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Blog > Carpenter Ants Or Termites - Which Is Causing Damage To Your Moline Home?  

Carpenter Ants Or Termites - Which Is Causing Damage To Your Moline Home?  

November 4, 2020

a colony of carpenter ants in a home

If you think an insect is eating away at your Moline home, you probably have termites or carpenter ants. But which pest is to blame? Learn how to tell the difference between carpenter ants and termites.

Their Appearance

Both carpenter ants and termites enjoy eating wood, so either could be responsible for damaging your home. However, there are some physical differences between the two insects. If you see an insect in your home, you may be able to determine which pest it is.
 
Both ants and termites have hard shells and can have wings. But termites only have a head and thorax, while ants have a head, thorax, and abdomen. You can see the three segments of an ant and only two segments on a termite. Another difference between these two pests is their wings. Termites have longer wings than ants, as they are almost double the length of their bodies. Ants wings typically only measure the length of their bodies.
 
If you can’t tell the difference between ants and termites, don’t fret. There are other ways to tell which pest you have. When all else fails, you can call a pest control professional.

Their Habits

Another way to differentiate between ants and termites is to understand their habits. Because termites like to stay hidden, you’re unlikely to see one in your home. You’re more likely to see the signs of termite damage. On the other hand, carpenter ants aren’t shy. If they’re in your walls, you’ll probably see a few ants.
 
Both termites and carpenter ants have swarmers, and the swarmers are similar in appearance. Unless you can get close to the swarmer and look at the individual insects, you probably won’t be able to tell which insects are in the swarmer.
 
Termites and carpenter ants are attracted to wood. However, termites are looking for the nutritional value of your wood. Carpenter ants only look for wood because they use it for shelter. They don’t digest wood at all, so they are also attracted to food. If you leave crumbs out on the counter or have food on your floors, ants will want to enter your home.

Their Damaging Effects On Wood

It’s true that carpenter ants and termites in Moline often do damage to wooden structures. But the damage varies, depending upon which pest you have. Termites create messy tunnels that are rough and ragged. Typically, their tunnels have mud caked on them. At times, you can see the mud on the exterior of your structure. Carpenter ants leave no exterior evidence of their presence. They also differ in that their tunnels are neat and smooth.
 
Because carpenter ants eat crumbs and food scraps, they leave most of your home alone. They only damage the wood to form tunnels. However, termites chew through much more than just wood. They chew through flooring, wallpaper, and other building materials. It doesn’t take long for the cost of the damage to add up. Ants are slower to cause damage, and it can take years for them to do serious damage to your home.

How To Really Tell Who’s To Blame

Sometimes, it’s impossible for the untrained eye to tell which pest is invading your home. You can try to inspect the damage yourself or identify an insect based on its appearance, but you still might not know which pest is affecting you. To correctly identify the species, you need to consult with an expert. Our experience and knowledge make it easy for us to identify infestations. If you see signs of either pest, the best course of action is to call us at Quik-Kill Pest Eliminators.


TAGS: carpenter ants | termite control | home pest control |

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