Wood Damaging Insects

Any time you have wood damaging insects discovered in your home, it is a bad day. Whether you are dealing with carpenter ants or termites, you may be facing structural damage. These two insects are often mistaken for one another, because there are many similarities between the two of them. There are also many differences though. Eagle Pest Services is here to talk about the difference between carpenter ants and termites.


Differences in Appearance of Carpenter Ants & Termites

When looking closely at carpenter ants and termites, you will notice there are definitely differences between the two. The most noticeable difference between the two is the shape of their bodies. Carpenter ants have a pinched waist with three separate parts to their body, much like other ant species. Termites have no recognizable waist and the width of their body is the same all the way down the body. Another difference is in their wings. Termites have two sets of wings and they are both the exact same size. Carpenter ants have two sets of wings also, but one is bigger than the other. Their antennae are also different in appearance. Carpenter ants have a bend antennae and termites have antennae that are straight.


Difference in Pest Habits & Diet

Though the two insects both can cause significant structural damage, termite damage is usually far more extensive than carpenter damage and here’s why: Carpenter ants don’t actually consume wood. They seek out damaged or decaying wood to build their nests in it. When they are building nests, they hollow out the wood and depending on how long the ants have been there, the damage can be severe. Carpenter ants feed off of sugary and greasy foods that we eat as well as other insects. Termites feed on cellulose which is an organic compound found in wood. When they are found in the structure of your home, they have actually been eating the wood away rather than just building a nest in it. They are quite a bit messier than carpenter ants and leave fecal matter and bits and pieces behind as they feed on the wood.


Signs of Termites & Carpenter Ants

There are some signs that you can watch for that indicate you have a problem with either termites or carpenter ants. These include:

  • Hollow Sounding Wood- If you tap on the wood that makes up your structure and it sounds hollow, this could be a sign of termites or carpenter ants.
  • Swarming Ants or Termites- If you see swarmers, whether they are ants or termites, they are looking to set up shop in your structure if they haven’t already.
  • Sawdust- If you see a sawdust type substance by any cracks in the walls or window sills, you could have a problem.
  • Mud Tubes on Exterior Walls- This is a sign of termites.


Carpenter & Termite Control

If you are worried that you may have a carpenter ant or termite problem, it should be investigated right away. In both cases, the sooner the problem is resolved the better. Eagle Pest Services can help you eradicate any problems you may have with carpenter ants or termites in your home or on your property. Call us today!