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How To Tell If It Is Termites Or Carpenter Ants On Your McKinney Property

December 23, 2020

When it comes to destructive home-invading pests, two that are responsible for an immense amount of property damage are termites and carpenter ants. That’s because both termites and carpenter ants, each for their own reason, can cause irreparable damage to the wood inside of homes. Whether it be structural wood, siding, flooring, window or door frames, or furniture, any wood in your home is at risk if either of these pests invades. Despite their commonalities, however, termites and carpenter ants are different pests, and thus must be treated differently when it comes to eliminating them from a home. Therefore, you need to be able to identify each of them, so that you can respond accordingly and limit the pest damage to your McKinney property. 

a termite crawling in wood tunnel

Identifying Termites & Carpenter Ants

Termites and carpenter ants have a lot of similarities when it comes to their appearances. For instance, both have segmented bodies, six legs, antennae, and strong mandibles for chewing through wood. In fact, the reproductive members of both pests have wings and are very similar looking. However, the workers and soldiers do differ in appearance. For instance, termites are usually a pale yellow or light brown color while carpenter ants can be black, red, or brown. 

Similarly, both termites and carpenter ants swarm — the process of the winged reproductive members leaving the colony to go create new colonies. However, unless there is a termite swarm, you are not likely to ever see an actual termite in your home. Carpenter ants, on the other hand, you could very well see walking around your home. 

The reason for this has to do with their respective relationship to wood. Termites feed on the cellulose that is found in wood. However, they usually will build their colonies in the soil nearby. Therefore, they will only travel between the wood and the soil, staying out of sight from us humans. 

Carpenter ants, on the other hand, do not eat wood, but rather, build their nests inside of it. As such, they must venture outside of the wood to forage for food. It is during this foraging that you are most likely to spot a carpenter ant.

What Attracts Termites & Carpenter Ants Inside

When it comes to the various things that might attract termites and carpenter ants into a home, there are some similarities and some differences. For instance, both prefer moisture-damaged or decaying wood for their individual purposes. Therefore, any rotting wood in your home could attract either pest. However, as termites are not wont to expose themselves, they will not usually enter a home unless there is wood-to-soil contact somewhere outside. Carpenter ants will enter through cracks around windows and doors or any other openings through which they can walk. Additionally, as carpenter ants do not feed on wood, the improper storage of food and trash could also attract them into a home. 

On the other hand, because termites do eat wood, they will cause more damage than carpenter ants because they must continue to destroy the wood to survive. Regardless of whether you have termites or carpenter ants, both types of pests can cause incredible amounts of damage if they get into your home. 

What To Do If You See Signs Of Termites Or Carpenter Ants In Your Home

If you spot either carpenter ants or termites in your home, don’t delay and contact the trained professionals here at Adams Exterminating Company immediately. Time is a factor, so be sure to contact us right away so that we can effectively eliminate either the termite or carpenter ant infestation you are dealing with before it causes any more damage. Don’t let either of these destructive pests destroy the inside of your home. Give us a call now. 

Tags: termite identification carpenter ant identification prevention methods

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