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Which Is Worse In New Jersey; Termites Or Carpenter Ants?  

February 11, 2020


a carpenter ant crawling on wood

Wood-eating insects cause billions of dollars worth of damage in the United States every year, but when it comes to total destruction, which pest truly comes out on top? 
 
Termites and carpenter ants are some of the most troublesome insects in the New Jersey area. Using their strong mandibles and even stronger stomachs, these bugs break down the sugar and cellulose content of wood to maintain their expansive colonies, soldiers, and queens. 
 
Termites, sometimes called ‘wood ants’ or ‘white ants,’ are light brown or tan bugs that measure no more than fifteen millimeters in length. These creatures boast six legs, two tiny antennae, and an enormous set of mandibles that allow them to rip into whatever food source is available. Their fast breeding cycles and annual swarming behavior make them extremely difficult pests to monitor. If termites have infiltrated your home or business, it will only be a matter of time before they’ve caused significant damage. 
 
Conversely, carpenter ant colonies can be anywhere from ten to twenty thousand in number, and will sometimes storm homes and properties by force. They establish their colonies deep within wooden structures, and once these creatures are in, they plan to stay. 
 
At the end of the day, there is not necessarily a ‘worse’ species of wood-eating pests in New Jersey. Both types of insects cause significant damage to homes and businesses across the state. Finding an infestation of either of these pests is disturbing. However, it is important to note that termites in particular often go unnoticed for long periods of time, giving them the opportunity to grow and spread before they’re discovered and treatments begin.  Further, termites chew through and consume the wood in which they live, weakening structures from the inside out. Carpenter ants bore small holes in which to put their young, and do not actually eat the wood. For many, this puts the termite species at the top of the danger totem pole.

The Biggest Damage Differences Between Carpenter Ants And Termites

Termites and carpenter ants are similar in that they both destroy structures. However, they do have some notable differences when it comes to how they destroy wood, where they prefer to live, and how they choose to infest homes.

  1. Both carpenter ants and termites can and will destroy wood, but carpenter ants only push the wood out of their tunnels, while termites consume it to survive. 
  2. While carpenter ants prefer moist or water-damaged wood to colonize, termites do just fine with either moist wood or dry wood, depending on the type of termites that are infesting. 
  3. Despite their differences, termite and carpenter ants share one thing in common: wanton damage and destruction. This means that your home must be carefully monitored for signs of damage, especially after sighting a pair or two scurrying through the home.  

No matter what type of wood-eating scoundrel has been cropping up around your home, it is imperative to put a stop to the issue as soon as possible. To correctly identify the type of pest infesting your home, business, or facility, contact Arrow for a complimentary inspection.

For The Straight And Narrow, New Jersey Chooses Arrow

Getting pests out of the wood they have previously inhabited is extremely difficult, even for seasoned professionals. That’s why New Jersey homeowners need to act as quickly as possible when dealing with a potential wood-eating insect infestation. If you suspect either termite or carpenter ant activity in your building, call on the help of the professionals at Arrow Pest Control. Reach out to us anytime on weekdays during our service hours to get the help you deserve. 

Tags: carpenter ants | subterranean termites | year round pest control |



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