Homeowners concerned about termites should check exposed wood for infestation regularly. The best way to accomplish this is to prod the exposed wood to check for weak spots and damage from termite tunnelling. Homeowners should look for swarms of termites on or near the home and mud tubes that contain small white insects.
It is important not to confuse termites with ants. Termites have straight antennae that may appear to droop slightly and wings of equal size. Ants have antennae that are bent at a roughly 90-degree angle and front wings that are noticeably longer than their back wings. Termite infestations can be prevented by using a cement foundation during construction, sealing or covering exposed wood with a metal barrier and installing a proper drainage system that allows the soil and foundation to dry. Termite infestations may begin in wood near the home and transfer to the home. To prevent this, reduce the amount of wood near the house, such as trees, bushes and stored firewood. All access points to the wooden structure of the house, such as cracks in the foundation and places where utility lines enter the home, should be caulked or sealed with cement to prevent termites from entering the home.