The Differences Between Termites and Carpenter Ants

The Differences Between Termites and Carpenter Ants

A confusing issue for homeowners throughout Peterborough is the commonalities that exist between carpenter ants and termites. Both of these insect types destroy wood, but only termites both colonize wood and eat it at the same time. Carpenter ants have no appetite. A clear indicator to differentiate between the two is the appearance of the insects: carpenter ants are black with a slimmer build in comparison to termites who may appear yellow, brown, or white with a much thicker abdomen and thorax. There are also a lot of differences in their behavior patterns.

Termites are a species of insect that eats the cellulose material found inside of wood. They can serve beneficial purposes to the environment, but this is not the case once they make their way inside of homes, where a colony can destroy the wood foundation of a home in a few years’ time. Termites share many traits with carpenter ants, such as a commonality for burrowing through the wood, both indoors and out, as well as the production of frass, which is the wood structure they are burrowing through reduced to a small mulch.

Termite frass will also include termite droppings since termites will also rat the wood in addition to expelling the interior wood to create an access tunnel. Carpenter ant frass will not include pellet-shaped droppings mixed in with it, as they do not eat the wood they are burrowing through. Both species also create exit holes in the wood structures they have infested. These exit holes are for removing frass and waste, as well as holes to allow workers  to escape the colony. Carpenter ants do not usually create circle-shaped holes, so this might give one clue as to differentiate between the two insects.

Carpenter ants will also branch out to other types of structures to colonize, such as insulation, whereas termites will typically only remain inside of wood. Termites do not forage for food since they are living inside of their food source. You will likely see carpenter ants much more than termites due to the ants’ need to venture out to find food and moisture reserves for the wider colony. Termites will also create mud tunnels along walls, floors, and ceilings, whereas carpenter ants will typically not include mud tunnels to travel.

In order to effectively tackle the termite or carpenter ants issue, it is strongly advised to hire a professional pest control company to deal with the infestation. Professionals are licensed professionals who have had many years of experience in the field already. The technicians from Exterminator Peterborough have more than a decade worth of experience under their belt making them highly qualified and exceptionally trustable. They have the latest equipment and the most potent formulations at hand to make your pest problem go away once and for all. Give Exterminator Peterborough a call, and we’ll take care of it all.