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Home Blog Carpenter Ant Damage vs. Termite Damage

Carpenter ants and termites can cause a huge amount of damage to your home, not just compromising your safety, but also burning a big hole in your wallet when you have to get repairs.

A sign of both carpenter ant and termite infestations is damaged wood, but it can be hard to tell which of them is making your home their home if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

Regardless of which of these critters has infested your property, both can cause big problems when left untreated, so get them as quickly as you can. In today’s blog, we’ll be outlining the differences between carpenter ants damage and termite damage.

How to spot carpenter ant damage

If you have a carpenter ant infestation, it’s likely that you’ll be able to see the holes they’ve drilled into the wood. Next to the holes, there might be small piles of sawdust.

Because carpenter ants like moist and rotting wood, water damaged wood or wood near water could be the most affected. They’re also nocturnal, so it’s not uncommon to hear rustling in your walls at night if you have an infestation.

This type of ant doesn’t actually eat the wood. They simply tunnel through it by chewing on it and then pushing it out. The result of this tunneling is called frass, and it’s made up of wood, saliva, and waste.

Frass is usually roughly the same color as the wood it comes from and might contain heads and legs of ants who have been eaten by other ants (yikes!). You might find frass in piles on the floor or stuck to wooden surfaces, such as door frames and window frames.


  • Small holes in your wood
  • Small piles of sawdust
  • Rustling sounds inside your walls at night
  • Frass

How to spot termite damage

Unlike carpenter ants, termites actually eat wood. It’s the main part of their diet. So, it’s no surprise that they’re said to cause around $5 billion worth of structural damage to US homes each year (yowza!).

In most cases, termites will eat wood from the inside out, so your wood may look perfectly normal from the outside. Knock on the wood to see if it’s hollow. If it is, you may have termites on your hands.

Mud tubes are a sure fire sign of a termite infestation and can lead you to the damage. These are made of wood, waste, soil, and saliva. They shelter the termites as they go from their nests to the damage in your home, and you might find them under your floors, on pipes, along cracks, around plumbing, or along your home’s foundation.


  • Mud tubes
  • Thin wood
  • Ragged wood
  • Hollow wood
  • Bubbling, bulging walls
  • Peeling paint on walls

If you think you have termites, it’s important that you get termite control as fast as possible. These critters can do a lot of damage very quickly. For more information on carpenter ants and termites, take a look around our blog.

Think you’ve got carpenter ants or termites? Natran Green Pest Control serves Houston and Austin, Texas with botanical-based pest control solutions, including carpenter ant treatments and termite treatments. Call us on 281-326-9911 to get your free inspection as soon as tomorrow.

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