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Are these caused by termite or carpenter ants

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today I checked a home and found these. It's a 2000 sf house with wood siding. The window or door frames got some cracks, around these cracks usually below these cracks the wood panel felt hollow, too. Are these caused by carpenter ants or termite? Inside the house there are some BIG carpenter ants crawling in the kitchen area. I think these are carpenter ants bite, when I tried to touch these slivers I got some frass on my finger. Looks like the damage is severer: the new owner needs to do some repair, and the toughest is to find the nest. This house is not well maintained with original roof (38 years old!) without gutter, I think many leaks however I couldn't access to the attic area.

I uploaded photos to this link:


thanks for your advice.

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The pictures all show rot, not ant or termite damage.

That said, I'd be surprised if carpenter ants *weren't* in the house somewhere. You don't need to find the nest. Most treatments these days rely on the ants, themselves, spreading the poison back to the nest.

Call a pest control contractor and write him a check. Easy peasy.

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Yes, the rot usually occurs first, then ants find it and make tunnels in the soft spots. If the colony gets real big, they start carving the sound wood around the nest, but often choosing the easy paths, like gaps between planks.

If you find a nest, close it back up and let the exterminator carry on from there. Ants will move their nest if they think you are on to them.

Termites are a whole other scenario, but you wouldn't see very much evidence on the surface like that. They carve and eat wood, so there is much more hidden damage. When they start to see light thru the wood fibers, they stop, so there will be a thin layer of wood at the surface with tunnels behind.

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Like the others said, the rot or damage comes first. If you've got wet, soggy, rotten wood, you've probably got carpenter ants.

I've used Dominion on them with good luck. It's pretty powerful. The ants can't detect it, so they take it home and kill the colony. There are also baits available.

If it's a small infestation, the best thing that you can do is eliminate the damaged wood and fix the source of the moisture. Carpenter ants like damp wood, not dry wood. They'll move on.

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