Sign up for special offers:



Carpenter ants and termites can do significant damage to the structure of your home. The damage that these bugs do often goes unnoticed or is mistaken for water damage. Improper or neglected treatment of wood-damaging bugs can result in a large infestation and weakened structural wood. Whether you're considering buying a house, selling a house, or are currently living in your dream home, learning more about carpenter ants and termites and finding out about different ways to combat them can prevent a lot of hassle and costly repairs in the long run.

Carpenter ants differ in appearance from termites. They have a narrow waist, a dark color, and antennae that are bent. Termites have a rectangular body shape; they don't have a waist. Also, they have a creamy white, transparent color and straight antennae. If their four wings are still intact, carpenter ants will have hind wings that are shorter than the forewings, and termites will have wings that are equal in size. Carpenter ants are more visible than termites, who prefer to avoid light. The eating habits of these wood ants also differ. Carpenter ants don't eat wood; they only excavate wood to create tunnels and galleries to nest in. This is also why the damage they do is less severe than that of termites. Their diet typically consists of dead and living insects, pet food, sweets, such as jelly, and honeydew secretions from scale insects and aphids. Termites primarily eat wood but will also consume things like insulation, books, and paper.

Detecting the presence of carpenter ants and termites is difficult because there is often no visible damage on the surface of wooden structures. Wood-damaging ants are prominent in spring, when the weather is mild. The first sign that you might notice if you have wood ants can be the presence of several winged ant-like insects. Carpenter ants burrow into moist, soft wood and leave behind visible piles of wood shavings. Although the surface of the wood might appear undamaged, below the surface, smooth holes and tunnels are present. A termite infestation can sometimes be detected through mud tubes that run along the surface of the foundation. The ants use these tubes to travel through, and breaking up a tube might help you detect the infestation. Unlike the smooth, clean holes and tunnels that carpenter ants create in moist wood, termites have no problem damaging dry wood, and their galleries can be recognized by the presence of mud and soil.

Effective control is essential to combat a carpenter ant or termite infestation. The nest must be located and destroyed. Over-the-counter insecticides can be used on exposed nests. You can also lay out poisonous bait for the unwelcome ants. When they detect the bait and carry it back to the nest to share with the colony, it can eradicate the problem. Nests that are concealed are more challenging to get rid of, and you might be better off using the help of a professional pest control company. They have access to a greater variety of insecticidal products and know how to safely apply them. Make sure to choose a licensed pest control company with trained technicians and a good reputation. Contact two to three local companies and have them do an inspection of your property and give you a price estimate. Some companies might offer warranties for their services, while others might offer to repair the damage that was done.

Rather than dealing with an infestation, focus on preventing one by making the environment in and around your home unattractive to carpenter ants and termites. Fix any water leaks, and eliminate standing water near your home. Make sure that rainwater slopes away from your home and not toward it. Clean up the yard, and get rid of anything that might attract carpenter ants or termites. Remove heavy brush, mulch, and firewood around your home that can serve as a food source. Consider installing trellises to keep plants away from your home. You can even schedule regular inspections by a professional to ensure that your home is free of termites and carpenter ants.

To prevent having to deal with uninvited wood ants and learn more about safely combating these destructive pests, consult the following sources:

Article written by Lexi Westingate

Related Articles


Updating Your Blinds and Shades
Homeowners during the recession are avoiding big financial moves. This means that homeowners who were considering upgrading in the recent past are most likely no longer considering the sale of their current home in order to buy a new home elsewhere. ... more


Window Shades Can Make Any House Seem Like Home
Looking to sell a vacant home? Adding window shades really adds the necessary warmth to make the house seem like home. Potential buyers subconsciously notice the difference when a house has appropriate window shades installed. Bare, stark windows with no coverings leave buyers distracted from the potential of the home. Window shades can actually make the difference between a potential buyer and a buyer. ... more


Window Blinds as a Home Improvement Rather Than a Design Expense
There are two different ways in which to view the purchase and installation of quality window blinds. Some consumers considering a major window blinds purchase see them strictly as a design expense. They see it as a monetary waste they should avoid at all costs. This group of consumers are missing the point and doing themselves a bit of a disservice at the same time. Knowledgeable consumers are aware that window blinds are not strictly a design expense. They are more of a valued home improvement. ... more


Wood Blinds Are Elegant Choice for the Home Office or Study
Wood blinds are a popular choice for home offices or studies if the area has been decorated with wood bookcases, desks, or wood accents on filing cabinets. Faux wood blinds or real wood blinds both can provide a rich elegant look.... more


