Carpenter Ants Versus Termites

Carpenter Ants and Termites Can Cause Similar Types of Damage

Carpenter ants are among the most common ant species found throughout Texas. They are an extremely adaptable species and have been known to thrive in outdoor and indoor environments.

In broad terms, these ants prefer semi-moist and humid environments and usually nest in trees, tree stumps, fallen logs, fence posts, ceiling beams, roofing boards, and even inside attic insulation.

There are twenty-five different species of carpenter ants in the United States, each will slightly different behavior and appearance, which means that identifying these pests can be difficult. They can range anywhere from three to thirteen millimeters in length, and have been known to sport colors like black, brown, yellow, orange, and red.

Thanks to their tiny size, these ants can go undetected for long periods of time if they choose to nest inside your home. By the time their presence become apparent, extensive damage to your home may have already been done.

Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat the wooden structures in which they nest. Rather, they break down and remove the wood in order to enlarge their nesting space. Depending on the size of the colony, the amount of wood that these ants are able to destroy over time can be extreme.

Although these pests have the ability to break down and remove cellulose material, they usually prefer to move into preexisting cavities like termite galleries, or areas that have been gradually worn down by rot. These areas prove especially attractive to carpenter ants as they search for a nest because of the naturally moist conditions. Keep an eye out for piles of sawdust-like material or similar wood shavings that may be collecting around suspicious holes. This removed wood material is one of the telltale signs that carpenter ants have been expanding their nest in the vicinity.

The appearance of worker ants will be the most obvious sign of an infestation in your home. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that carpenter ant workers can vary in size within the same species. Likewise, these pests have been known to traverse great distances as they forage for food, meaning that even if you spot some of these ants around your home, it shouldn’t be taken as conclusive evidence that they have decided to nest inside your walls.

When trying to determine the nesting place of a carpenter ant colony, check these kinds of areas first. One you determine the nest’s exact location, it’s possible to treat the infestation with an insecticide dust or aerosol spray. However, attempting to administer these pesticides on your own is ill-advised, as the improper application of these toxins may inadvertently harm other residents or pets.

Baits have traditionally not been successful in dealing with carpenter ants, but your local pest control expert will be able to determine which extermination method will be the best fit for your home.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas ant removal experts are excited to offer Green Shield Certified pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and on-going pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If ants have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced ant removal experts.

Controlling Formosan Termite Colonies

Formosan Termites Are Dangerous and Destructive Pests

The Formosan subterranean termite is a particularly nasty invasive species from China that has spread throughout the North America. Their destructive capability raises economic concerns in places like Dallas, Houston, and Fort Worth. The Formosan termite was originally transported to the United States from Asia and has adapted extremely well to its new environment.

The Formosan subterranean termite is sometimes called the “super-termite” because of its incredibly destructive capabilities, which is due, in part, to the incredible size of their colonies and the rapid rate at which they consume wood. The number of individuals in a colony can vary, but they can easily number in the millions given optimal access to resources. A mature Formosan termite colony has the ability to consume upwards of 13 ounces of wood a day, and they can forage up to 300 feet in any direction through many types of soil.

Naturally, the presence of a colony poses a serious threat to nearby man-made structures, and they can cause irreparable structural damage in as little as three months. It’s interesting to note that once established in a particular area, a colony of Formosan termites has never been fully eradicated—only temporarily deterred.

These termites have been known to infest a variety of structures including boats and high-rise condominiums and routinely cause massive treatment and repair costs. However, it’s most common to see Formosan termites in the southern areas of the United States, because their eggs will not hatch in temperatures below 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Formosan termite is far and away one of the most destructive pests in the United States. Experts estimate that it costs homeowners upwards of $1 billion annually in order to prevent and redress issues caused by these termites. In New Orleans alone, for example, somewhere between 30-50% of the city’s historic oak trees are infested with termites, which costs the city about $300 million every year in upkeep costs.

In an effort to control the ever-expanding populations of these pests, the use of pesticides has raised costs for consumers and led to negative effects on the environment like the contamination of water supplies due to runoff.

Formosan termites will eat nearly any object made of wood, including other materials containing cellulose, like paper and cardboard. Although these insects feed mainly on wood, they’ve also been known to chew through foam insulation boards, thin lead and copper sheeting, plaster, asphalt, and some plastics.

The queen of a Formosan termite colony has a life span of about 15 years and can produce up to 2,000 eggs per day. Workers and soldiers have a life span of around 3 to 5 years.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas termite removal experts are excited to offer Green Shield Certified pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and on-going pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If termites have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced termite removal experts.