Which Is Worse For Henderson Homes; Termites Or Carpenter Ants?

When it comes to wood-destroying pests, there is no question about which ones are the most destructive. Subterranean termites win hands down. Each year, the cost of subterranean termite damage in the United States is in the billions. That is more than the cost of carpenter ant damage. That is more than the cost of powderpost beetle damage. That is more than the cost of damage done by tornadoes, fires, and earthquakes combined. It is also more than the cost of damage done by other types of termites. There is no contest. Subterranean termites reign supreme. Do you know why? Hang with us and you'll find out.

termite in cabinet

Subterranean Termites Do Not Produce Frass

When carpenter ants get into your home, they create tiny kickout holes and push sawdust and fecal pellets out. This material is called frass. Drywood termites also produce frass. You'll find their hard droppings on window sills and other hardwood surfaces. If you see frass, it will alert you to the threat of a wood-destroying pest. Subterranean termites don't give you this warning sign. They do not produce sawdust and they do not push their feces out of their tunnels.

Carpenter Ant Colonies Are Smaller

A typical carpenter ant colony will have around 15,000 individuals. Subterranean termite colonies have hundreds of thousands of individuals and sometimes as many as a million. When you combine this with the fact that your Henderson home can be attacked by more than one subterranean termite colony at a time, you can see how these termites are the clear winners.

Carpenter Ants Might Raid Your Cabinets

Subterranean termites consume wood and other things made from cellulose. They're not likely to get into your cabinets and feed on your food, except in extremely specific circumstances. Carpenter ants don't eat wood. They only excavate tunnels in wood. They have to come out of hiding to get a bite to eat. While they can find all the food they need on the outside of your home, they may take an interest in the food found in your pantry or kitchen. When they do, their presence in your food will give you a warning sign.

Subterranean Termite Workers Avoid Light

While it is somewhat of a mystery how worker termites even know how to avoid light because they are born blind, it is clear that they do. In fact, they avoid light in an incredibly efficient manner. This allows subterranean termites to completely total a home without ever revealing themselves. Carpenter ants aren't quite so sneaky. Though carpenter ants prefer the dark and are considered nocturnal by nature, they can appear out in the open. You may see a big black ant walking around every once in a while. If you take notice of that ant and contact a licensed pest professional to do an inspection of your home, you can prevent ongoing damage. Subterranean termites will not give you this warning sign. You may, however, accidentally uncover subterranean termites by chopping into a stump, digging up a spot in your yard, taking down a fence, renovating your home, or doing some similar activity. When you do, you might think that you're seeing white ants. (This is how they're often described.) But these aren't ants. They're termites. And you should have them treated as soon as possible.


Both of these wood-destroying insects produce swarmers, but carpenter ant swarmers are far more noticeable. A termite swarmer is only about ⅜ of an inch long. A carpenter ant swarmer is around ⅝ of an inch long. Fortunately, termite swarmers have bright white wings. When hundreds of termite swarmers are grouped together, the wings can make them quite noticeable. Unfortunately, the appearance of swarmers occurs long after damage has been done. It takes more than three years for a colony to mature to the point where it will begin to produce swarmers. These are male and female winged reproductives that are created for the purpose of establishing new nests. They have no purpose in a young nest.

How To Protect Your Home From Termites

If you live in Henderson, Nevada, let the certified termite control professionals at Red Rock Pest Control help you protect your home investment from termite damage. Subterranean termites may give you no warning signs that they are damaging your property. But we don't need warning signs. The product we use is undetectable to termites. When they pass through it, they pick up the active ingredient and share it with the other termites in their colony. When they do, the termites begin to die. No more colony, no more threat. Reach out to us today to learn more.


Residential Services

Schedule Your Free Inspection

Complete the form below to schedule your no obligation inspection.

For Expedited Service Call (702) 508-7544