Unfortunately for some homeowners, the spring season means the onset of wood eating pests. Carpenter ants and termites become more active in the spring as the temperatures across Middle Tennessee including Nashville begin to warm up. Be prepared for the possibility of experiencing a swarm this spring by knowing how to identify a swarm, whether you are dealing with ants or termites, preventative measures, and how to keep your home safe.
What do carpenter ant and termite swarms look like?
Swarms can be defined as a cloud of flying insects. You may notice this abundance of flying insects inside your home, outside your home, near a decaying tree, or you may even come home to small wings near a window sill. Carpenter ants are those large black ants with narrow waists that look almost pinched in with two different sized wings. Swarming termites have a straight body and equal sized wings. There are hundreds of flying termites in a termite swarm. In contrast, flying ant swarms swarm in smaller numbers. If you see discarded wings near a window in your home, you’ve got a case of termites active in your house.
Why do they damage wood?
Both carpenter ants and termites will inflict extensive structural damage if they go unnoticed for a long period of time. But their reasons for destroying wood are very different. Carpenter ants carve through wood structures forming galleries for their nests; they do not eat the wood. Termites consume the wood to get the cellulose and feed their underground colony. Moist and decaying wood is ideal but both wood destroying pests can be found in new, old, treated and untreated wood.
How can you tell if you have carpenter ants or termites?
Of course damage to wood structures is a good way to tell if you have a wood destroying pest infestation, but this is not as simple as it seems. For example, termites work from the inside out, which means you won’t see them until extensive damage has already occurred. A better way to tell if you have carpenter ants or termites is by learning the signs that they leave behind, or their evidence.
Carpenter ants do forage for food so if you are seeing large black ants crawling around the home, or the deck, take warning! Carpenter ants also leave behind piles of wood shavings or frass. Termites on the other hand leave behind evidence of mud tubes on your property, which they use to travel from their colony to wood sources.
How can I keep my home safe from wood destroying pests?
The best way to defend your home from the damage of wood destroying pests is three-fold…
Keep moisture to a minimum
Maintain preventative services
Schedule professional visual inspections
If you suspect wood destroying insects have made their way to your home or property, please contact us at All-American Pest Control and schedule your FREE Home Evaluation today!