There are several wood boring pests in the US, but two take the top position when it comes to the amount of destruction that they can cause – termites and carpenter ants. While these two insect species are similar in many ways, they are completely different at a fundamental level, with termites being closer to cockroaches than they are to ants, genetically speaking. Let’s take a look at how these two species infest the home and the differences between them.
Carpenter ant infestations
Carpenter ants do not have the same diet as termites – they are not actually interested in consuming the wood that they infest. Instead, they just use it as a medium to build their colonies. As such, the ants have to build their colonies close to food sources, and leave the colony to forage for food.
It is at this point that you can identify a carpenter ant infestation. Carpenter ants tend to be very large compared to normal ants, clocking in at over half an inch in length. If you spot these large black ants crawling around your kitchen, you should get in touch with a pest control company as soon as possible.
Termites are different from carpenter ants in that they actually consume the wood that they infest. There are two main termite groups that will infest the home – drywood/dampwood termites and subterranean termites. The first group is more similar to carpenter ants because they build their colonies inside of the wood that they consume. This means that they will be treated with direct application insecticides, or fumigation if the infestation grows too large. These termites are much harder to detect than ants because they do not have to leave the colony to find food.
Subterranean termites will build their colonies underground, and dig up to find wood to consume. These termites are relatively easier to detect, because they will use mud tubes to get over obstacles, such as the foundation of a building. When it comes to control, these subterranean termites are dealt with using either chemical barriers or baiting stations.
The best way to figure out the type of infestation that you have in the home is to call over a pro who will perform an inspection. For more information on the various wood boring pests that can infest the home, or if you suspect that you have an infestation, contact us today.