While on the surface, it may seem like ants and termites are very similar species, the truth is that termites are more closely related to cockroaches than they are to ants. However, there is an ant species that, for all intents and purposes, could be considered termites. That species is the carpenter ant, which builds its colonies inside of wood. Let’s take a look at the similarities and differences between carpenter ants and termites.

Appearance

Carpenter ants and termites are very different in appearance, but you will almost never see a termite worker out in the open. Carpenter ants on the other hand have to leave the colony in order to forage for food, and that is usually how an infestation is detected. If you notice ants that are larger than usual in your kitchen or home, then you might have a carpenter ant infestation.

Diet

The termite diet consists entirely of cellulose, which is the material found in wood. Carpenter ants have a more varied diet that includes protein, sugars, and vegetables, which is why they are drawn to the kitchen  and have to forage outside of the colony.

Nesting habits

There are several termite species, but the two main species in home infestation are the subterranean termite and the drywood termite. Subterranean termites will build sprawling underground colonies and only infest wood to consume it. Drywood termites have a different approach. They will build their colonies inside of the wood that they eat. This makes them more similar to carpenter ants, which will also build colonies inside the wood. The ants however, will not eat the wood.

Damage

Carpenter ants cause similar damage to drywood termites, in terms of the extent and speed of the damage. However, subterranean termites are the clear leaders when it comes to the damage that they cause. This is because a mature subterranean termite colony can have millions of members, and when they infest wood, the full strength of the colony will be unleashed on the home. Drywood termite and carpenter ant colonies need to grow over time, and they do not grow as large as subterranean termite colonies.

Control

When it comes to control options, termites and ants are treated very differently. If you would like to know more about these control methods, how much they cost, and how they are applied, contact us today. We also provide pest control services, so if you have any issues we can set up an appointment right away.

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