Termites or Carpenter Ants – How to know the difference?
“Know thy enemy” – This is a universal saying that really does apply to any situation even if it concerns the seemingly little guests you see wandering around your house. Knowing the common type of pests can help you figure out what you are dealing with.
Termites are the most damageable pests faced by U.S. homeowners, with them infesting about 600,000 houses each year. Following close is the carpenter termites which also cause much damage to wood like the termites. Often the termites are mistaken for the carpenter ants since they look almost the same. Identifying the type of pests will help you get solutions on how to get rid of the problem and prevent it from coming back.
Carpenter Ants and Termites – The Differences
There is a reason why termites and carpenter ants are often confused with each other – they have some characteristics in common. Before we go into the differences, it would be best to know what both share in common.
Both insects swarm in the spring since it is the mating season. Both love damp wood and can cause a great deal of damage to your house. Thus for an untrained person, it would be easy to mistake one for the other. Therefore we have compiled some points so that you will spot the difference between termites and carpenter ants.
1. Look matters
- When it is about the outlook, you will have to get a closer look to know the difference.
- The carpenter ants have a head, thorax, and abdomen, while the termites have a head and a thorax only.
- Termites have creamy white, transparent bodies, while the carpenter ants are reddish or darker in color.
- The wings of termites are longer than that of carpenter ants. Also, the front wings of carpenter ants are larger than the back wings, but the wings of termites are all of equal size
- The antennae of ants are bent, while the termites have straight antennas
2. What do they eat?
Carpenter ants chew through wood to develop tunnels and build nests. The carpenter ants chew the wood and push it out, thus creating piles of sawdust-type looking material at the exterior of entrances to their nests. But for food, they stick with fruit juices, insects, and other anthropods. They also love their sweets, eggs, cakes, and grease.
Termites love cellulose and dig in anything with that like wood, wood products, and paper products. This is what makes termites more dangerous since they actually eat and digest the wood.
3. The house does tell a lot about the owner
Carpenter ants are very neat in their work, and thus the nests and tunnels are very smooth. Also, did you know that the ants clean their nests of dead ants, leftover food, and even collect a resin to disinfect their nests? Intense right?
Termites, on the other hand, are free spirits and just eat the wood as they go along, resulting in uneven tunnels. Also, they use mud to form tunnels, and thus when you find mud tubes near your foundation or any damp places, it is a good indication of termite infestation.
4. The meaner of the two
Both carpenter ants and termites can harm your house, but the termites are more malicious than the former. They devour anything with cellulose to the point that there is nothing left. If you do not notice the infestation soon enough, it can cause serious damage.
Carpenter ants also cause wood damage, but since they do not actually eat the wood, extensive damage can take years. But both the pests are silent in their work and can go unnoticed for a long time. The annual inspection is the best way to be at peace.
Hi Tech Termite Control
Every year termite causes damage of more than $5 billion in U.S. households. We provide you with advanced termite control methods like fumigation services, liquid treatments, and more.
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