body parts = not a termite.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  5. #5
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    Feb 2009
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: Termites or something else...


    Termites hate sunlight, and they are brown or white, as a rule. In the picture you posted, I see an ant or what Ron B. says below, a wood wasp. What Jerry said, narrow waist, it is not a termmy.
    Carpenter ants have a mid-section thorax shaped like a Harley Davidson gas tank.
    Ants don't eat wood, so they are constantly pushing frass out. There will be fragments of black ant carcasses in the frass. Termites don't push frass, so you won't see piles of debris, not so much.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 03-22-2014 at 08:21 PM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  6. #6
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    PA
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    Default Re: Termites or something else...

    Thanks everyone. That was my initial thought as well but wanted to double check with everyone else.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Washington State
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    Default Re: Termites or something else...

    In these types of situations you should simply state what you found. Possible wood destroying insects, exist holes, frass, etc. Recommend further review by a licensed pest control operator.


  8. #8
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Termites or something else...

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    In these types of situations you should simply state what you found. Possible wood destroying insects, exist holes, frass, etc. Recommend further review by a licensed pest control operator.



    It look like a member of a wood wasp Family ... Not sure of the exact name of it But I think that's what it is... You guys have some real odd bugs back east... Calif. has a little guy just like that. Many types will cut into wood for a nest... They do not eat the wood like a termite... Just looking for or making a hole.

    Ron Bibler
    Excellence Exterminating
    Excellence Exterminating Company Inc. Termite Inspection | Pest Control | Fumigation | Sonoma County - Marin County - Napa County - California
    SANTA ROSA TERMITES, PEST CONTROL

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    In these types of situations you should simply state what you found. Possible wood destroying insects, exist holes, frass, etc. Recommend further review by a licensed pest control operator.



    It look like a member of a wood wasp Family ... Not sure of the exact name of it But I think that's what it is... You guys have some real odd bugs back east... Calif. has a little guy just like that. Many types will cut into wood for a nest... They do not eat the wood like a termite... Just looking for or making a hole.

    Ron Bibler
    Excellence Exterminating
    www.santarosapestcontrol.com
    http://activerain.com/blogsview/4355289/santa-rosa-termites-pest-control-


  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    Default Re: Termites or something else...

    If you had some winged examples, then id is easy. Ants wings extend beyond the abdomen but rarely more than a quarter of the overall body length. However, termite wings are double the body length. It seems a little early to be swarming, but I overturned a rock at my house two weeks ago and found some winged termites, so some are getting ready for the swarm.

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