Are Those Termites or Carpenter Ants in Your Home?
Wood destroying pests such as termites and carpenter ants eat away at homes causing billions of dollars in damage to businesses and homes each and every year. Are you worried yet? Unfortunately, you really should be. It is possible that your home could be next on these pests menu, but which will you fall victim to and how will you tell the difference? This guide from Young Environmental Solutions can help.
What Do They Look Like?
Carpenter ants and termites both show remarkable physical differences. While both have wings, the wings of a termite all tend to be the same size. Carpenter ants have front wings that are larger than the back ones. A more defining note is that the wings of the carpenter ant tend to be pointed while termites are paddle shapes. Also, carpenter ants have wings that are the same size as their body while termites are much longer.
Both termites and carpenter ants have antennae, but on the termites, they are very straight. With carpenter ants, they are bent at an angle.
Termites have just two body segments, and where they are joined, you will find a broad waist. Carpenter ants, though, have three segments. They are joined by a thin, constricted waist.
You are far more likely to see the carpenter ants than you are the termites. Carpenter ant workers often head out into the open to forage for food. Termite workers, though, stay inside the colony. In most cases, you only ever see the termite swarmers.
What Do They Do?
If you never see the pests, how will you figure out if you have them? There are a couple of different ways. First, if you happen to notice wood near or on your home that has been cleanly hollowed out and there’s bits of sawdust nearby (often called frass), you probably have a carpenter ant problem on your hands. Carpenter ants do not actually eat the wood in your home. They just tunnel it out to make nests.
If, on the other hand, you see rough edges in the hollowed out wood or even hard, seed-like fecal pellets, you are dealing with termites.
One other big difference is that termites will create mud tubes to their new nest, and carpenter ants will not. Additionally, carpenter ants like to tunnel into moist, damaged wood. Termites will tunnel into anything they can find.
What is Next?
Either way, you have a real problem on your hands, as both of these pests can destroy your home quickly. Your best bet, whether you think you have carpenter ants or termites, is to contact a pest control professional for help. They can examine your home, make a determination, then come up with a treatment that fits the problem.