How to tell if its Carpenter Ant Australia or Termite damage? Carpenter Ants vs Termite Damage


Carpenter Ants vs Termite

Here we are again, its the season and the time in which a variety of insects or pests begin to become more active. Some of them simply have a normal population increase while other pests seem to come in alarming numbers. Two of those pests and economic pests at that appear to bring heavy, quick infestations are termites and carpenter ants. This post is to assist in identification of carpenter ant vs termite damage.

While both have the ability to cause considerable damage to timber or timber constructed structures, a termite will cause a significantly higher amount of damage than that of the carpenter ant and termites can and will accomplish it in a much shorter period of time. A notable difference is that a termite eats or consumes the wood while the carpenter ant chews tunnels and galleries through the wood for the purpose of building nests. Termites subterranean or not, like a carpenter ant infestations, will also build nests some are underground some are in trees and some can even be hidden inside the timber internal walls of buildings. However termites, in addition to creating an intricate way of tunnels through the timber, they also use the wood for their source of food. Consequently, sometimes a huge amount of damage is being caused inside the building or structure without there being any noticeable signs to the home owner. Termites will also chew right through solid and sometimes completely dry wood where as the carpenter ants prefer moist wood

Pest Inspectors

Our Pest inspectors can also inspect the tunnels and or galleries to determine if the infestation is that of a carpenter ant or termite. The tunnels and galleries of the carpenter ant will be very neat, smooth and have a finished appearance. Termite workings and tunnels will have a rough look and even ragged feel and will be packed with mud. You can sometimes find a mud lead or tubes on the outer walls or foundation of the infested building dependant on what the building design is and how many undetected entry points there is. These tubes are formed from out of the ground, sometimes up the side of the house foundation and lead to the location in which the termites have entered. These mud leads or tunnels going up into the building are an sure sign that you have or have had termites rather than carpenter ants.

However Make no mistake, Australias carpenter ants will damage wood. In fact along with termites they are one of nature’s most aggressive destroyers of timber or wood. However, they are quite different to the termite, carpenter ants do not eat the wood. The carpenter ant causes damage to wooden items or timber structures by boring into the wood to build their nests. Because the damage is caused from only excavation of tunnels and not a continuous consumption of their food, the Australian carpenter ants cause less damage than that of a subterranean termite found in Australia. However that being said if they go unnoticed or untreated infestations of Australian carpenter ants can easily over a period of time cause significant and sometimes even structural damage.


It is essential that a Proper identification of the pest is undertaken by a licensed professional and identify a successful method of treatment. Again due to the risk from damage to structural elements in a building, The need of accurate identification and a successful treatment method calls for a professionally trained pest manager to be contacted the moment one suspects the presence of any wood-damaging pest. Due to the similarities of Carpenter ants to termites and the conductive conditions that will attract both pests we strongly recommend a full Termite inspection be carried out to the property. Australia has a vast array of building designs in use and this allows a lot of of undetected entry points, Thus allowing Termites and Carpenter ants entry to the home unbeknown to the homeowner and in most cases are not detected until quite some damage has occurred this damage in almost all cases exceeds the cost of an annual Termite inspections pest control, Call us Today for a quote or if we can provide you any Further assistance.







Unlike termites

Australian carpenter ants tend don’t eat the wood where they nest. Instead, they cut through the wood cutting out galleries in which the nest will be located. Once this location is large enough to house all the workers and reproductives, they will work the wood to a smooth finish and maintain it clean and well groomed. Once located or removed the Carpenter ant damage is easy to spot from other pests. The wood will have channels neatly layered and these channels will be smooth to the touch. There usually is not much ant frass or sawdust at the established nest as most of the produced mess will be removed and disposed of away from the nest sight.


Termite damage will usually have signs distinguishing it from carpenter ant damage. Termites will most of the time have mud or dirt brought into the wood to make it more comfortable for them to live and for them to establish the right environmental factors to survive. Termites also use this mud along with their faecal matter to pack up the holes in the timber keeping them concealed beneath and they can also use it to straighten the area they are consuming to keep int from collapsing, The damage to wood is usually not noticeable on the surface Often leaving just a paper thin layer or timber or paint at the surface. Termites create an intricate way of tunnels to their food source and through the timber itself. Termites do not reduce wood to a powdery mass, or push wood particles to the outside as do some wood-boring insects, such as carpenter ants will remove their wood shavings or particles and powder post beetles will reduce the timber to a powdery mass.





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