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Which Is Worse For Your Souderton Home: Termites Or Carpenter Ants?

February 6, 2020

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carpenter ant on rock

The simple answer is that termites are usually worse than carpenter ants. But they aren't always worse. There are some circumstances that can allow carpenter ants to cause as much damage as termites—sometimes more damage. Let's take a look at how these two structure-infesting pests compare.

NATIVE SPECIES

Termites — In our service area, the termites we battle are subterranean termites, which are, by far, the most destructive termites in the United States. They are responsible for billions of dollars in property damage annually.

Carpenter Ants — The most destructive carpenter ant species in the United States is the black carpenter ant or Camponotus pennsylvanicus. Does that second word look familiar? It should. It means that these insects were discovered in and are native to Pennsylvania. That means that we're at the epicenter. This must be taken into consideration when measuring the threat of these two pests.

SNEAKINESS

Termites — The reason subterranean termites are so destructive is that they are incredibly sneaky. Workers live almost exclusively inside their tunnels. This is because they have an aversion to light and dry air. When they attack a structure, their presence often goes undetected for years, allowing these wood-eating insects to do a lot of damage.

Carpenter Ants — While subterranean termites are often referred to as white ants, they aren't ants. There is a big difference. Ants don't eat wood. They tunnel through it. And since they tunnel through wood, they have to find a place to put all the sawdust they create. Carpenter ants make tiny holes and push the sawdust, along with their feces, outside of their tunnels. If this sawdust appears in a location that is visible, you'll know you have a carpenter ant infestation. A quick response will prevent these insects from doing extensive damage. The problem is that carpenter ants often push this "frass" out into wall voids or voids underneath decks, patios, porches, stairs and other external structures where it won't be seen.

ALATES (Winged Insects)

Termites — The alates of a termite colony are only about 3/8 of an inch long. That is pretty tiny. If one were to land on your skin, you probably would brush it off and move on with your day.

Carpenter Ants — The alates of a carpenter ant colony are about twice as large as the workers. A queen can be 9/16 of an inch long. If one of these lands on you, you're likely to take notice.

FOOD CONTAMINATION

Termites — Since termites eat wood, you don't have to be concerned about these insects getting into your food. But they eat any items that are made of cellulose. If the conditions are right, they can get into a pile of boxes and chew through the cardboard. They can also chew through clothing and other stored items.

Carpenter Ants — While these ants can easily find a meal on the outside of your home and never invade your pantry or kitchen, sometimes a scout ant will find a food source that is too good to resist. This can cause your food to be contaminated with ants. When this happens, you may want to look at it in a positive light. When carpenter ants live in a home and feed on food sources outside, it makes them much more difficult to detect.

Termite and Carpenter Ant Control

If you see warning signs of carpenter ant activity, such as frass build-up or wood damage, reach out to Moyer to have those ants dealt with quickly. As for subterranean termites, it isn't wise to wait till you see signs. Consider investing in proactive termite protection for your Souderton home today. 



Tags: home pest control  |  carpenter ants  |  termite control