Residential Pest Control: How Termites Differ From Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants and termites have a lot more in common than most people would think especially when it comes to pest control. Termites and carpenter ants are both responsible for a large chunk of residential pest control house calls each year because they are both wood destroyers. Wood damage remains the number-one complaint by homeowners in regards to pests.
As any local pest control company will tell you, termites and carpenter ants will destroy the wood and interior of your home if left unchecked. This can cause expensive-to-fix damage and even threaten the stability of your home. Both pests cause billions of dollars in wood damage each year and can only be eliminated through expert pest control – ants and termites are both skilled at hiding their presence.
Physical Features
Al though often mistaken for each other in appearance they do have major differences, one of which is their body shape. Termites have a head and a thorax; whereas ants have a head, thorax and abdomen. Termite Pest Proofing Your Home wings are also usually much longer than ant wings. If you find an infestation but are not sure which type of pest it is you can bring a specimen to a local pest control company for identification.
Why They Use Wood
Termites and carpenter ants will both munch on the wood in your home however termites do it for nutrition while carpenter ants use it for shelter. Carpenter ants actually cannot digest wood cellulose and so will burrow into it instead of eating it.
One thing to keep in mind when it comes to pest control: Termites and ants both need access to water and will thrive in a moist environment. How To Prevent Mice In Apartment One residential pest control tactic to deter both pests is to eliminate food and water sources and keep the air in your home dry.
Where They Seek Shelter
Both termite and ant colonies can and will live inside the wood in your home. They will chew away at the inside of wood beams until they become hollow and begin to show surface damage. Carpenter ants tend to prefer wood that is already molding or rotting. This provides the perfect conditions for a colony: dark and humid, with insulated moisture. Termites, on the other hand, prefer to shelter in mud mounds, above or below ground. If you find any signs of a termite or carpenter ant nest, call a local pest control company right away to schedule a full inspection.
The Damage They Cause
Each of these pests leaves different evidence of their damage. To the trained eye of an expert in pest control, ants are meticulously clean. All insect remains and wood chippings will be removed from the nest leaving only little sawdust-like piles near damaged wood.
Within termite-damaged wood, you’ll find lots of remains, insect parts and mud. Termites travel through mud tubes within the wood in order to move food back and forth therefore termite-damaged wood will be much messier and have a more rugged look.
The only sure way to properly identify an infestation is to bring in a local pest control company. However, knowing signs of damage and how to tell these two pests apart can help homeowners become more proactive about residential pest control.