Termites and ants are two of the biggest problems homeowners face in Utah. Depending on the type of ant, an infestation of either can cause extensive damage to your home and to outside structures. Without professional help, both can go undetected and may escalate to the point of making your home uninhabitable. There are similarities between these two species, but they each require individual pest control treatment. At Elevate Pest Control, we can identify whether termites or ants are a problem in your home and develop a customized treatment plan to eliminate them completely and keep them from returning in the future.
Termites vs. Ants
Ants are a common pest in Utah and there are a variety of species that can become a problem for homeowners:
- Field ants can be found outdoors, where they quickly ruin picnics, or inside, where they may be seen trailing across countertops, walls, or floors.
- Pavement ants can be found swarming around cracks in sidewalks and near your home’s foundation.
- Harvester ants, which are commonly referred to as fire ants, are the type that typically invade yards and other outdoor areas. Burrowing deep tunnels and trenches beneath the ground, they leave bites that are painful and linger for weeks.
While all of the above can prove to be a real nuisance in and around your home, they seldom measure up to the damage that can be caused by carpenter ants. Utah State University (USU) advises that these winged creatures are often mistaken for termites and they can prove just as destructive. However, their preference for moist, wooded areas and their ability to cause extensive damage in and around your home is where the similarities end.
The carpenter ant’s body shape is somewhat different than termites, which have soft, broader bodies, straight antennae, and two sets of wings that are the same in size. Unlike termites, which feed on wood and can quickly consume large amounts, carpenter ants only burrow through it to make their nests. Rather than searching for these nests as the first step in pest elimination, a termite problem is often diagnosed by locating the mud tubes termites use both as a form of shelter and as a tunnel connecting them from their colony to food sources.
Utah Termite Treatments
Once our Utah pest control professionals identify termites as a problem in your home, they can develop a plan of action. Unlike ants, which often use cracks around doors or window frames and wood branches or bushes to get into your home, termites come in through the soil around the foundation. As a result, this will be where we focus the bulk of our efforts. There are three common ways to treat termites:
- Termite baits: These are installed below ground in your yard, in crawl spaces under your home, or directly over an active mud tube. The baits contain a slow acting poison, which the termites eat and carry back to their colonies.
- Soil treatments: This involves treating the soil around your home’s foundation with liquid termiticide, which kills termites as they forage their way in and out of their colony.
- Wood treatments: Foams and liquid termiticides can be injected directly into affected wood areas, killing the colony and preventing future infestation.
None of these methods are particularly helpful or effective when dealing with carpenter ants or other types of ant infestations. Applying liquid insecticides to carpenter ants can actually prove harmful to the environment. Rather than killing them, it will simply coat them with the termiticide, enabling them to fly and spread it to other, unintended areas.
Unlike termites, the key to eliminating an ant infestation is to locate and exterminate the nest. With carpenter ants, this can be a challenge. Our trained pest control professionals will conduct a thorough home inspection, looking for signs such as piles of sawdust, which carpenter ants leave behind as they burrow through wooded areas. With other types of ants, once the nest is removed it is often a matter of eliminating food sources and closing off the entrances ants use to get into your home.
Contact Our Utah Pest Control Professionals
Considering the extensive damage carpenter ants and termites can cause in your home, it is important to call in our Utah pest control professionals to ensure the problem is properly dealt with. To get help in dealing with all of your pest problems, call or contact Elevate Pest Control online and request a free consultation today.