Ants That Act Like Termites
While termites get all the attention for being insects that can damage wood, they’re not the only ones. In fact there are bees that also choose to live in wood, and there are ants that do the same thing. Carpenter ants, as they are called, can be just as debilitating to a home as termites, but in some cases, they may be easier to spot.
They Still Need Food
The biggest differentiator between carpenter ants and termites is that you’ll have many more opportunities to spot carpenter ants, because they don’t eat wood. Termites actually “eat their home” in this sense, so once they find a substantial piece of lumber, such as a beam, they don’t need to leave it, and can spend months or even years, quietly creating a network of tunnels that also serves as a food source.
Carpenter ants, on the other hand, dig out tunnels in wood, but still need to find food. So this means they’ll still send out scouting parties to secure sources of food and bring it back to the colony. They’re especially active at night, so if you find ants in your home at night, they might be carpenter ants.
Because carpenter ants don’t eat the wood, this also means they’ve got to get rid of it. The presence of sawdust is another indicator that you may have carpenter ants in your home. In quieter parts of a home, you may even hear rustling coming from the wood itself as all the ants move to and fro inside it.
Fortunately, carpenter ants present no health threats to residents in the way that flies, rodents, or cockroaches can. However, like termites, they can cause a lot of structural damage to your home, and this can get very expensive. An experienced, professional response is the best way to deal with this.