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Identifying the differences between Carpenter Ants and Termites

Know The Difference

Carpenter Ant wingsWhen you're a homeowner, it's important to realize that there are a plethora of pests who want to wreak havoc on your home. Both carpenter ants and termites can cause massive problems, but it is crucial that you distinguish between the two. Methods of treatment will vary, as well as a number of other issues related to the condition of your home. While termites pose a greater threat in the short term, carpenter ants also cause massive amounts of damage when not addressed swiftly. 


One of the telltale signs of a carpenter ant infestation will be piles of wood shavings. The wood piles will look similar to the shavings that you see after sharpening a pencil. While termites are almost always silent, a severe carpenter ant infestation can sometimes be audible. Homeowners experiencing this have reported hearing rustling noises coming from their walls. 

Once you get a chance to examine the wood from an infestation, you will also be able to tell the difference. Carpenter ants tend to polish the wood, making it look smooth on the interior. These ants will also leave small holes in the hollowed-out wood. With a termite infestation, the wood will usually include more soil and mud. Since termites actually eat the wood, you will also be able to see fecal pellets left behind. Carpenter ants, on the other hand, do not eat the wood; they are harvesting it to create nests. 

How To Tell Them Apart

Both of these pests may have wings, but you will be able to tell them apart by looking more closely at the types of wings. A termite's wings will all be the same size, but a carpenter ant's will be larger in the front. When you notice debris, you will want to look for wings. Since termite wings break off much more easily than carpenter ant wings, the presence of broken wings will usually indicate the presence of termites. 

However, if you see a greater number of winged pests flying around, then a carpenter ant infestation is more likely. The presence of more than a dozen ants in any area of your home also indicates that the infestation is more likely to be caused by carpenter ants. Those who examine a carpenter ant closely will be able to see a smaller waist area, in addition to antennae that are elbowed. In general, a termite's body will appear much straighter than a carpenter ant's.


Once you have determined that there is any kind of infestation, however, you will want to contact the experts at ABC Exterminating. Either of these pests can cause severe structural damage; a professional assessment and treatment is the only way to ensure that your home will stay sound


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