Wood Destroying Organisms; Carpenter Ants Or Termites?

Wood destroying organisms; are you familiar? Wood destroying organisms are usually defined as being organisms that can infest decaying or seasoned wood, causing damage to a structure. Now, if anyone has owned a home, works with wood, or simply likes wood furniture, you may be well aware of what these guys are. Two of the most popular ones being Carpenter ants and Termites. Although similar, they do attack wood differently and have different methods of madness!

Wood Destroying Organism; Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are usually red, black or brown with bent antennae. Also, they have 3 segments to their body, the head, thorax and abdomen. Typically, Carpenter ants prefer to go for wood that has been softened by either fungus or moisture issue. Interestedly enough, Carpenter ants don’t actually eat the wood. They actually dont eat the wood at all. They just chew through the wood and create tunnels to build their nest. So what makes these guys different from Termites?

1. Carpenter ants make galleries tunnels are are smooth, finished and kept free of Debris

2. Around area of infestation, Carpenter ants expel debris. Therefore, you may see a little pile of sawdust-like shavings. Typically, these shavings may consist of fragments of insulation or insect body parts.

3. Carpenter Ants can be easily controlled by eliminating the sources and conditions that attract them. Such as, if you have any decaying wood around your home or if you have any moisture issues inside your home

4.Carpenter ants can take years to cause significant damage. However they are still important to get rid of

wood destroying organisms
Carpenter Ant Tunnels
wood destroying organisms
wood destroying organisms
Carpenter Ant Frass


Termites tend to be transparent, light or creamy color with straight antennae. Unlike the Carpenter ants, Termites don’t have 3 distinct segments on their body, they look straight and appearing to have 2 segments. Similarly, they both do attack wood of course. However, Termites actually eat the wood unlike Carpenter ants. So what makes Termites different from the Carpenter ant?

1. Unlike Carpenter Ants, Termites tunnels are rough and filled with mud and soil. 

2.  In addition to the above, this is also can lead to indication of Termite damage. Often times you will find mud tubes on the outside of walls or between wood and soil.

3. Termites can rapidly eat though wood fast causing a large amount of damage in a short period of time. They are often know as “silent destroyers” as they can easily go undetected. Termites cause around $500 billion in damages each year.

4. Unfortunately, Termites are not something that is self treatable, they require professional intervention and treatment

Termite Destroyed Wood
wood destroying organisms
Termite Mud Tube

In conclusion, whether you have Carpenter Ants or Termites, call us! At RH Miller Pest Services we take pride in making sure that you can have peace of mind. Servicing Central Florida for over 28 years, including areas like Longwood. Most importantly, we have the expertise to get the results you desire! Moreover, whether you have issues with Bugs, Wildlife or Lawn; we do it all. Find out why we have a 5 STAR rating on Google today! Give us a call @407-339-7119 to set up a free estimate and leave the rest to us!


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