Some pest is eating away your home, but you’re not sure which it is.

A sketch of a termite

A sketch of a termite

A sketch of a carpenter ant

A sketch of a carpenter ant

This is a common question we receive.   Ultimately, if you take quick action and have a competent pest control company like All Pest take care of it for you, it likely won’t matter too much.   If we suspect that it has been a long-standing colony, either is capable of having done significant damage, although termites generally have the greatest destructive capabilities.

Once you delve into entomology, you could spend a lifetime learning the unique characteristics of each pest.   But for a quick and handy reference, nothing works better than a picture (it’s worth a thousand words and all that.)   Take a look below:

As you can see, the three primary differences are the antennae, mid-body and wings.   The termite antennae are straight instead of “elbowed” as with the carpenter ants.  In regards to the body, ants have the very narrow waist just below the legs versus the wider, straighter waist belonging to the termite.   Finally, termites possess two pairs of similar sized wings.   Carpenter ants, when viewing winged ones, have a smaller, back pair compared to the front pair of wings.   Although they are both small creatures, chances are you will be able to clearly notice one of these obvious differences.

Carpenter Ants vs Termite Damage

The primary reason the two respective infestations look different is that unlike termites, carpenter ants do not actually eat the wood.   They clear it out for tunneling.   Also, being the tidy pests they are, carpenter ants leave the debris, call “frass”, in piles outside of the infested wood.   This frass may also have soil and dead inspect parts included.   Termites, since they tend to eat wood from the inside out, can often offer less evidence of their presence. However, you may be able to spot a tube, an approximately ½” exterior tunnel of soil, wood and debris.   These tubes serve to protect the termites from predators when in exposed areas.

Regardless which pest you suspect you have or if you need us to help you determine which is pestering you, call All Pest today for a FREE inspection and estimate.