Termites Or Carpenter Ants, Know The Difference

Termites are a terrible pest, they actually eat wood and can consume it at a rapid pace that can leave homes and furniture in disrepair. They can be found all over North America and cost millions of dollars in repairs every year. Termites are a pest everyone knows about, no one needs to ask if termites eat wood, everyone knows because the pest is so common. Many a day we would look at old wooden furniture and see the wells and pathways created by termites as they feasted on the wood. There is no affordable way to treat them and a specialized exterminator is required.

Carpenter ants are very different from termites. They do not eat wood, and they cannot drill through it nearly as quickly and effectively as termites can. They are still a major threat and what’s more is they are far harder to notice than termites. Termites tend to eat the surface of wood, leaving clear markings that are highly noticeable. This makes it much easier to identify and deal with a termite problem. Carpenter ants are not easy to spot unless you have a serious and massive infestation. You need to look for signs of carpenter ants or else you won’t know they are even there.

Carpenter ants breed when their colony reaches maturity. They produce a number of ants with wings that fly about in a mating dance. When mating is complete the males die and females chew off their wings and retreat to a crack in the wall to lay their eggs and start a new colony. Because of this carpenter ants can populate a home very quickly and without much fanfare. They will continue doing this, colonies reaching maturity and spreading until the entire house is infested.

Carpenter ants drill holes into walls with their large clamp like mandibles. They chew away the wood and polish the interior of the tunnels. They take all the pieces of unneeded wood and dispose of them outside the hole, this can also include their feces and even parts of ants like legs and pieces of carapace. This can collect in dust and cause terrible allergies and even affect your immune system. The material they leave in piles under their tunnel entrances is called Frass, and it can be very dangerous to humans. So make sure to protect yourself when you clean it gloves and a face mask are a good start and make sure not to breathe in any dust, even with a mask on.

Carpenter ants  can be killed like any normal ant using home remedies or domestic products. This is because they come out of the walls to find food. Your two best options are domestic ant bait made of boric acid. This chemical can be found in soap but by its nature is a clear liquid with a low pH. Boric acid is most often used to wash clothes in Europe where it is most popular. This chemical will kill the ants from the inside, and you can even make your own bait balls out of flower, water, sugar and boric acid.

You can also make use of an age-old pest control method. It’s the ancient remnants of tiny water born insects and is mined from rock. The material is a super fine silica dust that can be pumped into cracks and crevices no matter how tiny. This chemical, diatomaceous earth is used by professional exterminators as a crack and crevice treatment. You can buy the food safe variety at the grocery store. It catches in their carapace and slices open the waxy coating that keeps fluid in their bodies.