Comparing Carpenter Ant And Termite Damage
In our New Jersey service area, carpenter ants are quite a problem, one that often gets underestimated. While these ants aren't as destructive as subterranean termites, they can still do a considerable amount of damage when left untreated. Let's take a look at the difference between these two wood-destroying pests and see what we can glean that will help us protect our New Jersey homes from unwanted pest damage.
As you are probably aware, carpenter ants don't eat wood, they chew it into a fine dust called frass and push it out of their tunnels. This is one of the reasons carpenter ant damage is not usually as significant as termite damage. But, when frass is pushed into a location that is not frequented or one that allows the frass to stay hidden, carpenter ants can go about their merry business of destroying your home, and the damage can accumulate.
While termites and carpenter ants both prefer wood that has been softened by moisture, termites are more likely to move on to sound wood that does not have moisture damage. Carpenter ants do not prefer to establish their nests in dry wood. But that does not mean that they can't damage hardwood. And the damage done to softwood can lead to a warping of hardwood that is attached to soft or weakened wood frames.
Termites require moist environments in order to live. For this reason, you're not likely to see the exterior damage caused by termites. Carpenter ant damage may be visible. If you see it, you'll see frass near it, and it will look as though someone took a carving knife to the wood of your home. If you're able to look inside, the damage will look like trenches stacked on top of each other.
Since carpenter ants don't have a problem exposing themselves to the dry air, you may see holes appear in wood that looks like dashes and dots. Most of the time, this damage is inside wall voids, hidden by sheetrock and other wall materials.
Under the right conditions, carpenter ants can be just as destructive as termites, only they go about it differently. If you see these ants in your home, call a professional. DIY ant control can make your problem worse and lead to continued infestation--and continued damage to your home.
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