The difference between carpenter ants and termites

There are significant differences between these two habitual pests, but it can be difficult to tell them apart. Carpenter ants and Termites both burrow their way into wood, causing considerate damage to homes worldwide, thus making them the enemy. However, the termite will inflict more notable damage than carpenter ants and will achieve this in a shorter period of time.

One of the major differences between carpenter ants and termites are the ways in which their tunnels are created. Knowing what to look for, will result in applying the most strategic solution to terminate the infestation.

Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat the wood. They skilfully tunnel through soft and damp wood using their mandibles, creating smooth galleries with a neat and finished appearance to secure their colonies inside. They gain no nutritional value from wood; however, they damage it by making their nests inside. They create an entry point which enables them to manifest more colonies.

Termites also build their nests inside the wooden structure. In addition to generating galleries of tunnels, they also feed on the nutrient dense, organic wood fibre. As a result, a substantial amount of damage is caused inside the structure without noticing outside damage at first. Termites will masticate right through the wood, where carpenter ants prefer damp wood.

Termite colonies use a mixture of soil, saliva and dung to construct a complex and elaborate network of tunnels and passages. This intricate network creates a central chimney at the top of the mound. Their tunnels are caked with mud and has an uneven and rough feel. You will often find mud tubes on the outer walls of the infested building. These tubes are formed in the ground and lead to the location of the termites. This will indicate that you have an infestation of termites, rather than carpenter ants.

Termite Basics

Termites are eusocial insects and considered to be the most destructive pests in the world. The damage they cause can have an effect on the structural architecture of your home or business and even cause the ceiling and floors to subside and crumble. Although they recycle rotten timber, they infiltrate approximately five million homes each year, causing extensive damage.

If you have an issue with termites or carpenter ants call Sydneys Best Pest Control on 1300 760 045

Further Reading


Carpenter Ants