Both termites and carpenter ants are best known for the damages they create to wood objects and structures. Considering that the two pests do not look similar, it is important that you identify the differences in the damages they create.
Carpenter ants excavate wood so they can create nests to grow their colonies, but they do not eat the wood as some people wrongly assume. Termites, on the other hand, do eat wood as a source of nourishment. Carpenter ants eat other insects rather than wood, and they even prefer to eat termites because they have soft, fleshy bodies packed with plenty of protein. Make sure you examine the damages created by both species carefully so you can identify the differences and properly identify your invader.
Carpenter Ant Damage
Carpenter ants chisel out tunnels they use to navigate their nests. Since they do not eat the wood, they often deposit it outside the entrance and exit to their nest. You may find a pile of discarded wood that looks like sawdust. The pile of wood is often called frass. Near the frass, you will likely find an opening that looks rectangular in shape rather than round.
If you find frass and rectangular openings, you are more than likely looking at damage caused by an invasion of carpenter ants. As soon as you suspect a carpenter ant invasion it is best to contact a professional. If left unchecked, carpenter ants can create extensive damages.
Termites eat wood, so they do not leave piles of wood around the openings to their nests. Also, they create tube-shaped tunnels created out of earthen material. You will often find mud near the tube-shaped openings to their nests. If you find around the opening that has earthen materials, such as mud, near the opening, the damage is likely caused by a termite.
Termites can damage wood rather quickly, so getting ahead of the problem is your best bet. Hire an ant exterminator to eliminate termites do reduce the damages they may cause to your home. The longer you wait to hire a professional, the more likely it is that termite will create expensive damages to your home.
A pest control professional can identify if you are dealing with termites or carpenter ants and expertly take care of either issue. Sometimes you will find that termites and carpenter ants reside near to one another. Therefore, it is not uncommon to have an invasion of both pests simultaneously.