Termites vs Carpenter Ants: Whos Chewing My Home

McDuffie Pest Control

If you're lucky, you're probably not up-close to the insects around or in your home. This is great if you would prefer not to see too many of these pests, but it has its downsides too. Both carpenter ants and termites have wings and elongated bodies. They both swarm in the spring and love to chew through the wood in homes. Suppose you're not sure which one is which; it can ultimately affect whether your pest treatments work or not.

Termite Vs. Carpenter Ants

If you're trying to assess termites vs. carpenter ants damage, we'll look at the details of the two insects so you can tackle the problem correctly the first time around. The most obvious difference between the two comes in their coloring. (A carpenter ant has a narrower waist than a termite, but how would you know unless they were side-by-side?) Termites are light, while carpenter ants are dark. If you can't get close to one of them, though, you should know that termites have the more fragile wings. So if you happen to find a few on your windowsill or floor, you likely have termites. Both species will take some time to build up a colony, but the damage from termites is far worse than that of carpenter ants as a whole. Carpenter ants are creating tunnels in the wood rather than eating it for sustenance like a termite. This doesn't minimize the effects of carpenter ant damage, only clarify that they're not indiscriminately eating everything the way a termite would. If you see significant destruction (e.g., to a woodpile in the yard or a rotted floorboard in the attic), it's likely from termite damage. 

Termites vs. Carpenter Ants Droppings

Termite and carpenter ants leave very similar evidence behind because both are turning your wood into sawdust. It may be difficult to tell the difference between the two in terms of droppings. Still, it is helpful to know that carpenter ant tunnelers are creating sawdust instead of termites that are essentially excreting sawdust. The latter kinds of droppings will vary in color, depending on the color of the wood. You can potentially identify them because they look more like hard pellets than carpenter ants, which may look more like regular sawdust. As an aside, carpenter ants are usually easier to spot than termites because they usually have to come out to eat. Termites are surviving on the wood, which makes them unlikely to come out of hiding.  

Contact McDuffie Pest Control 

If you want to learn more about how to get rid of termites or get rid of carpenter ants, McDuffie Pest Control is here to help. We know how to identify the kinds of pests you have, assess the damage they've left behind, and find ways to eliminate them from your home. We'll do everything we can to prevent these insects from coming back. From crawl spaces to chimneys, we look for the openings, carpenter ants in the house, and signs of termites in the house. If you want to learn more about how we can help, contact us to learn about the services, equipment, and techniques we use to root out pests.