The two most damaging wood boring insect species out there are termites and carpenter ants. Both are capable of infesting the home and leading to thousands of dollars in repair and control costs. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at these two species, their characteristics and how they are controlled.
Termites can be divided into several subspecies, and of these subspecies, only a handful will infest the home. Subterranean termites are the most prolific termite pest species and the most destructive, raking in billions of dollars in damage each year. They infest the home from the bottom up, since their colonies are underground, and they are able to assign thousands of workers to a piece of wood at once.
You then have drywood and dampwood termites. These termite species will build their colonies inside the wood that they infest, which means that an infestation starts when a colony starts. They take a lot longer to get going, but once an infestation is widespread, they are the most expensive and difficult to remove.
The main difference between carpenter ants and termites is that the ants do not actually feed on wood. They have a normal ant diet, and they simply use the wood as a home for their colony. This means that their colonies do not expand as voraciously, but can get pretty big nonetheless. However, like drywood and dampwood termites, the infestations take a long time to get going because they start with just the queen and build up over time. Carpenter ant infestations are also easier to detect, because the ants have to leave the colony in order to forage for food, and they are visibly larger than other species.
The three main groups (subterranean termites, drywood/dampwood termites, and carpenter ants) are controlled using very different methods. For subterranean ants, a pro will use either a baiting system or a chemical barrier, while a drywood/dampwood termite infestation will have to be controlled using localized treatments or fumigation. Carpenter ants on the other hand are controlled using simple baits, and sometimes, residual insecticides.
If you would like to know more information about these pest species and how they are controlled, or if you suspect there is an infestation in your home, contact us today.