It is never good to have hundreds of insects chewing away at the wood of your home, but in the grand scheme of things, which is worse: termites or carpenter ants? If we were to judge purely on size, carpenter ants would be the clear winner. But it is best if we don’t jump to any rash conclusions. An issue as important as this demands close, and unbiased, consideration. So, let’s break it down.

Population. If we look at the problem from a mathematical standpoint we can see that termites clearly outnumber carpenter ants in every possible way. A mature carpenter ant colony can contain around 3,000 adult ants, while a mature termite colony is likely to support 100,000 (on average between species). That is a big difference! Though carpenter ants are bigger, termites have a clear advantage with their numbers.

Appetite. Okay. There are more termites than carpenter ants, but can those ants make up for it in appetite? There are several species of termite, and they don’t all consume wood at the same rate. But studies have shown that a subterranean termite colony of 300,000 workers can consume approximately 22 linear feet of a 2×4 in a year.

How about those carpenter ants? How much wood do they eat? Exactly zero. They don’t eat wood. They chew galleries into wood, but they don’t digest it as food.

Cost. After all is said and done, all that really matters is: How much property damage do these pests do? In the United States, every single year, termites cost property owners billions in hard-to-repair damages. Carpenter ants, on the other hand, only cost U.S. property owners somewhere in the hundreds of millions. Once again, the termite is the clear winner.

There you have it. If you were wondering which of these two insects is worse, now you know. If you suspect you have either of these two wood-destroying pests in your home, call a pest control company and have them completely removed. They are both able to weaken the structure of your home and cause studs to bend and warp. Carpenter ants just take a little bit more time to do it. Call the New Jersey exterminators at ChemTec Pest Control and have those pests destroyed, before they have a chance to destroy your home.