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What Is The Difference Between Carpenter Ants And Termites?

April 30, 2021 - Termites

Author - Tom Miche

what is the difference between carpenter ants and termites

Carpenter ants hollow out pieces of wood to create their nests, scraping the inside smooth to create relatively large, open galleries where they will put eggs, larvae, and pupae. They create tiny holes that function as garbage chutes, allowing them to keep their nesting areas clean. Underneath these holes, it is common to find sawdust or tiny wood shavings, as well as dead ant parts mixed throughout. Carpenter ants do not eat the wood, but can definitely cause substantial damage to wood structures around your home as they find a suitable place for a primary or satellite colony.

In Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC, by far the most common kind of termite is the subterranean termite. Known primarily for their tendency to eat wood, termites can eat anything made of cellulose, which is a key structural component of wood. Subterranean termites nest underground, and build shelter tubes constructed out of a combination of mud and digested wood. They will eat wood primarily along the grain of the wood, so termite damaged wood will typically show signs of having lines of wood eaten out from the inside, or at the beginning stages of termite damage in a particular area, you may see what appears to be notch marks in the wood. You may or may not see the “mud” shelter tubes in or near the damaged wood - if there is “mud” inside the wood, that is a sure sign you have termites.

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