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Carpenter Ants vs. Termites: What’s the Difference?

carpenter ants vs termites and the differences between them
March 15, 2017

How can you tell the difference between a carpenter ant and a termite? Well, both damage the wood in your home which frustrating as is. No one likes navigating through their home only to find chewed up wood or piles of sawdust. Even though wood seems to be their favorite meals of the day, there actually are differences between carpenter ants and termites. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not actually eat wood. Instead, they bore out wood to create nesting areas. Imagine a bunch of holes throughout your woodwork because of some carpenter ants or termites? Nobody wants to deal with that struggle, and if you notice something, do something, immediately! Getting rid of termites or carpenter ants should be an absolute priority. For homeowners, it can cause extensive damage that can create a real headache. So, know the differences between the two and feel more prepared determining which one is harming your household!

What Does Richie The Bug Man Know About Carpenter Ants and Termites?

Richie the Bug Man has been in the pest control business for over 25 years. With high-quality and consistent service throughout the North Shore, you can have peace of mind knowing one of our professionals will get the job done. Whether it’s a carpenter ant infestation or termite infestation, the team over at Boz Pest Control can handle the toughest of situations. People all over the North Shore rely on Richie the Bug Man to take care of their home in times of need. No one wants to deal with bug infestations alone, so learn more about what you can do and take advice from the well-trained professionals here at Richie the Bug Man Pest Control.

Carpenter Ants

Porch floors, wood in contact with soil, firewood piles, logs, branches, window sills, and even appliances can all be a home for carpenter ants. Carpenter ants enjoy moist and soft wood, which means their presence could indicate a potential leak and drainage issue in your home. Carpenter ants will chew the wood and spit it out as refuse for their nest. Remains of bugs will also be near the carpenter ants nesting area. With carpenter ants, you can see the traditional ant body on them, with the slim body between the throat and the abdomen or tail area. Carpenter ants also have unequal sized wings. Carpenter ants are typically hard to find. You can set out some bait or food for them to feed on, say syrup, food scrap, or dead bugs, to spot them. They then will head back to their nesting area in a straight line. Carpenter ants do not cause as much damage as termites only because their goal is to create a nesting area and end it at that. However, they should never be ignored since it can provide a long-term problem.


At the first sign of a possible termite infestation, you’ll need to run to the store and grab over the counter pest control. Instead of creating nests like carpenter ants do, termites eat the wood and then eat some more wood. Termites can really cause a serious problem with your wood. They even create larvae that will eat the wood too. Different from carpenter ants, termites actually gain nutritional value from eating wood. Termites actually create more of a mess compared to carpenter ants. Their wings are equal in length, another visual difference you may be able to notice, and their body is the same width from head to bottom. Once termites munch their way through dead or dying wood, they fill the holes back in with mud or dirt. These holes create moisture and allow them to penetrate their meal. A build up of dead bugs in the void of consumed areas is also another sign of termite activity.

How to Handle Carpenter Ants and Termites

To start, the nest of carpenter ants needs to be located first. Once found, they can be removed and treated chemically. Also, the moisture conditions that the carpenter ants found must get taken care of. If treated early, the damage to your home by carpenter ants isn’t too serious. However, if ignored, the damage can be extensive. That is why it is best to contact a pest control professional in the event of an infestation. The same goes for termites. However, more action is required to get rid of them. You need to eliminate moisture problems by repairing leaking faucets, water pipes, or A/C units. You also want to keep gutters and downspouts clean and seal entry points around water and utility lines. Keep firewood, lumber, and paper away from the foundation or crawl space and get rid of stumps and debris near the house. Call a professional immediately, since the process of getting rid of termites can be a great challenge.

Don’t allow your wood and home become affected by carpenter ants or termites, and call Richie the Bug Man today for immediate service!

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