Carpenter ants and termite infestations pose a threat to the structure of your home or business. Since they show up in Honolulu around the same time each year, the best way to tell them apart is the type of damage they cause.
As a preventive measure, we will help you identify the difference between a carpenter ant and termite damage. To start, let’s examine the differences in their nature and how they operate.
How can I tell carpenter ants and termites apart?
The colony structures of the carpenter ants and the termites are very similar. They separate into breeders, swarmers, and workers. Swarmers incubate within an established colony before leaving the nest to establish new colonies.
Because they have wings, termite swarmers look much different than carpenter ant swarmers. If you see a cluster of either type, you are already in trouble because a healthy colony of menacing pests is already in your home or office.
Carpenter ants generally gain access to a dwelling through:
- Open vents
- Tree limbs that come into contact with your home
- Cracks in windows and doors
- Overhead wires
By contrast, the subterranean termite is the most destructive of its species. It burrows through the soil and gains access to your home or business by chewing through floorboards and other exterior openings. To hide their comings and goings, they make mud tubes on your outer walls.
How do carpenter ants and termites destroy homes?
Once inside your home or business, both carpenter ants and subterranean termites start building their nest inside wooden areas. Carpenter ants build their galleries inside the regions of water damaged or decaying wood. Soft insulation can also be a target for wood-destroying insects.
By using the enzymes they secrete, termites can gnaw through solid wood, giving them more freedom to expand. They can make a gallery of tunnels throughout the wood’s interior. Unlike the silky smooth, neat interior of the carpenter ant’s nest, termites coat their rough-looking galleries and tunnels with mud.
Are carpenter ants more destructive than termites?
The subterranean termite is far more destructive than the carpenter ant. It is so detrimental to the home that most homeowner’s insurances don’t cover termite damage. Here’s why:
- Along with using wood as a nesting area, termites rely on it as a primary food choice.
- While carpenter ants exploit weaknesses in wood, termites create new weaknesses.
- With their robust prongs and insatiable appetites, termites eat wood around the clock.
- Since they eat the evidence, termite damage is hard to detect.
How to Tell Carpenter Ant Damage From Termite Damage
Carpenter ants cause damage by boring through the softwood in the nest-building process. However, just because they do less damage doesn’t mean it’s less dangerous. These ants can:
- Weaken structural beams that could eventually lead to a disaster
- Cause stair steps to collapse
- Leaky cellars
- Contribute to a low house or business property appraisal
If you’re lucky, you may be able to hear the carpenter ants as they rustle about the wood. Also, they often leave little residue piles outside tiny holes in the wood.
Unfortunately, termite damage is not so conspicuous. Check for open spots on wood by giving it a few taps. Also, take note of any sagging wood areas in the house or office, including furniture. Allowing termites to fester can have dire consequences. Plus, termites cause billions of dollars in damage a year in the US.
How can Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions get rid of carpenter ants and termites in my home?
While the differences between carpenter ants and termites are important, ultimately, you don’t want either inside your space.
Carpenter ants and termites are silent destroyers. Their nature and their environment are very complex. It takes a qualified professional to get to the root problem. Don’t leave it up to chance. Call us or fill out the contact form on this page to get started!