No one in their right mind would want either an ant infestation or a termite infestation in their home. Their presence cost millions of dollars every year in home damage, thus posing a threat to the integrity of the home. But, what are the difference between an ant infestation and a termite infestation? And, how would one know if there is an infestation in the home?
Wingless Ants Vs. Termites
Most would not see a worker termite out in the open because they are soft-bodied, and light in color. If these worker termites are exposed to a dry atmosphere even for a short time, they will desiccate and die. This means that the pests we commonly see running in line with the rest of the pact are wingless ants. To confirm the presence of termites in homes is to find “maggot-like” insects that looks like pieces of cooked white rice with legs.
Winged Ants Vs. Termites
Both ants and termites are hard to distinguish from each other during their winged reproductive stage. Ants and termites look very similar, as both swarm in similar weather conditions and generally at the same time of the year. They also have black bodies with wings, but you can find some differences between them through their physical appearance.
Swarmers is typically seen in the springtime with several hundred or sometimes thousands of them in just a few minutes. These pests often swarm after a rainfall, when the soil is moist, which makes it easier for them to tunnel their way through their new outpost.
How Ant Infestation Impacts a Home
Ants, especially carpenter ants, can create tunnels through wood that has a high moisture content, then they will get rid of the wood that they shaved as a waste. You can easily find these wood shavings as they are similar to sawdust.
Their galleries do not have debris and have a sandpaper-like walls. The unfinished shreds of the wood or frass, are removed out from their galleries. If the galleries that they have created are already close to the surface of wood, and the colony is already large, you may be able to hear their mandibles scraping along inside the wood. If their nest is disturbed, the worker ants will bang their head against the sides of the galleries to create a weak vibrating sound.
The wood that these ants damage will have many small, rectangular “window” holes in it, with tunnels that run through the deeper parts of the structure. The windows that they create are made as garbage chutes that are used to dispose frass or unwanted materials.
How Termite Infestation Impacts a Home
Swarming is the most visible indicator that you may have a termite problem. In an effort to establish a new colony, they will take flight from the colony and find their way into your home. You may be able to find their bodies lying on sashes and below windows as they fail to escape.
Termites are known for building shelter tubes or mud tubes, which will help them survive with the moisture the tubes create. To see if these pencil-thick tunnels are active, break one of them and see if it is rebuilt.
Termite damage is not the same as water damage, although some may feel confused with them. The best way to know their difference is when you find bits of dirt up into the wood, which termites bring.
Termites are constantly foraging for food and moisture. They are also expert in hiding and can be found inside the walls of a home since they destroy wood from the inside out. They will leave nothing behind, but the wood grain.
The Impact of Ants and Termites
The impact of termites and ants inside a home can be detrimental to the quality of a home. Both insects can cause major repairs to a home structure, especially for damaged woods. However, termites are known to be more destructive than ants since their presence can be well-hidden. It may even take years before they can be discovered. Whatever the type of pests your home has, it is necessary to properly get rid of them before it becomes late.