Carpenter Ants or Termites: Which Pest Causes more Damage?

Carpenter Ants or Termites- Which Pest Causes more Damage

You may think that carpenter ants do not cause as much struggle damage as termites. You may have even heard that termite infestations cause billions of dollars to U.S. homes each year. While this is true, carpenter ants cause millions of dollars of damage each year and are becoming increasingly common in homes across the country. If left untreated, both carpenter ants and termites can cause a great deal of damage. Both types of insect infestations should be taken seriously and should be addressed as quickly as possible. Here’s what you need to know about these insects and the damage they cause:

What Is a Carpenter Ant?

Carpenter ants derive their name from the fact that they build nests quickly and efficiently. They form nests inside excavated wood and form tunnels inside the wood. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not consume the wood; they chew through the wood and discard the debris.

The most visible sign of an infestation is small openings and tunnels in wood furniture and structures around the home. Through these openings, carpenter ants eject debris, consisting of sawdust, wood fragments and wood shavings. You likely have an infestation if you notice an accumulate of sawdust near wood structures. While carpenter ants have been known to chew through all kinds of wood, they prefer to attack wood that has been softened by fungus or moisture. Therefore, if you have excess water in your home, inspect your wood structures regularly for signs of an infestation.

What Is a Termite?

Termites are subterranean insects that consume wood, including furniture, drywall and flooring. There are two termite varieties typically found in homes: the swarmer and the worker. Swarmers produce offspring while worker termites do most of the everyday tunnelling and consuming wood.

You likely have a termite infestation on your hands if you notice drooping drywall, peeling paint, noticeable holes in your drywall and uneven floorboards. Other signs include visible droppings and wood that have a hollow sound when tapped.

Termite Damage vs. Carpenter Ant Damage

Termites often cause so much damage because they can be present and chewing through the wood in your home without any immediate signs of wear. They are often called a “silent destroyer” because they are typically not recognized until it is too late. Termites thrive by consuming cellulose-based materials. All homes, regardless of their style, contain cellulose materials and therefore provide enough food for a termite infestation. While it can take months or even years for termites to cause significant structural damage, it costs the average homeowner more than $3,000 to repair termite damage. Further, some wood structures may be damaged beyond repair before the infestation is noticed.

Carpenter ants typically don’t cause as much damage as termites because they do not consume the wood waste they produce. Therefore, the debris accumulates and is usually discovered by homeowners rather quickly. Unfortunately, carpenter ants can cause a lot of damage in a short period. They prefer to feed on soft or rotting wood before moving onto more structurally sound wood. These ants can weaken home support beams, causing a wood structure to warp, which can cost hundreds of dollars to be fixed.

Work With a Carpenter Ant Removal Expert

Whether you have a termite or carpenter ant infestation, it is essential to take care of the issue as quickly as possible. Truly Nolen Canada is a respected leader in the pest control industry and has many years of experience eliminating pests safely, effectively and affordably. We provide both termite and carpenter ant services in Kitchener to residential and commercial properties.

Don’t wait until your home’s foundation is damaged irreparably. Contact us today to schedule a no-obligation inspection or to schedule a treatment plan.