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Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Are Carpenter Ants More Destructive Than Termites?

Carpenter ants are common insects in America, Europe, and other parts of the world that usually cause damage in homes. This type of ant is known to cause damage to wood areas where they nest, which is why their presence is often mistaken for a termite infestation. In this article, we tell you the differences between both insects and give you tips to get rid of carpenter ants and termites.

What attracts carpenter ants or termites into a house?

Termites are only attracted to wood for their shelter and food, while carpenter ants are usually attracted by other food sources. They have a special attraction for sweet things and are usually always waiting for the opportunity to steal products that have honey and sugar. 

It is therefore essential that you make sure to keep all your sugary things well packed in the pantry and out of reach. This will prevent carpenter ants from finding an ideal place to implant their colony in your home.


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What do carpenter ants and termites eat?

Carpenter ants and termites have different eating habits. On the one hand, termites are wood eaters, so they are in constant search of wooden items to devour and to use as shelter. On the other hand, carpenter ants do not eat wood and are omnivorous.

It is quite likely that you can detect carpenter ants that go out in search of food, while the termites will not be located outside because they can already enjoy their food in their place of refuge.

What’s the difference between carpenter ants and termites?

Carpenter ants are often very confused with termites. This is because their behavior is similar, as they both cause considerable property damage. However, carpenter ants do not feed on wood, but on fungi that are often found in decaying wooden structures. Additionally, carpenter ants chew through wood and use wood pieces to make their nests.

When it comes to appearance, comparing carpenter ants to termites is very easy. The antennae and body shape of both are distinguishing factors. In the case of termites, their antennae are a bit curved and there appear to be a few small balls stacked on top of each other. In contrast, in the case of carpenter ants, their antennae are like handlebars.

If you can't identify whether you have carpenter ant or termite infestation, you should pay attention to wood chips. This is because, contrary to termites, carpenter ants do not consume wood and normally shed all the excess wood that enters their nests.


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What type of property damage can these insects cause?

Termites are more destructive, and can make you suffer massive losses. Carpenter ants are considerably less destructive than termites, but the damage they can cause if undetected is substantial as well.

Regarding carpenter ants infestations, carpenter ants damage wooden structures because that is where they build their nests. They dig for galleries, offering the queen ant a place to lay its eggs and the young ants a suitable place to grow and develop. 

Carpenter ants enter homes through different routes: heating ducts, air conditioning equipment, through windows, decks, storage sites, or through areas where trees are connected to structures. If the colony or carpenter ants or termites grows, greater damage will be caused to the wooden structures of your property. The wood will deteriorate seriously if the elimination of nests is not carried out in time.


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How to Spot Carpenter Ants

Ants generally travel great distances from their nests in search of food, and carpenter ants rarely nest in dry wood. This annoying pest can be seen at various points of entry into homes or buildings (vents, attics, building foundations, crevices, electrical wires, pipes, and telephone lines).

This species of ants prefers to put its nests in wood used in the infrastructure of buildings or houses, behind walls, hollow doors, window posts, and insulating panels. It is very common for these ants to look for wood that has been worn away by moisture, decay, or other insects (such as termites).

In the case of a severe carpenter ant infestation, piles of sawdust can often be found behind wooden furniture. Another common sign is to detect soft creaks inside wooden structures, and this is because these wood-destroying insects rummage in the wood to dig their nests.

Also, when adult winged ants emerge from the ceiling, walls, or other hidden crevices of a building or house, it is a clear sign of infestation. The way they build their nests in wood is different from termites, and this will serve to distinguish the presence of one or another pest.

In the case of carpenter ants, the nests have smooth walls and do not accumulate dirt or mud, since this type of destructive insect cleans the galleries. Another common feature to detect if you have carpenter ants in your home is sawdust as well as the presence of debris and dead insects outside the nest opening. In the case of sawdust piles, they are usually located around window sills or cobwebs.

How to Spot Termites

First, it's important to look for some signs that termites have invaded your home and laid nests. If when you look at your wooden furniture, you see small yellow dots similar to breadcrumbs, it can be a sign of infestation, since it could be the traces left by the termites. Also, when you look at the wood, you will probably see small holes in the surface.

Another way to detect termites in your home is by touching some spots on your wooden furniture. If it appears hollow, then probably termite pests have damaged the structure from the inside and are using it as a shelter.


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What’s the best way to get rid of carpenter ants and termites?

The best ways to get rid of carpenter ants and termites include:

  1. Sugar and baking soda
  2. Flooding the pipes with mud
  3. Natural oils
  4. Vinegar
  5. Insecticides
  6. Hire an exterminator

If you have destructive pests at home, and you are looking for the best way of controlling carpenter ants or getting rid of termites, the following tips will come in handy.

1. Sugar and baking soda

To make carpenter ants fall into this trap, you need to mix the same amount of sugar and baking soda crystals and keep it as bait. The sugar crystals will be useful to attract the carpenter ants to consume the mixture and the baking soda will be in charge of killing them effectively.

2. Flood the pipes with mud

If you spot mud pipes in your home, one of the easiest solutions is to drown out the mud holes. You can flood with water so that the termites are eliminated naturally. Sunlight is also another natural source that can help protect your home from termites. It is important to make sure your home has enough sunlight penetration to prevent termites from nesting in your home.

3. Use natural oils

Natural peppermint and clove oils are very helpful in keeping carpenter ants and termites away from your home. Clove oil, peppermint oil, and tea tree oil can also be very helpful in repelling these damaging insects and keeping your home safe.

4. Vinegar

Vinegar is a natural and practical deterrent that can easily be found in any kitchen. All you have to do is spray a vinegar and water solution on the trails and areas where the ants or termites have built their nests. The disinfecting properties of vinegar will drive these pests away.

5. Insecticides

It is very easy to find all kinds of specialized insecticides on the market that you can use in your home to get rid of carpenter ants and termites. In this case, it is essential to make sure that you keep them away from children and pets. The instructions accompanying the product should be read thoroughly before the application of the product.

6. Hire an exterminator

If you have tried all the above methods and cannot find a solution to the problem, it is best to hire the services of a pest control company. If you are looking for pest control professionals, V Extermination is your best ally. Our proven methods of exterminating pests will give you peace of mind. Check out our different packages and choose the one that suits you the most!


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