Carpenter ants and termites have a lot more in common than most people would think – especially when it comes to pest control services. Termites and carpenter ants are, in fact, responsible for a large chunk of residential pest control house calls each year. This is because both are wood destroyers, and can cause serious structural damage to property.
As any local pest control company will tell you, termites and carpenter ants will destroy the wood and interior of your home if left unchecked. This can lead to expensive-to-fix damages that threaten the stability of your home. Both pests cause extensive dollars each year in wood damage and can only be eliminated via pest control specialists – carpenter ants and termites are both skilled at hiding their presence within a home.
Not only do these pests both love wood, they are also similar in appearance, with bulbous chitin shells and, in some cases, small wings, which many homeowners have mistaken carpenter ants for termites. Despite their similarities, however, there are basic differences between termites and carpenter ants. By knowing these differences, you will have a better idea of what to look out for when it comes to residential pest control. Rentokil shares more on the species difference and the options to eradicate pests.
Firstly, one main difference between termites and carpenter ants is the body shape. Termites have a head and a thorax; whereas ants have a head, thorax and abdomen. Secondly, termite wings are usually much longer than ant wings – about double the length of the termite body. In addition, ant wings are only slightly longer than the ant body. Thirdly, in terms of their antennae, both species are different such as termites are straight whereas ants are bent. Finally, termites do shed wings, and in some instances, homeowners might think they are just dusts or debris.
Both termites and carpenter ants will munch on the wood in your home. The difference is that wood is a source of nutrition for termites. Carpenter ants, however, cannot digest wood cellulose; instead, they burrow into wood to create a shelter where they can nest.
One thing to keep in mind when it comes to pest control: Termites and ants both need access to water and will thrive in a moist environment. Indeed, carpenter ants cannot eat solid foods – they depend on moisture to make small bits of food edible. One way to deter both of these pests is to repair all leaks and moisture issues right away such as leaky faucets and poor drainage. In addition, keep surfaces dry by adopting diligent housekeeping and cleaning regime.
Both termites and ants can and will live inside the wood in your home. Carpenter ants build their nests in various wood sources, including tree stumps, fence posts, firewood or landscaping. They prefer to attack wood that is wet, damp or damaged. They are often found in damaged window and doorframes, crawl spaces under roofs, chimneys, sinks and bathtubs.
Subterranean termites live in underground colonies and can contain up to two million members. They build tunnels or “mud tubes” to reach food sources, like your home, and to protect themselves from open air. Other species such as the Dampwood termites are usually found in logs, stumps, dead trees, fence posts and utility poles. Lastly, the Drywood termites infest dry wood, like that found in attic framings, structure beams, panels and built-in carpentries.
One of the biggest differences between carpenter ants and termites is the way they create tunnels and galleries. Carpenter ants create tunnels and galleries that are very neat, smooth and have a finished appearance. Termite galleries and tunnels will have a rough and even ragged feel that caked with mud. Often, you will see the mud tubes created by termites on the outer walls or foundation.
Termites are known as “silent destroyers” because of their ability to chew through wood, flooring, and even wallpaper undetected. Similar to termites, carpenter ant infestations often go unnoticed until it is too late. However, unlike termites, carpenter ants can take years to cause significant damage. Termites on the other hand can cause expensive repair and renovation to various fixtures and structures in the home. Hence, it is critical to get rid of termites before the infestation turns serious and destroy the home further.
So how exactly are the damages caused from termite infestation that result in extensive investment in terms of repair?
Particularly, in a home where there are hotspots that house all sorts of pests, exactly where can we zoom into in terms of termite presence?
The two main common carpenter ants species includes the swarmers and workers. Swarmers, also known as winged ants, leave their colonies to mate and start their own colony. The workers that carry a number of duties. They include providing food for the queen and larvae and defending the nest.
They usually emerge from baseboards, window molding and vents and typically appear in large numbers. This resembles one telltale sign of an ant infestation. They live in nests and there could be multiple nests including the parent and satellite nests. These nests are often found outdoors such as stumps, firewood, rotting fences while some workers can also be found indoors.
Like most pests that enter your home through entries and opening, likewise for carpenter ants who access through doors, windows, pipes, wiring, overgrown trees or shrubs that have a pathway connected to the home. In addition, they can also surface as they forage for food including sweets, sugar, grease, meat and eggs. Locations that you see them emerging include wall voids, hollow-core doors, basement and crawlspaces. Externally, at the yard, do remain vigilant among key risk areas such as tree stumps, rotting piles and timbers.
They are similar to carpenter bees in that they use soft wood to create nests to lay eggs, store food and develop the young. Firstly, they leave behind sawdust through excavating the holes. Secondly, they weaken wooden structures and potentially cost extensive damage repair. Thirdly, ant-infested wood needs to be removed and replaced as they occur in joints and support beams that are crucial to a property structural integrity. Finally, as carpenter ants chew their way through wood, the damage will turn the inside of the tree trunk that resembles corrugated cardboard.
As termites feed on 24/7 daily, and the damages and financial impact they caused is detrimental, it is essential to either resolve your existing termite problem or start to protect your home with long-term termite treatment.
Termites are not easy to spot and detect because they largely live underground and unless with professional tools and expertise, it is most challenging to spot these complex pests. The only times where individuals can see termites and their infestation signs presence is when the infestation gets too serious. Engage in professional termite inspection to detect termite activities with Microwave technology around the home.
One of the most recommended solutions is to seek ongoing and long-term termite prevention to ensure termite colonies are eliminated. One of the features of Rentokil Initial Termite Control is the active ingredient ability to halt the termite muscles from feeding, thus preventing further damage to the home. It not only prevents termite from chewing off your home continuously within hours of their feeding, but is able to control the colony by spreading the active ingredient and eliminating termites within ninety days. What’s more, it is safe and environmentally friendly, thus optimises and safety of the family.
It aims to seek, bait and control termite infestation by using Microwave technology to detect termite activities effectively. It includes both above-ground and in-ground baiting units. The termites will feed on the bait in these units and spread to the colony. The active ingredient will then control the termites and halt their foraging process, and eventually kill the termites in the colony. The baiting units consist of cellulose materials to lure the termites, who in turn feed on the baits with active ingredients after the proactive monitoring.
For panels, beams and frames that are affected by Drywood termite, there is also a foaming solution by mixing the active ingredient. This prevents drywood termite from attacking the structures further. Termite specialists will inject at strategic points along the structure and pump the active ingredient in with a foaming agent to distribute the solution quickly and efficiently. However, if the infestation is heavy and spreads extensively, it may be advisable to replace the frames and panels instead. Speak to a termite pest control on the recommended options.
Call Rentokil Singapore at (65) 6347 8138 for a termite control today.