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Difference Between Carpenter Ant Damage And Termite Damage

carpenter ants on wooden log

Spring is a wonderful time of year, but also the time of year when we are plagued by wood-damaging pests. In the spring carpenter ants and termites become very active in Pittsburgh, and when they are active they can cause a lot of damage to both personal items made of wood and to the wooden structure of your home. Carpenter ants and termites both destroy wood, they are roughly the same size, and they both like to burrow into items made of wood. They are oftentimes confused for one another because they will even swarm in the spring at the same time in order to breed, it is important that you are able to tell these pests apart.

In appearance, termites have no “waist” or narrowed separation of body segments, have straight beaded antennae, and possess four wings of equal size and shape, with their wings being longer than their bodies. Carpenter ants, however, have defined segmentation, bent antennae, and their hindwings are shorter than the front forewings.

The real difference is how they use wood. Termites will actually eat the wood in which they are nesting, and while they have enzymes in their saliva that can break down even sound wood, they prefer damp or rotten wood. Carpenter ants are like mini excavators that dig into moist damaged wood for their nests, but they do not eat it. They push the wood out through the openings of their tunnels that lead to their nests. The result of that is fine dust piles underneath the exit holes, that will probably include feces. Termites create mud tubes or tunnels along walls, but carpenter ants do not. However, they both can cause costly damage to a home, so at the first sighting, whether it is carpenter ants or termites, they both need to be taken care of right away. They will both need to be eliminated completely and controlled in different ways, and because they both live in large colonies, they are hard to find, you will need a professional pest control service to do the job effectively.

Witt Pest Management in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area is the smart way to get rid of wood-destroying pests from in and around your home. Our comprehensive pest control services include home protection plans to cover multiple pests, with plans that fit your need and budget. Contact us today to find out more about our TopCare programs so that you can choose the level of protection you want. Don’t wait, take control of the pests that can cause you costly damage by choosing the pest control plan that works best for your budget and needs.