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do you have carpenter ants or termites?

Do You Have Carpenter Ants or Termites?


Do you suspect that you have insects chomping away at your home’s wood frame? If that’s the case, then you may need some help identifying the culprit. That’s when TLC Home Inspections comes to the rescue. Our team of experts will show up and quickly identify your invader. However, your choices are likely limited to carpenter ants or termites, and here is how you can tell the difference between your two suspects before we even show up.

Physical Differences

While they can both cause significant damage to your home, carpenter ants and termites look nothing alike. This will make it easier for you or your home inspector to identify which is the culprit. For example, a termite will be small and tan or brownish in color, while a carpenter ant is big and black. A termite will also not have a cinched waist, which is one of the carpenter ant’s biggest defining characteristics. Additionally, a termite has straight, beaded antennae, while the antennae of a carpenter ant are bent.

Behavioral Differences

These two insects treat wood in completely different ways. While termites will eat the wood in which they are nesting, carpenter ants will simply dig away at the wood as they expand their colony. Carpenter ants push the wood shavings out of their way and through the openings of their colonies. So, if you find small piles of wood shavings near the trim, in doorways, or along the baseboards of cabinets, it’s fair to assume you have carpenter ants. The tunnels built by these insects are entirely different as well. The tunnels of carpenter ants will be smooth while those of the termite will be rough and ragged, since termites also fill their wood structure with mud and soil. Finally, a mud tubing will also be a sure sign that you have termites and not carpenter ants living in your walls.

We’ll Inspect the Insects

When you need a reliable home inspection to look for mold and pests, call the team at TLC Home Inspections. Scheduling your appointment with us will ensure that your Austin, TX, home doesn’t succumb to unwanted invaders. And if you’re purchasing a new home, having a knowledgeable and reliable home inspector on your side is extremely important. To schedule an appointment, call us today at (512) 515-3686.


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