There are two wood destroyers that home and business owners in Rhode Island deal with: termites and carpenter ants. These are two very different insects, that both destroy wood in different ways and for different reasons. The professional exterminators at Big Blue Bug of Providence RI want to help you understand the differences between termites and carpenter ants in case these pests visit your home this spring.
Termites: The termites that infest the Rhode Island and Massachusetts area are Eastern Subterranean termites. The worker termites are white, approximately 1/8 of an inch long and they have soft bodies. They won’t bite you or spread diseases, but they can be very dangerous to the structural integrity of your home. Termites feed on cellulose materials, including the wood that makes up the structure of your home. They don’t actually live inside your structure (in most cases), as they build a colony away from your home and travel to your home in mud tunnels that they create. As termites chow down on the wood of your home, they hollow it out, leaving the exterior of the wood alone. So your wooden structures may look fine but the wood can be completely hollowed out by termites, leaving it structurally unsound.
Carpenter ants: Carpenter ants are approximately 1/8 of an inch to 1/2 an inch in length and the workers are black, a combination of red and black or all red. They will rarely bite humans and don’t spread any diseases. Similar to termites, they are not dangerous to humans physically; they can be dangerous to the structure of our homes. Carpenter ants do not eat the wood of our homes, but they excavate it, making room for their colony. You can see signs of these ants by the tiny holes they use to get in and out of the wood, often with small piles of sawdust nearby. When they remove the wood in your home to build their colonies, they weaken the wood considerably, causing thousands of dollars in structural damage to homes and businesses.
With spring here and summer fast approaching, these insects are starting new colonies and their populations are growing. If you have these pests inside your home or in a colony nearby, your home is not safe. If you have seen signs of termites or signs of carpenter ants on your Rhode Island property, don’t hesitate; contact the professionals at Big Blue Bug Solutions today. For more information on our RI and MA termite control services or pest control for carpenter ants, contact us today!