One of the biggest dangers to home owners in the Rochester NY area are wood destroying insects that can threaten the integrity of the structure and cause permanent damage to a home’s foundation. Termites and carpenter ants are two of the leading culprits in home destruction. Both of these pests are difficult to eliminate without the assistance of a pest control company. While both pests seem similar in their destructive nature, there are tell tale signs that you can use to determine which of these pests are giving you such a headache; an important piece of information as both pests are treated in very different manners. Knowing which pest is invading your home is the first step to implementing efficient and effective pest control.
Location: While both carpenter ants and termites cause damage within your home, termites vary from carpenter ants as they live outside and come inside to eat your home, where carpenter ants will actually live inside your home and scavenge for food. Because of this habitual situation, termites will stay centrally located around the sill plate and other areas surrounding the foundation, rarely straying upwards into the home until their path of destruction leads them there. Carpenter ants are also attracted to the sill plate and low areas of the home due to their moisture accumulation, but they will travel to farther reaches of your home in search of food and new locations to nest.
Evidence: Termites and Carpenter ants also leave different types of evidence behind and the proper interpretation of the evidence can lead to a positive identification of the pest. Whenever we go into a home and complete a pest inspection we look for the following key pieces of evidence. Since termites are actually consuming your home, the excess waste from the digestion comes out in mud strips, typically hanging from the rafters of unfinished basement ceilings. Carpenter ants do not actually ingest the wood; therefore, the wood comes out of the ant in its original state, drying back into a sawdust form much like the residue seen when cutting wood. Also, if as a home owner you ever see an increasing amount of ant activity and see small piles of sawdust anywhere in your home, you should call a pest control company to inspect for a carpenter ant invasion.
Treatment: Since termites live outside the home and carpenter ants take up residence inside the home’s structure, each pest needs to be treated in a different manner. Termites in the Rochester NY area and all over the North East are mainly subterranean, meaning that they enter into the home through the soil instead of on the surface. Therefore, to control the termites, a pest control company needs to directly inject the soil, creating a ring around the home’s foundation that the termites would have to cross when entering. Unlike the termites, carpenter ants are going to stay inside your home once they have dug out a home for themselves. This means that treatment needs to be performed directly into their nest through injection points drilled into the wood. Knowing which type of pest is destroying your home is essential information for the pest exterminator to have, otherwise treatment may be improperly applied and leave you with a hefty bill and continued destruction in your home.