Back to Top
x Blinds Chalet Guarantee Options
GoodBetterBest
PricingFREE$$$
Duration
3 year limited warranty
5 year limited warranty
5 year unlimited
Warranty
Defects
Parts
Restrings
Normal wear & tear
Anything
30 Day Measure
30 Day Returns
3 Year Standard Guarantee
Who is covered:
  • Warranties cover the original purchaser of the window blinds and shades.
What is covered:
  • Any defects in materials of workmanship
  • Operating mechanisms and other parts
  • Cell separation on honeycomb/cellular shades
  • Warping slats for faux wood and wood blinds
  • Broken vertical vanes
  • Restrings
BlindsChalet.com reserves, at its discretion, the right to repair, replace or refund any blinds found defective. This will be your sole remedy under this warranty. Shipping for warranty issues is the responsibility of the customer to and from the repair facility. Packaging on return shipments is the responsibility of the customer.

What is not covered:
  • Parts that fail due to accident, alteration and/or improper use Normal wear and tear
  • Color fading due to excessive exposure to sunlight, moisture or improper cleaning
  • Accidental damage

30 Day Measuring Insurance

This plan does not cover measuring errors. Following the easy measuring instructions will ensure a proper fit.

30 Day Returns

This plan does not cover returns.
5 Year Guaranteed to Fit
Who is covered:
  • Warranties cover the original purchaser of the window blinds and shades.
What is covered:
  • Any defects in materials of workmanship
  • Operating mechanisms and other parts
  • Cell separation on honeycomb/cellular shades
  • Warping slats for faux wood and wood blinds
  • Broken vertical vanes
  • Restrings
BlindsChalet.com reserves, at its discretion, the right to repair, replace or refund any blinds found defective. This will be your sole remedy under this warranty. Shipping for warranty issues is the responsibility of the customer to and from the repair facility. Packaging on return shipments is the responsibility of the customer.

What is not covered:
  • Parts that fail due to accident, alteration and/or improper use
  • Normal wear and tear
  • Color fading due to excessive exposure to sunlight, moisture or improper cleaning
  • Accidental damage

30 Day Measuring Insurance

Following the easy measuring instructions will ensure a proper fit, however, we all make errors from time to time and this protection plan covers any mis-measurement mistakes. If the window coverings do not fit, please let us know within 30 days of receiving the items. The blinds/shades will be remade at the correct dimensions at no cost to you unless there is a difference in price between the old and new sizes or if the new size requires an oversize shipping fee. All remakes will have to be remade in the same color, feature and specifications, no changes are allowed.

Shutters,custom graphic shades, commercial/dealer orders are not covered.

Any mis-measurements reported after 30 days will not be covered, however, new blinds and shades can be ordered with an additional 10% discount.

30 Day Returns

This plan does not cover returns.
5 Year Guaranteed to Love
Who is covered:
  • Warranties cover the original purchaser of the window blinds and shades.
What is covered:
  • Any defects in materials of workmanship
  • Operating mechanisms and other parts
  • Cell separation on honeycomb/cellular shades
  • Warping slats for faux wood and wood blinds
  • Broken vertical vanes
  • Restrings
  • Parts that fail due to accident, alteration and/or improper use
  • Normal wear and tear
  • Color fading due to excessive exposure to sunlight, moisture or improper cleaning
  • Accidental damage
BlindsChalet.com reserves, at its discretion, the right to repair, replace or refund any blinds found defective. This will be your sole remedy under this warranty. Shipping for warranty issues is the responsibility of the customer to and from the repair facility. Packaging on return shipments is the responsibility of the customer.

30 Day Measuring Insurance

Following the easy measuring instructions will ensure a proper fit, however, we all make errors from time to time and this protection plan covers any mis-measurement mistakes. If the window coverings do not fit, please let us know within 30 days of receiving the items. The blinds/shades will be remade at the correct dimensions at no cost to you unless there is a difference in price between the old and new sizes or if the new size requires an oversize shipping fee. All remakes will have to be remade in the same color, feature and specifications, no changes are allowed.

Shutters,custom graphic shades, commercial/dealer orders are not covered.

Any mis-measurements reported after 30 days will not be covered, however, new blinds and shades can be ordered with an additional 10% discount.

30 Day Returns

If for any reason you are not satisfied with the window coverings and wish to return, please notify us within 30 days of receiving the order. Our customer care department will provide a Return Authorization Number (RGA) and shipping address to return the product. Return shipping costs are the responsibility of the customer, refunds will be processed 2-3 business days after receiving the items.

Shutters,custom graphic shades, commercial/dealer orders are not covered.