Have you come home to find little winged insects crawling around on the outside–or worse–the inside of your home? It can be a disturbing experience for sure. But, before you get out the Hoover and simply vacuum them up and think you’re done with them, you might want to rethink that plan. Swarmers, whether they are carpenter ants or termites, are not something to be taken lightly. If you are seeing these insects outside, it’s possible that carpenter ants or termites have already infested your home. If you are seeing them inside, you can be nearly certain that you have a mature colony within your walls. Both of these insects do damage, but one is considerably worse than the other.
Appearance Is Everything
While carpenter ants are black or reddish-black, only the king and queen of a termite colony are black. The rest are mostly pale and/or slightly orange. Both of these insects have 2 antennae, 6 legs, and 3 body parts, but the division between the thorax and abdomen on a carpenter ant is pinched. A termite does not have a pinch in its waist. The antennae on a termite are straight or slightly curved, but the ant’s antennae have a bend that makes them look like handlebars.
It Matters What You Eat
Carpenter ants eat sources of protein and sugar. Outside they typically feed on living and dead insects, but they also like honeydew. Indoors, carpenter ants will eat meats, pet foods, syrup, honey, sugar, jelly and anything else sweet. They do not eat wood; they just tunnel through it and create galleries to nest in. Termites, on the other hand, DO eat wood. They will consume the wood of a home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year, every year, until they are eradicated.
Location! Location! Location!
Subterranean termites, as their name suggests, live underground, and they can travel up to the length of a football field in search of food. Once they find a source of food, which might be your home, they will build mud tubes on foundation walls to reach the wooden parts of the structure. Because they come and go in this hidden manner, they can go for many years undetected. Carpenter ants also live in the ground, but they do not need mud tubes to travel, so they may be more obvious as they come and go.
They Hit You Where It Hurts
While carpenter ants cost U.S. home and business owners millions of dollars in damages each year; termite damages are in the billions. While these two insects have a lot of differences, one similarity they have is that a professional pest control company can detect and eliminate them from your property.
If you need assistance with carpenter ants or termites, reach out to us today. We are standing by to help.