Oakville Pest Control: The Difference Between Carpenter Ant and Termite Damage

Oakville Pest Control: The Difference Between Carpenter Ant and Termite Damage

Carpenter ants and termites are both pests that can cause significant damage to the structure of your home. While many pest control companies treat both types of insects, it’s important to know which one you are dealing with for effective treatment. While they both burrow deep into wood and dig elaborate tunnels throughout the structure of homes, carpenter ants and termites are two distinct pets. Here’s what you need to know about the differences between carpenter ants and termites so you can get rid of the pests in your home.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants dig tunnels through, but they don’t consume the material. These pests simply dig elaborate tunnels and make nests deep in the hidden recesses of your home. Their presence can significantly weaken the structure of your home, and once they establish residence, they start to build satellite nests apart from the main nest, so it is notoriously difficult to get rid of the entire colony of ants on your own.

In appearance, carpenter ants are distinctive. They have black bodies divided into a head and thorax, and they have narrow, pinched waists. They grow up to half an inch long and have six legs. The most distinctive feature of carpenter ants is that they have bent antennae. Swarmers also have two sets of wings.

Because carpenter ants live deep within houses, you often don’t know about the colony until it has caused significant damage. You may hear soft noises in your walls as they chew through wood, but the most obvious sign of carpenter ants is small piles of shavings around the holes they create. Known as frass, these shavings are discarded material since the pests don’t eat wood. They consume crumbs and other insects for sustenance.

The easiest way to tell the difference between carpenter ants and termites is when the pests swarm, which is when they leave their nests in search of mating opportunities to start new colonies. Carpenter ants usually swarm at night during May and June.


Unlike carpenter ants, termites actually eat the wood they chew through. A single colony wreaks havoc on the structure of a house.

These pests are smaller than carpenter ants, only growing up to a quarter inch long. They have three-segmented bodies that are broad, and they are often light brown in colour. Additionally, termites have straight antennae.

Termites are generally less thorough than carpenter ants, so their tunnels aren’t as clean. You may see mud tunnels and dead insects that the termites haven’t consumed, and you often see discarded wings around damaged wood when you’re dealing with a termite colony.

The final difference between termites and carpenter ants is swarming habits. Termites swarm during the day, usually in early spring.

Why Hire Truly Nolen for Residential Pest Control

Without extensive knowledge about both types of insects, it’s hard to say whether you are dealing with carpenter ants or termites. The expert team at Truly Nolen Canada is experienced in working with both species of pests. We have the right tools and chemicals to treat your home thoroughly and get rid of all of the pests that are posing a danger to your house. We understand how to find every colony in your house so we can make sure we eradicate the entire problem, and we can even give you tips on how to prevent the issue in the future.

Make an Appointment Today

Whether you are dealing with an infestation of carpenter ants or termites, calling a reputable pest control company for help is the best course of action. Truly Nolen Canada provides home pest control to protect your house from carpenter ants and termites. If you need termite or carpenter ant pest control in Oakville, contact us today to schedule an appointment.