Carpenter ants and termites both can be very destructive, and they’re responsible for many pest problems each year. Both of the pests are wood destroyers, which can be devastating to a home. However, many people confuse the two, which is a problem because they must be eliminated differently. That's why it is important to differentiate between carpenter ants vs termites.
While carpenter ants and termites are very similar in appearance, there are ways to tell them apart. They both have small wings and bulbous chitin shells, which is why many people confuse the two. However, if you take a closer look, you’ll notice that carpenter ants have a head, thorax, and an abdomen, while termites only have a head and thorax. You’ll also find that ants have smaller wings, and termites have wings that are much longer than their body. Of course, if you’re unsure about their appearance, you can always have a pest control company identify the pests you have in your home.
What They Eat
Both carpenter ants and termites munch on wood, but termites actually use wood as a source of nutrition. However, carpenter ants are not able to digest the wood cellulite. They simply munch on wood to create shelters for their nests. Keep in mind, both of these pests require water access and do well in moist environments. In fact, carpenter ants require moisture to be able to eat small bits of food, since they are unable to eat solids.
Where They Live
The carpenter ants and termites both can live within the wood in a home, and they’ll chew away at wood until it becomes hollow. Carpenter ants like wood that is rotting or molding, since it offers humidity and darkness. Termites tend to make their homes in mud mounds that are below or above the ground. However, they may make do with wooden infrastructure inside homes as well.
Types of Damage
You can often tell carpenter ants apart from termites by looking at the damage that is left behind. Check out the damaged wood and you’ll notice that ants leave wood very clean. They remove wood chippings and insect remains from their nest, which means you’ll find some small piles that look like sawdust near wood that has been damaged. Termites aren’t as clean and they leave behind mud, insect parts, and remains, so wood damaged by termites has a rugged, messy look.
Treating carpenter ant or termite infestations is essential, but these pets require specific treatments. In most cases, the pests you see are only a fraction of the pests in the home. Since these pests operate in different ways, specialized treatments and equipment is needed to eliminate them from your home. For this reason, it’s important to turn to a professional for your extermination needs.
Do you want to know more about the difference between carpenter ants vs termites? Call 201-365-9886 today for FREE consultation!